Not Vaccines

As it turns out, the risk of Autism has nothing to do with vaccination.
It has everything to do with the age of the mom, or in cases where the woman is younger, with the age of the father.

In an analysis of nearly five million births and more than 12,000 autism cases, every five-year increase in maternal age at delivery was associated with an 18% greater risk of the child later being diagnosed with autism, according to Janie Shelton, MPH, a doctoral student at the University of California Davis, and colleagues.

Mothers who gave birth when they were 40 or older had a 51% increased risk of having a child with autism compared with those who were 25 to 29, the largest age group (OR 1.51, 95% CI 1.35 to 1.70), the researchers reported in the February issue of Autism Research.

Nature unfairly targets career women and guys who marry younger women. Go figure.

DSM V Preview

For those of you who are following the DSM revision controversy as it unfolds, here is a recently launched website by the Association for Women in Psychology Committee on Bias in Psychiatric Diagnosis, spearheaded by Paula Caplan. It takes on the problems with a number of categories, including Gender Identity Disorder, Parental Alienation Syndrome, and Female Sexual Dysfunction.

Some highlights of the upcoming DSM V:

[1] The Paraphilias Subworkgroup is proposing two broad changes that affect all or several of the paraphilia diagnoses, in addition to various amendments to specific diagnoses. The first broad change follows from our consensus that paraphilias are not ipso facto psychiatric disorders. We are proposing that the DSM-5 make a distinction between paraphilias and paraphilic disorders. A paraphilia by itself would not automatically justify or require psychiatric intervention. A paraphilic disorder is a paraphilia that causes distress or impairment to the individual or harm to others. One would ascertain a paraphilia (according to the nature of the urges, fantasies, or behaviors) but diagnose a paraphilic disorder (on the basis of distress and impairment). In this conception, having a paraphilia would be a necessary but not a sufficient condition for having a paraphilic disorder.

This approach leaves intact the distinction between normative and non-normative sexual behavior, which could be important to researchers, but without automatically labeling non-normative sexual behavior as psychopathological. It also eliminates certain logical absurdities in the DSM-IV-TR. In that version, for example, a man cannot be classified as a transvestite—however much he cross-dresses and however sexually exciting that is to him—unless he is unhappy about this activity or impaired by it. This change in viewpoint would be reflected in the diagnostic criteria sets by the addition of the word “Disorder” to all the paraphilias. Thus, Sexual Sadism would become Sexual Sadism Disorder; Sexual Masochism would become Sexual Masochism Disorder, and so on.


Transvestic Disorder
A. Over a period of at least six months, in a male, recurrent and intense sexual fantasies, sexual urges, or sexual behaviors involving cross?dressing. [11]
B. The fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

Specify if: [12]
With Fetishism (Sexually Aroused by Fabrics, Materials, or Garments)
With Autogynephilia (Sexually Aroused by Thought or Image of Self as Female)


302.85 Gender Identity Disorder in Adolescents or Adults
Gender Incongruence (in Adolescents or Adults) [1]
A. A marked incongruence between one’s experienced/expressed gender and assigned gender, of at least 6 months duration, as manifested by 2* or more of the following indicators: [2, 3, 4]
1. a marked incongruence between one’s experienced/expressed gender and primary and/or secondary sex characteristics (or, in young adolescents, the anticipated secondary sex characteristics) [13, 16]

2. a strong desire to be rid of one’s primary and/or secondary sex characteristics because of a marked incongruence with one’s experienced/expressed gender (or, in young adolescents, a desire to prevent the development of the anticipated secondary sex characteristics) [17]

3. a strong desire for the primary and/or secondary sex characteristics of the other gender

4. a strong desire to be of the other gender (or some alternative gender different from one’s assigned gender)

5. a strong desire to be treated as the other gender (or some alternative gender different from one’s assigned gender)

6. a strong conviction that one has the typical feelings and reactions of the other gender (or some alternative gender different from one’s assigned gender)

With a disorder of sex development
Without a disorder of sex development
[14, 15, 16, 19]


For the adult criteria, we propose, on a preliminary basis, the requirement of only 2 indicators. This is based on a preliminary secondary data analysis of 154 adolescent and adults patients with GID compared to 684 controls (Deogracias et al., 2007; Singh et al., 2010). From a 27-item dimensional measure of gender dysphoria, the Gender Identity/Gender Dysphoria Questionnaire for Adolescents and Adults (GIDYQ), we extracted five items that correspond to the proposed A2-A6 indicators (we could not extract a corresponding item for A1). Each item was rated on a 5-point response scale, ranging from Never to Always, with the past 12 months as the time frame. For the current analysis, we coded a symptom as present if the participant endorsed one of the two most extreme response options (frequently or always) and as absent if the participant endorsed one of the three other options (never, rarely, sometimes). This yielded a true positive rate of 94.2% and a false positive rate of 0.7%. Because the wording of the items on the GIDYQ is not identical to the wording of the proposed indicators, further validational work will be required during field trials.

Continue reading “DSM V Preview”

Oak Park Library’s Trans Collection

Check this out: Oak Park Library of Illinois was recently recognized for its transgender collection. & It just so happens they chose She’s Not the Man I Married for the article about it in the local Oak Park newspaper.

Superbowl Round-Up, Gender Studies Style

First, clever Twitter responses to the ridiculous amount of sexism in this year’s Superbowl commercials. One of my favorites:
Posted By: denverlen (February 8, 2010 at 5:19 PM)
This was my fav tweet of the night. Saw a couple of others that were similar as well.
mrbilldempsey: Advertising works. Buying some misogyny first thing tomorrow.

(thanks to Erica for that one)

Weird Superbowl Ad indulges in outworn femme stereotype of a gay couple, but as an Advocate reader points out, in an oddly inclusive sort of way.

An hour of Superbowl watching with Gloria Steinem & Shelby Knox (okay, even I couldn’t do it, I just couldn’t).

& As if to summarize, my friend Matty Wegehaupt wrote:
If there is any better evidence than the Super Bowl ads that popular American masculinity is in the throes of a pathetic death spiral, I haven’t seen it. The irony is that even while attacking women as withering harpies, the ads portray the men themselves as even more pathetic: illiterate boors who grunt defiantly at an “unfair” world, yearning for the nourishing respite of crap beer, fast cars, and fake boobs.

Geaux men! Honestly, I find the stereotypes of men in mainstream media horribly offensive – at least as offensive as those idiotic, sexist GoDaddy ads, which is one of the reasons I’ve been very surprised by how well Men of a Certain Age is written, and acted.

Two Tune Tuesday Valentine Edition: WWJJD?

Valentine’s Day is five days away, so consider this foreplay.

There’s a reason Joan Jett is called the original riot grrrl, after all. So what would JJ do? I think that’s pretty damn apparent, no?

What Damfinos Do Know

The other night on Olbermann, I caught the tail end of him telling a story about Buster Keaton – except that I didn’t hear the beginning. Luckily, I found the transcript:

First, on this date in 1895 was born actor Nigel Bruce famed as Dr.  Watson to Basil Rathbone‘s Sherlock Holmes.  But it was on the set of the movie “Limelight” that Bruce and co-start Norman Lloyd got to watch unmatched film history.  As star and director Charlie Chaplin filmed himself in a complicated bit of business, Bruce and Lloyd heard someone whispering “just to your left, Charlie.  Your center frame, Charlie.”

Finally Bruce realized it was another co-star, legendary comic Buster Keaton, whispering guidance to Chaplin.  My god, Bruce mumbled, we‘re watching Keaton direct Chaplin.

A Damfino (that’s what us Keaton fans are called) can not fail to remind you that Chaplin cut most of Buster’s scenes out of Limelight. Fucker.

Sims’ 10th Anniversary

It’s been 10 years since The Sims came out. It was the year we got engaged, & it was a lovely break from the wedding planning angst for me. There’s a cool video about the game – lots of footage of the old games, interviews with creators.

It was the first game to really break the gender barrier in terms of game sales. They called it a bunch of different things as they worked on it, including Dollhouse, which they knew would be a name that would kill all potential sales to boys; Will Wright started calling it The Tactical Domestic Simulator. Love that.

(But it really is like a dollhouse – but dolls who you build houses for in addition to changing their clothes / making up stories about them.)

I would also like to note that I have never figured out all the way to kill my Sims.

Political Shuffle

Conservative blogger Jon Henke also tweets, too, & in this case, he called out the bigotry of the head of the FRC (Family Research Council):

BIGOTRY: FRC Spokesman wants to “outlaw” gay behavior. Does FRC really support new Jim Crow laws?

Love that. Even more interesting to me is the tagline of the blog that URL points to, which is:

I believe in the free speech that liberals used to believe in, the economic freedom that conservatives used to believe in, and the personal freedom that America used to believe in.

Which is weird, because this big ol’ liberal is on the same page.

(Thanks, as is often the case, to Sarah.)

Poor Catherine the Great

Bestiality porn has been banned in the Netherlands, where until recently, it was legal:

Sex with animals had been legal in the Netherlands, as long as it could be proven the animals were not injured.

& How did they know that? Did they ask?

F. Scott in Drag

Really, it’s F. Scott Fitzgerald, which makes me wonder how Zelda looked in a suit.

(Thanks to Courtney.)


Apparently Caulfield was still alive to write Salinger’s obit:

“There will never be another voice like his.” Which is exactly the lousy kind of goddamn thing that people say, because really it could mean lots of things, or nothing at all even, and it’s just a perfect example of why you should never tell anybody anything.

Goddamn if The Onion didn’t nail it exactly, even if, I”m sure, a million crumby people thought of it with them.

US Tax Court Rules GID Expenses Deductible

From TaxProf Blog:

In a long-awaited decision, a fractured (8-5-3) Tax Court today ruled in O’Donnabhain v. Commissioner, 134 T.C. No. 4 (Feb. 2, 2010), that male-to-female gender reassignment surgery qualifies as a deductible medical expense under § 213, reversing the IRS’s position in Chief Counsel Advice 200603025.  The 8-judge majority held that:

  • TP’s gender identity disorder is a “disease” within the meaning of  § 213(d)(1)(A) & (9)(B).
  • TP’s hormone therapy and sex reassignment surgery were for the treatment of disease within the meaning of  § 213(d)(1)(A) & (9)(B), and thus not “cosmetic surgery” excluded from the definition of deductible “medical care” by § 213(d)(9)(A).
  • TP’s breast augmentation surgery was directed at improving her appearance did not meaningfully promote the proper function of her body or treat disease within the meaning of § 213(d)(9)(B), and thus was “cosmetic surgery” excluded from the definition of deductible “medical care” by § 213(d)(9)(A).

Judge Gale wrote the 69-page majority opinion, joined by Judges Cohen, Colvin. Marvel, Morrison, Paris, Thornton, and Wherry.  Judge Halperin (12 pages), Judge Holmes (joined by Judge Goeke) (23 pages), and Judge Goeke (joined by Judge Holmes) (6 pages) wrote separate concurring opinions.  Judge Foley (joined by Judges Gustafson, Kroupa, Vasquez, and Wells) (8 pages) and Judge Gustafson (joined by Judges Foley, Kroupa, Vasquez, and Wells) (21 pages) wrote separate opinions concurring in part and dissenting in part.

Amazing news. GLAD is having a community conference call with the attorneys who worked on the case, and NCTE is supporting the call. For more info on how to participate, check after the break.

Continue reading “US Tax Court Rules GID Expenses Deductible”

Two Tune Tuesday: The Other Grammys

We’ve all heard the Lady Gaga to death by now, no? Even if “Bad Romance” did spawn one of the best names of an FB group, it’s time for some of the other cool stuff that was nominated or won Grammys last night:

NYC Carry

This guy’s trip – being carried entirely by volunteers from one end of Manhattan to the other – is no surprise to me. Eh, homesick: I hate it. But keep up the good work, NYers. I am kinda curious what neighborhood he got through fastest (& my guess is the Upper West Side, full of guilty liberals). For the record: I would have said yes.