In 2017, James Caspian, an experienced psychotherapist, attempted to undertake a research project into the phenomenon of ‘detransitioning’, where men and women who have transitioned to another gender come to regret their decision and take steps to reverse the process. But Bath Spa University rejected his research proposal on the grounds that it was ‘politically incorrect’ and ‘might cause offense’. The university’s ethics committee said it could result in criticism of the university on social media.
Since then, Caspian has been fighting the university in the courts. This week, the High Court rejected his bid for a judicial review on procedural grounds. He plans to appeal the decision. spiked asked him about his research and the political climate that led to its suppression.
spiked: What made you want to research detransitioning?
James Caspian: In 2014, I met with a surgeon from Belgrade called Dr Miroslav Djordjevic, who is very experienced in doing gender-reassignment surgeries. He told me that he had recently done around seven reverse gender-reassignment surgeries. Natal men who had undergone genital surgery elsewhere but had regretted it went to Dr Djordjevic to reverse it. But once you’ve had your genitals removed, you can’t actually reverse that. All he could do was a cosmetic surgery to create the semblance of a penis and testicles. Since our initial conversation, he has done several more reversals and he has been calling publicly for more research into it.
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I’ve been working as a psychotherapist for 10 years in a clinical setting with patients who were considering gender reassignment or were undergoing it. I was counselling…