Considering that McHugh and Mayer faced immense backlash from many in the LGBT advocacy community who tried to discredit their 2016 report because it was published in a non-peer-reviewed journal, a FAQ page released by The New Atlantis defends the authors from likely arguments that could come from political activists who try to discredit the report.
"The Human Rights Campaign, among other critics, has tried to discredit The New Atlantis by pointing out that it is not peer-reviewed. Yet HRC promoted a special 'gender resolution' issue of National Geographic — also not a peer-reviewed publication — which dealt with 'how science is helping us understand gender,'" the FAQ page reads. "We will let readers decide for themselves whether HRC and its allies are truly concerned with scientific integrity or simply looking for an excuse, no matter how feeble, to ignore medical experts who disagree with them."
McHugh has also been criticized by LGBT advocates who try to discredit his research as "anti-LGBT work."
"Dr. McHugh has on many occasions been attacked personally by activists who are unable to discredit his work but see it as a threat to their own agendas," the FAQ page states. "Nevertheless, his record as a scientist, clinician and leader in the field of psychiatry is unimpeachable, as is demonstrated by his position at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and his membership in the National Academy of Medicine."
Hruz, who was not an author on Mayer and McHugh's highly-read 2016 report, explained on Tuesday's call that the report "provides a background to understand what is being proposed as a safe and effective and recommended treatment and raises the concerns. There are side effects that we don't have knowledge [of] and it is not being studied in a rigorous way."
He also commented on the issue of political ideology interfering in scientific debates.
"It is very evident that there is an element of ideology superimposing itself into science that is present here. Good scientists and good physicians are accepting this without the same rigor that they would otherwise demand," he said.
"It is very clear that the ideology is driving suppression of people that recognize the difficulty that is going on here, at least among academics, that the discussion that would normally go on is being muted because of the ideology and how vocal the advocates for this particular intervention is preventing people from raising legitimate scientific and medical questions."