Paper on how trans youth come of age is retracted following ethics board investigation

By Nick Youngson

A journal devoted to LGBT issues has retracted a paper on the “process by which transgender youth come of age” because “the reported outcomes can no longer be considered valid.”

The article, “Becoming trans adults: Trans youth, parents, and the transition to adulthood, Journal of LGBT Youth,” was written by Jonathan Jimenez, at the time a graduate student in sociology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV).  

The paper, which appeared in the Journal of LGBT Youth, was his first solo article, Jimenez tweeted when the publication came online in August 2020, saying he was “unbelievably happy” to share the news. 

But that happiness wasn’t the only thing unbelievable about the achievement. According to the retraction notice, the institutional review board with authority over the research became concerned enough about the work to launch an investigation:  

We, the authors, Editors and Publisher of the Journal of LGBT Youth, have retracted the following article: 

Jonathan Jimenez (2020) Becoming trans adults: Trans youth, parents, and the transition to adulthood, Journal of LGBT Youth, DOI 10.1080/19361653.2020.1805391

Since publication, the author has informed us that the results and conclusions of the research reported in this article are invalid. This was concluded after the Institutional Review Board at University of Nevada Las Vegas conducted an investigation into the integrity of the research and data collected from the interviews. As the reported outcomes can no longer be considered valid, we are retracting this article.

We have been informed in our decision-making by our policy on publishing ethics and integrity and the COPE guidelines on retractions. 

The retracted article will remain online to maintain the scholarly record, but it will be digitally watermarked on each page as ‘Retracted’. 

Our email to Jimenez’s UNLV address bounced back as undeliverable. 

Brad Woods, who heads UNLV’s Office of Research Integrity, declined to comment on the case, citing privacy considerations. Same for Robert Futrell, the chair of the Department of Sociology. 

The UNLV press office confirmed for us that Jimenez is no longer enrolled at the institution. 

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8 thoughts on “Paper on how trans youth come of age is retracted following ethics board investigation”

  1. I did a quick search, but couldn’t find anything else than the retraction notice. So who knows? Maybe the article is scientifically fraudulent, or maybe it is politically upalatable. Since we aren’t given any information, this will only serve to entrench people in their existing prejudices.

  2. Things I learned today: there’s a journal called Porn Studies. This author co-authored a paper there, “Forging fandom: shared culture and porn tourism at the Adult Entertainment Expo.”

    1. These people are literally being paid to watch porn and wank.

      From the “Forging fandom” article:
      “ We gained full access to the Expo as credentialled members of the press, with our positions as researchers and connection to our university as our entry point. While our entry was predicated on our role as researchers, we must also acknowledge that we attended the event as fans ourselves.”

        1. But they said in their “Forging fandom” paper that they are fans of porn and went to an Adult Entertainment Expo as part of their jobs? I don’t see how it can be untrue and defamatory when they’re the ones who said it. Besides, I don’t think it is bad to get paid to do what you love.

          But back to the retracted paper. It might have had completely sensible conclusions that are consistent with 1000 other studies. If the data is not real or was not ethically collected it should still be retracted. We don’t know why exactly but we know there was an investigation and it found problems.

  3. There’s plenty of papers on trans youth out there that deserve a retraction for unethically collected data. I did not consent freely to have data collected by the child psychiatrists I am coerced into seeing, and have them use it for their own benefit and to further publicize their harmful ideas. I might consent on paper – but I can’t say no and run the slightest risk of displeasing these people and not getting medication this year, either. That’s what the more “clinical” half of these papers is built on. This isn’t one of them. Whatever mistakes this researcher made, there’s clearly two different standards of ethical scrutiny.

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