The battle to protect the limited credible science behind medical transgenderism is trying to claim another high-profile victim. Lisa Littman, a Brown University researcher, recently published important research on rapid-onset gender dysphoria. It was suddenly yanked from public view on Brown’s website to appease those who say they worry her findings might “invalidate the perspectives” of transgender people.
Was Littman’s pioneering study of ROGD (Rapid-Onset Gender Dysphoria) really junk science, as transgender activists claim? Or was it just formal academic validation of what news articles have been displaying for years? My own four-year-long research project to analyze tens of thousands of media articles about “all things transgender” has left me siding with Littman and the study’s conclusions.
Lots of Other Reports Corroborate Littman’s Findings
Littman’s study centers on the social contagion of teens who suddenly develop gender dysphoria. These are kids who previously showed no signs of discomfort with their bodies declaring to their parents and the world that they are actually transgender.
Common traits among these children and young adults are being gender non-conforming or feeling distress about being forced to adopt sex-stereotypical dress and appearance. Some of them are suffering from one or more underlying psychiatric disorders. In the past, before the rise of medical transgenderism, nearly all of these kids would have eventually become lesbians or otherwise gone on to accept their birth sex.
Based on the experiences of parents whose children quickly developed gender dysphoria, Littman’s research explores the link between these kids, predominantly girls, suddenly believing they are boys and the external causes for this. The study examines whether bingeing on YouTube sex-change videos, hanging out in Reddit or Tumblr, and affiliating (either online or off) with other persons who have adopted sexual identities different from their birth sex influences the sudden dysphoria.
Based on years of reading news reports about transgender people, I agree that social contagion is often a major cause of transgender presentation. While gathering and analyzing media interviews done with trans people, I noticed many youths confessing to not only not knowing what transgender is but also to learning about it from placeslike YouTube, an LGBT education program from school, television shows such as “I Am Jazz,” or meeting a transgender person in real life.
What I’ve also seen in my research, which is still ongoing, is a profound number of these young people claiming to “feel different.” That’s how many gender dysphoric people start out: They simply claim to “feel different” from male or female peers because of nonconformities in their desired appearance or sexual orientation. In reality, that’s all they know about themselves and it’s the most common theme until they stumble across transgender ideologies.
The so-called experts in the field of medical transgenderism want the public to believe these children all sincerely know that they’re really the opposite sex at age 3 or 4, but it simply isn’t true. Until transgenderism came into their lives, many of these youth previously identified as or believed they were gay or lesbian. Their parents thought the same thing. But because of exposure to transgender ideologies, these kids suddenly developed gender dysphoria about their sex.
Let’s Sample News Reports to Find Similar Narratives
For a look at how the Internet affects these confused youth, examine the case of an 8-year-old girl. It made headlines when Joe Maldonado, as she is now known, demanded to join the Cub Scouts because she identifies as a boy.
“You know I actually have a disease to make me feel like I’m a boy,” Joe argued with Joe’s mother, according to news reports from The Jersey Journal. When the mother asked where this information was coming from, the little girl responded: “I’m dead serious! I looked on YouTube!”
Or examine the cases of Arthur Hanson and Alex Glenn in Iowa, two girls who now identify as boys. “Hanson said he began questioning his gender between seventh and eighth grade,” the Ames Tribune reports. Hanson told the reporter, “I just kind of went through a very short denial phase in which I forced myself to be a girl and not think about being a boy at all,” adding “then I found this boy on YouTube that did videos for and from transgender men, and I sent that to my mom with a sense of finality and confidence that I was a boy.”
The other female youth parroted the same thing: “Glenn said he also learned about what it means to be transgender from YouTube,” the article says, going on to quote Glenn: “I … found someone talking about what being ‘transgender’ is. As this person was talking, I related in every aspect.”
According to another article, this time in the Philadelphia Inquirer, trans teen Matt Dawkins, formerly Maya, first came out as a gay, “but in time, identifying as a lesbian didn’t feel right either,” so Dawkins “sought answers on the Internet, where one Youtuber talked about his transition to male.”
Article after article on the Internet repeats this same theme. Here it is in the New Zealand Herald: “At first, Zahra thought she was gay. But after searching the internet and watching YouTube videos about transgender people, she realised she felt more like she was trapped in the wrong body.” Maybe the dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health, who decided not to publicly back Littman, needs to read some of them.
These Families Deserve To Know the Truth
Jamie Shupe retired as a decorated Sergeant First Class from the U.S. Army. After retiring, Shupe lived as a transgender woman for nearly four years before desisting from living as a female.