Old but yet more of the dehumanizing BS
Controversy is exploding around a paper published earlier this month in PLOS ONE by a public health expert at Brown University describing reports by parents that their children suddenly experienced unease with the gender they were assigned at birth; the paper calls the condition “rapid onset gender dysphoria” (ROGD). The paper, by physician-scientist Lisa Littman, is drawing fierce criticism from transgender advocates, who call it antitransgender because it suggests that some cases of gender dysphoria may be “socially contagious.” They say the paper has serious methodological flaws, noting that Littman interviewed only parents, not the young people themselves, and recruited from websites frequented by parents who were concerned about their children’s apparently sudden gender transitions. Meanwhile, the reactions of Brown and the journal are being assailed by critics who accuse them of caving to political pressure.
On Monday, PLOS ONE announced it is conducting a postpublication investigation of the study’s methodology and analysis. “This is not about suppressing academic freedom or scientific research. This is about the scientific content itself—whether there is anything that needs to be looked into or corrected,” PLOS ONE Editor-in-Chief Joerg Heber in San Francisco, California, told ScienceInsider in an interview yesterday.
Also on Monday, Brown officials removed the university’s press release highlighting the paper from its website. On Tuesday, Bess Marcus, dean of Brown’s School of Public Health, wrote in an open statement that the university acted “in light of questions raised about research design and data collection related to the study.” She added that people in the Brown community have raised concerns that the study’s conclusions “could be used to discredit efforts to support transgender youth and invalidate the perspectives of members of the transgender community.”
The actions by the journal and the university have infuriated some researchers who say the moves trample academic freedom, although the paper remains freely available. “This is a sad day for @BrownUniversity, and an indictment of the integrity of their academic and administrative leadership,” Jeffrey Flier, a former dean of Harvard Medical School in Boston and a professor of medicine there, tweeted on Monday. In an interview with ScienceInsider, he called elements of Marcus’s statement “anti-intellectual” and “completely antithetical to academic freedom,” and said he found it “horrifying” that Brown failed to defend Littman. A petition urging Brown and PLOS ONE “to resist ideologically-based attempts to squelch controversial research evidence” was gathering 80 signatures per hour on Wednesday.
The paper is the first in the literature to name ROGD, which it describes as a sudden onset of gender dysphoria during or after puberty in an adolescent or young adult. Littman based the paper on findings from a 90-question survey completed by 256 parents of transgender youths with an average age of 16. She recruited the parents from three websites where she had seen parents describe sudden transgender transitions in their adolescents—4thWaveNow, Transgender Trend, and Youth TransCritical Professionals. The first two are gathering places for parents concerned by their children’s exploration of a transgender identity. (The third website is closed to nonmembers.) According to the parents surveyed, none of their children had symptoms that matched the professionally defined diagnosis of gender dysphoria during childhood. The finding suggests “that not all [young people] presenting at these vulnerable ages are correct in their self-assessment of the cause of their symptoms,” Littman wrote in the paper. She suggested some young people may be seeking gender transition to escape other emotional difficulties.
For what it is worth organizations like 4th Wave Now, Transgender Trend, and Youth Transcritical Professional tend to be Fundamentalist Christian/right wing hate organizations some of which disguise their bigotry as concern. Others like Quilllette disguise their bigotry as feminism and serious inquiry.
- Trans Activism’s Dangerous Myth of Parental Rejection
- Transgenderism and the Social Construction of Diagnosis
The Right Wing BS really shows through in the following by the same author: