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Why is my gender research being cancelled? Activists are taking over prestigious journals

The orthodoxy cannot be questioned (Sam Mellish / In Pictures via Getty Images Images)

The orthodoxy cannot be questioned (Sam Mellish / In Pictures via Getty Images Images)


May 16, 2023   9 mins

Since my academic paper on Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria was published last month, it has been downloaded more than 38,000 times and is ranked in the top percentile of similar articles in terms of online attention. One might think that the academic society associated with the journal — the International Academy of Sex Research — would be delighted. Instead, its officers are trying to cancel the article.

Imagine that your daughter, aged 14, tells you that she is transgender. You are confused, not to mention worried. For several years she has had emotional and social issues serious enough that you took her to a therapist. But there was no hint that she struggled with her gender identity. You would have never called her a tomboy — she liked wearing dresses and playing with dolls, and she never played with boys. Yet you learn that one of her few friends has also told her parents that she is “trans” and intends to become a boy. What are the chances? Is your daughter going to do this too?

Across the industrialised West, there has been an explosion of gender dysphoria among adolescent girls in recent years. In England, for example, annual referrals for child and adolescent gender dysphoria treatment grew in the 10 years between 2011-12 to 2021-22 from 250 (mostly boys) to 5,000 (mostly girls). In the United States, no one is keeping track, but the signs are the same. Two explanations have been given for this trend, and they have provoked a bitter controversy. The first holds that increased tolerance of transgender people has allowed transgender youth to come out earlier and in greater numbers. People who believe this also tend to assume we should not question children and adolescents who declare that they are transgender but should help them if they want to start their transition.

The second explanation, called “rapid onset gender dysphoria” (ROGD), suggests that, for poorly understood reasons, adolescent and young adult females are susceptible to a socially contagious false belief that they are transgender. Especially susceptible are girls with pre-existing emotional problems who have been exposed to the ideas that transgender people are common, and that an underlying and unrecognised transgender identity can cause emotional problems only curable by gender transition.

The idea of ROGD, like the phenomenon that inspired the hypothesis, is quite recent. The first peer-reviewed empirical article was published in 2018 and attempted to determine whether gender dysphoric youth with an ROGD profile existed, according to parent informants. They certainly did. The article provoked a firestorm of criticism and an unprecedented (and shameful) demand by the journal, Plos One, that the author, Lisa Littman, revise the paper to mollify its critics. Shortly after Littman’s paper was published, polemical critiques of ROGD began appearing in academic journals. There have also been a few unsuccessful attempts to refute ROGD with data. Yet none of these pieces provoked attempts to get them cancelled or retracted; those who find ROGD a legitimate explanation want more information and discussion, not less.

In 2018, I attended a small invitation-only conference about ROGD. The conference co-organiser, Suzanna Diaz, presented results of an online survey conducted by the organisation Parents of ROGD Kids. I was impressed by the findings and, given that ROGD was little-known in 2018, I told her she should publish her study. Eventually, we explored co-authoring an article, and the result is the one now threatened with cancellation.

We focused on parents’ reports on gender-dysphoric adolescents and young adults whom the parents believed had ROGD. You can read the full article here, but the key observations that motivated the cancellation attempt are as follows. First, we identified 1,655 cases of ROGD — a significant number for activists to ignore. Second, parents said that these youth had a high proportion of pre-existing mental health problems, predating gender dysphoria by four years on average. Third, youth with higher preponderance of emotional problems were especially likely to have socially or medically transitioned. Fourth, the best predictor of transition was consulting a gender specialist, and parents who did so tended to feel they were pressured to transition their children. Finally, parents said their children’s general functioning deteriorated after they socially transitioned.

On April 19, the following message was circulated on the Listserv of the International Academy of Sex Research (IASR), the organisation closely associated with (but not the owner of) Archives of Sexual Behavior, the journal that published our paper after its careful peer review:

“Dear IASR members,

In the interest of transparency, we want to communicate to the Membership about recent concerns regarding a publication in our official journal, the Archives of Sexual Behavior. On March 29th, the journal published an article authored by Suzanna Diaz & J. Michael Bailey entitled, “Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria: Parent Reports on 1655 Possible Cases.” Since its publication, significant concerns about the ethical conduct and integrity of the editorial process have been raised about this study, by both members and nonmembers of the Academy, including Editorial Board members. The IASR recognizes the sensitivity and controversy of the study topic, and we deeply value ethical and scientific integrity. While the Archives of Sexual Behavior has editorial independence and IASR is not involved in determining what is published in the journal, Archives is our flagship journal. The IASR Executive is currently learning more about this matter, consulting with both the Archives of Sexual Behavior’s Editor and our publisher Springer Nature, and will update the membership appropriately.

Kind regards,

The IASR Executive Committee”

What was the IASR leadership’s problem with our article? One must distinguish between what they say their problem is — the ruse — from what their actual problem is. Here’s the ruse: the study was unethical because it was not examined by an Institutional Review Board, and its reliance on reports from a sample of parents recruited for believing their children have ROGD renders it incapable of providing useful data.

These are both easily refuted. It is true that the study providing our article’s data was not approved by an Institutional Review Board (IRB). IRB approval is required for those of us who work in institutions that require IRB approval (redundancy intended). These include universities and hospitals. But ordinary citizens outside such institutions are not required to get IRB approval before conducting surveys or any other kind of research. Some academics have become so used to the necessity of IRB approval that they have wrongly come to equate it with ethical acceptability. Not me. I seek IRB approval because I must, or else I am likely to get in trouble.

But Suzanna Diaz, who launched the survey and collected the data, did not have to get IRB approval. (Suzanna Diaz is the mother of a gender dysphoric child she believes has ROGD. “Suzanna Diaz” is a pseudonym — I don’t even know her real name, although I have met her in person and have spoken to her and emailed with her numerous times. She wants to stay anonymous, for the sake of her family. Think about why someone might feel this is necessary.) I consulted my own IRB to seek retrospective approval so that I wouldn’t get into trouble. My IRB representative explained that currently IRBs do not provide retrospective approval of already-collected data. But in this case, my IRB’s policy permitted me to co-author publications using Suzanna Diaz’s data. Publication of our article without IRB approval was also consistent with the policy of the journal’s publisher, Springer. From their website: “If a study has not been granted ethics committee approval prior to commencing, retrospective ethics approval usually cannot be obtained and it may not be possible to consider the manuscript for peer review. The decision on whether to proceed to peer review in such cases is at the Editor’s discretion. [emphasis mine]”

Regarding the methodological limitations of the study, these were addressed forthrightly and thoroughly in our article. While acknowledging the obvious fact that parents in our study “are unlikely to be representative of all parents with gender dysphoric adolescents”, and that in principle their “reports could be biased and inaccurate”, we argued that no one knows at this time how representative the families we studied are, and that there is no reason to assume that parents in our study are any more biased observers than are adolescents reporting on themselves. The idea that parents often understand their children better than their children understand themselves used to be uncontroversial.

I have reviewed hundreds of papers for Archives of Sexual Behavior, including multiple articles submitted by the current IASR leadership. Yet in my 32-year membership in IASR, nothing like this has ever happened. Never had the IASR officers raised official concern about an article published in Archives of Sexual Behavior. Did we publish the most unethical, most methodologically deficient article ever? Or is something else going on?

Let’s start with a counterfactual. Suppose that Suzanna Diaz had been a transgender person unaffiliated with a university who had conducted research, without IRB approval, suggesting that ROGD didn’t exist. Imagine it had been published in Archives. Would the IASR leadership have behaved similarly? As we academics sometimes like to say: no way in hell.

I suspect there are two real reasons for the attempt to cancel our article. First, the IASR is increasingly dedicated to identity politics and activism. Second, the IASR’s unfortunate decay has led to activists, outside and inside, challenging the editorial process of the Archives of Sexual Behavior when it publishes articles they dislike. The second issue is more important — Archives of Sexual Behavior remains an excellent, interesting, and prestigious journal — and it deserves an extended discussion.

In 2019, I wrote an essay for Archives of Sexual Behavior about the disintegration of another sex research organisation (Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality) due to ideological reasons, and worried the IASR was heading the same way. This article was entitled “How to Ruin Sex Research” and offered suggestions that included:

  1. Advocate for marginalised groups.
  2. Don’t question people’s identities and narratives.
  3. Focus on linguistic sensitivity rather than efficient communication.
  4. Follow the example of gender studies.
  5. Focus on moral and political implications and “sensitivity” of scientific presentations and publications rather than on the accuracy of their scientific content.
  6. Discourage discussion of controversial ideas.

The current controversy exemplifies most of these. The marginalised group is adolescents and young adults who believe they have genuine gender dysphoria rather than ROGD. This may not be questioned. The only communication I have received from the IASR officers included an unspecified concern about “inflammatory language”. And discouragement of a controversial idea — ROGD — is the real motivation of the IASR leadership in this episode.

The Editor of Archives of Sexual Behavior, Kenneth J. Zucker, is one of the world’s most distinguished and influential researchers on child and adolescent gender dysphoria. For example, in the fifth revision of the important psychiatric diagnostic manual (DSM-5), Zucker was the only non-psychiatrist selected to lead a section. (Full disclosure: Ken Zucker is my friend and occasional collaborator. I would not falsely praise him. Ask around about my bluntness.) Zucker is a superb editor. He has deep knowledge of the areas he oversees (submissions in others he passes to Associate Editors), he has sound and objective judgment, and he errs in the best way: for intellectual inclusion and scientific debate.

He has also published at least 10 different pieces responding critically to mine. When I initially read these critiques, my reaction was never happiness. More often it was annoyance, both at the ideas they expressed and the time I would have to devote, if I chose to respond. I recall Anne Lawrence, a brilliant scholar of gender dysphoria and a transwoman herself, bemoaning Zucker’s decision to publish articles she (correctly) judged seriously flawed for the sake of discussion, because they would cost her time and effort to correct in the published record.

Yet I have come to believe that Zucker’s approach is exactly what we need for healthy, vigorous science. Put ideas and data on the table. Not everyone can benefit from this — some don’t understand data and others can’t get past their biases. But some of us can. Regardless of their likely numbers of citations, exchanges occurring in Archives’ Letters and Commentaries are lively, interesting, and highly informative. I recommend them more often than I recommend my empirical publications. I do not relish the prospect of responding to letters criticising our ROGD article in Archives. But I will do so, and Zucker will undoubtedly accept all intelligible, non-libellous submissions. (This assumes, of course, that this will be possible.) Can anyone doubt that such an exchange would be the best way to illuminate both the flaws and virtues of our article?

The IASR Executive Committee and the complainants (and complainers) around our article have put Zucker in an unwelcome spotlight. Not because he did anything wrong — he didn’t. These days one doesn’t need to do anything wrong to suffer consequences. His boss at Springer has asked him to clarify his decision process for publishing our article. Perhaps this is just reasonable oversight. But the last time this kind of thing happened to Zucker, he was unfairly fired. I don’t think Ken Zucker is worried about his livelihood. He is worried about IASR and Archives of Sexual Behavior and his relationship with both. He loves both institutions. He has unarguably been the second-most important person in their history (after Richard Green, who founded both and is rolling in his grave about the IASR’s current directions). He has been Editor of Archives since 2002 and has attended every IASR meeting since 1983. I suspect he is not only worried but also a little heartbroken about the recent shenanigans.

The most important remaining uncertain outcome is what the publisher of Archives of Sexual Behavior will do. My advice is that they do nothing. It is straightforward to ascertain whether the publication of our article is consistent with Springer’s policies (yes) and whether the article was thoroughly and critically peer-reviewed by scholars who know much more than the complainants/complainers (yes; the reviews are available to Springer staff). Springer should be satisfied that the Editor did nothing wrong, even if some staff there might wish he had made different decisions. Any action on the part of Springer will be correctly interpreted as a decision to enter the culture wars on a particular side. That would be a blow for both business and for scholarship.

Whatever happens, all the signs suggest that IASR will continue to deteriorate as a scholarly society and will become increasingly activist. Not all current IASR members will embrace this. Some will leave IASR, as I did. Others will either endure or become more activist. For my part, I plan to help form an alternative organisation of sex researchers who value ideological impartiality, meritocracy, and, above all, pursuit of truth and knowledge, wherever they lead us.


J. Michael Bailey is a Professor of Psychology at Northwestern University


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R Wright
R Wright
11 months ago

Why do we bother with this charade? The author knows this isn’t an argument about research ethics. It is about him contradicting ‘the current thing’ which is backed by institutional investors, big pharma and hordes of their trans activist useful idiot footsoldiers. If you genuinely aren’t aware of the foe you face and its awesome, monied power, then God help you.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
11 months ago
Reply to  R Wright

I’d say Bailey’s approach is an attempt to have a persuasive influence on those who are undecided, enlist open-mindedness from whatever percentage of those who claim extreme “pro-affirmation” views may be operating in good faith, and expose the hypocrisy of those who are just posturing or pursuing other sociopolitical ends.
In other words, the understated and careful tone isn’t meant mainly for the general reader, but to forestall the complaints of academics and activists suffering from a combination of fashionable tunnel-vision and institutional cowardice. Of course that hasn’t been worked on all of them (and never will), but I think this almost too-mild approach can break through in a way that denunciatory outrage–which is not in short supply on either side of the issue–cannot and will not.

Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
11 months ago
Reply to  R Wright

Suggesting that ‘the current thing’ is the current thing as a result of the machinations of sophisticated financial and economic interests, is strange, I think. Big Pharma and BlackRock and the like didn’t create our transgender mania; they merely seek to profit off it – as people and businesses always do, off any current social conditions. The mania we’re living through is caused by something much deeper than a desire for money – it’s caused by a desire for freedom and authenticity grounded in nothing but one’s own feelings.

Last edited 11 months ago by Kirk Susong
Phil Rees
Phil Rees
11 months ago
Reply to  Kirk Susong

But that “desire for freedom and authenticity grounded in nothing but one’s own feelings” only reaches anything like the hysterical level it has reached because of pharma and the medical industry generally seeing potential profit.

Phil Rees
PR
Phil Rees
11 months ago
Reply to  Kirk Susong

But that “desire for freedom and authenticity grounded in nothing but one’s own feelings” only reaches anything like the hysterical level it has reached because of pharma and the medical industry generally seeing potential profit.

Ben Dhonau
Ben Dhonau
11 months ago
Reply to  R Wright

Quite wrong. Enlightened people know that the foe they face is green lizards from Arcturus who are plotting to take over the world.

Glyn R
MR
Glyn R
11 months ago
Reply to  R Wright

As James Lindsay wrote: Woke is marxism evolved to destroy the West.Gender Theory, Critical Race Theory etc all species of one genus.

Diane Tasker
DT
Diane Tasker
11 months ago
Reply to  R Wright

‘Why do we bother with this charade?’ Possibly because of the general apathy as expressed in your comment. We ‘bother’ because, as the author writes, of ‘activists’, outside and inside, challenging the editorial process’ whenever a scientist publishes fact-based research, or opines on this subject. It’s time for all of us to wake up to the fact that Trans ideologues have, pre-meditatively, positioned themselves in the decision-making process of relevant and key institutions across the spectrum to further their ‘cause’. They are either in a position to wield power or have connections with those that have. They infiltrate and have ‘trained’ many of our local government services, public institutions such as the BBC (not a surprise) and within the wider Civil Service. They are highly organised, influential and they are committed zealots who are purposefully, wilfully, blind to ‘inconvenient’ scientific research and refuse to see beyond their own ‘religion’.
In my view, developing children from a young age are a huge ‘at risk’ group and should be protected from the idea they may be trans ‘something’. Powdered and bedecked ‘pantomime dames’ storytelling and entertaining young children in libraries is an uncomfortable echo of Aristotle’s maxim of ‘Give me the child until he is seven and I will give you the man’ .

Last edited 11 months ago by Diane Tasker
AJ Mac
AJ Mac
11 months ago
Reply to  R Wright

I’d say Bailey’s approach is an attempt to have a persuasive influence on those who are undecided, enlist open-mindedness from whatever percentage of those who claim extreme “pro-affirmation” views may be operating in good faith, and expose the hypocrisy of those who are just posturing or pursuing other sociopolitical ends.
In other words, the understated and careful tone isn’t meant mainly for the general reader, but to forestall the complaints of academics and activists suffering from a combination of fashionable tunnel-vision and institutional cowardice. Of course that hasn’t been worked on all of them (and never will), but I think this almost too-mild approach can break through in a way that denunciatory outrage–which is not in short supply on either side of the issue–cannot and will not.

Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
11 months ago
Reply to  R Wright

Suggesting that ‘the current thing’ is the current thing as a result of the machinations of sophisticated financial and economic interests, is strange, I think. Big Pharma and BlackRock and the like didn’t create our transgender mania; they merely seek to profit off it – as people and businesses always do, off any current social conditions. The mania we’re living through is caused by something much deeper than a desire for money – it’s caused by a desire for freedom and authenticity grounded in nothing but one’s own feelings.

Last edited 11 months ago by Kirk Susong
Ben Dhonau
Ben Dhonau
11 months ago
Reply to  R Wright

Quite wrong. Enlightened people know that the foe they face is green lizards from Arcturus who are plotting to take over the world.

Glyn R
Glyn R
11 months ago
Reply to  R Wright

As James Lindsay wrote: Woke is marxism evolved to destroy the West.Gender Theory, Critical Race Theory etc all species of one genus.

Diane Tasker
DT
Diane Tasker
11 months ago
Reply to  R Wright

‘Why do we bother with this charade?’ Possibly because of the general apathy as expressed in your comment. We ‘bother’ because, as the author writes, of ‘activists’, outside and inside, challenging the editorial process’ whenever a scientist publishes fact-based research, or opines on this subject. It’s time for all of us to wake up to the fact that Trans ideologues have, pre-meditatively, positioned themselves in the decision-making process of relevant and key institutions across the spectrum to further their ‘cause’. They are either in a position to wield power or have connections with those that have. They infiltrate and have ‘trained’ many of our local government services, public institutions such as the BBC (not a surprise) and within the wider Civil Service. They are highly organised, influential and they are committed zealots who are purposefully, wilfully, blind to ‘inconvenient’ scientific research and refuse to see beyond their own ‘religion’.
In my view, developing children from a young age are a huge ‘at risk’ group and should be protected from the idea they may be trans ‘something’. Powdered and bedecked ‘pantomime dames’ storytelling and entertaining young children in libraries is an uncomfortable echo of Aristotle’s maxim of ‘Give me the child until he is seven and I will give you the man’ .

Last edited 11 months ago by Diane Tasker
R Wright
R Wright
11 months ago

Why do we bother with this charade? The author knows this isn’t an argument about research ethics. It is about him contradicting ‘the current thing’ which is backed by institutional investors, big pharma and hordes of their trans activist useful idiot footsoldiers. If you genuinely aren’t aware of the foe you face and its awesome, monied power, then God help you.

J Mo
J Mo
11 months ago

#nodebate is the only way they can keep the whole shebang going. Because when disinterested people learn the truth about what’s happening they tend not to like it

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
11 months ago
Reply to  J Mo

Which is precisely what happened to Bud Light.

Katja Sipple
KS
Katja Sipple
11 months ago

Right now, Adidas is facing significant backlash over putting a male model in a women’s swimsuit. Rightly so, as this erasure of women to appeal to a tiny fraction of the population with serious mental health problems is utterly ludicrous. Boycotts may be the only thing that works to get these companies to return to a place of sanity and sound business decisions.

Katja Sipple
KS
Katja Sipple
11 months ago

Right now, Adidas is facing significant backlash over putting a male model in a women’s swimsuit. Rightly so, as this erasure of women to appeal to a tiny fraction of the population with serious mental health problems is utterly ludicrous. Boycotts may be the only thing that works to get these companies to return to a place of sanity and sound business decisions.

Derek Smith
Derek Smith
11 months ago
Reply to  J Mo

It is time to throw #nodebate back in their faces. Two can play that game.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
11 months ago
Reply to  J Mo

Which is precisely what happened to Bud Light.

Derek Smith
Derek Smith
11 months ago
Reply to  J Mo

It is time to throw #nodebate back in their faces. Two can play that game.

J Mo
J Mo
11 months ago

#nodebate is the only way they can keep the whole shebang going. Because when disinterested people learn the truth about what’s happening they tend not to like it

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
11 months ago

Having quickly read through Mr. Bailey’s linked, co-written article, it seems impossible to me that it would be among the most questionable or objectionable studies–in any genuine, non-politicized way, that is.
The claims are qualified (“self-selected”; “unlikely to be representative…”), the sample size is far from tiny, and the methodology seemingly sound, in my non-expert opinion. The data is admitted to be from the parents’ point of view, and the assertions around mental health and social influence are correlational, not causal.
The burden of proof for ethical or methodological wrongdoing should rest upon the accusers, not with the accused to somehow prove their innocence. I think this work belongs among the topical research and surrounding “academic discourse”, outrage and accusations notwithstanding.

Last edited 11 months ago by AJ Mac
AJ Mac
AJ Mac
11 months ago

Having quickly read through Mr. Bailey’s linked, co-written article, it seems impossible to me that it would be among the most questionable or objectionable studies–in any genuine, non-politicized way, that is.
The claims are qualified (“self-selected”; “unlikely to be representative…”), the sample size is far from tiny, and the methodology seemingly sound, in my non-expert opinion. The data is admitted to be from the parents’ point of view, and the assertions around mental health and social influence are correlational, not causal.
The burden of proof for ethical or methodological wrongdoing should rest upon the accusers, not with the accused to somehow prove their innocence. I think this work belongs among the topical research and surrounding “academic discourse”, outrage and accusations notwithstanding.

Last edited 11 months ago by AJ Mac
Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago

It’s time to stop public funding for fake science and fake scientists – which includes the people mentioned here trying to shut down debate and force “the science” to give the results they want. These people aren’t difficult to spot.
This sort of thing has been tried many times before and failed. There’s a name for an earlier wave of scientific -self-delusion – Lysenkoism. It’s not an experiment anyone needs to repeat.
Please keep fighting this madness Mr. Bailey.
My gut says that ROGD is the most likely explanation here – changes in human behaviour being relatively slow and changes in measurement practices and reporting techniques being much more rapid (and easier to change).

Aphrodite Rises
AR
Aphrodite Rises
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

It’s interesting, woke academics decry the majority position on issues they disagree with as populism, yet, given the pejorative (populism) is a pejorative for good reason – group think can go wildly wrong – they themselves have fallen victim to populism.

Last edited 11 months ago by Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

It’s interesting, woke academics decry the majority position on issues they disagree with as populism, yet, given the pejorative (populism) is a pejorative for good reason – group think can go wildly wrong – they themselves have fallen victim to populism.

Last edited 11 months ago by Aphrodite Rises
Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago

It’s time to stop public funding for fake science and fake scientists – which includes the people mentioned here trying to shut down debate and force “the science” to give the results they want. These people aren’t difficult to spot.
This sort of thing has been tried many times before and failed. There’s a name for an earlier wave of scientific -self-delusion – Lysenkoism. It’s not an experiment anyone needs to repeat.
Please keep fighting this madness Mr. Bailey.
My gut says that ROGD is the most likely explanation here – changes in human behaviour being relatively slow and changes in measurement practices and reporting techniques being much more rapid (and easier to change).

CF Hankinson
CF Hankinson
11 months ago

I’m more interested in WHY there is this ROGD. Isn’t it a misguided, physically dangerous, sane reaction to the appalling risks and humiliations of the porn addled male threat, and ubiquitous misogyny? Safer to join them? They were happy to be female. They no longer are. Tragic and disturbing. They are the canaries warning us all.

Steve Murray
LL
Steve Murray
11 months ago
Reply to  CF Hankinson

There was an article published by Unherd quite recently which indicated this is precisely the issue – the discomfort bring experienced by pubescent females with the social environment in which they are being required to mature into healthy young women, and which is failing them.

I can’t recall who the author was (apologies) but it was a convincing enough analysis. Perhaps other readers can recall it and provide a link?

If i do recall or find it (i think i commented) i’ll update.

Last edited 11 months ago by Steve Murray
CF Hankinson
CF Hankinson
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Tbh Steve most women know this. When I was a prepubescent girl I bound my breasts with my man’s crepe bandages as I was so tired of the unwanted attention: Being followed, Chased, trapped. I didn’t know why, I was really scared. Imagine the volume turned up as it is today on YouTube, tik tok. The shaming, the porn the expectations to, I’m sorry I will have to say it, suck d**k. Immense scary pressure. No wonder they want to escape it, as they are too young and powerless to stop it. Which is why grownups have to.

AJ Mac
AM
AJ Mac
11 months ago
Reply to  CF Hankinson

The pornographication of our culture–especially when hard-core scenes are perceived as “tutorials”–is surely a factor. So is the rise of another internet-fueled phenomenon: judgment and competition among girls themselves, exacerbated by the omnipresent algorithms of social media. While this “mean girl” behavior occurs within a somewhat patriarchal or misogynistic social environment, I don’t think that quite explains it away.
Or course paternalistic or anti-female attitudes are not a thing of the past in the West, but a country such as Afghanistan is back under the control of actual patriarchs, and their far more oppressive rules and expectations aren’t leading a rise in “transitioning” among girls (I know there’s not a one-to-one comparison with the West and a land where women can, with few exceptions, only be domestic and monogamous. I’m just saying that there are degrees of patriarchy, and they don’t all bend in one direction).
I hope you’ll give me the benefit of the doubt when I ask this question: Would you agree that matriarchal is almost always used in a favorable sense, patriarchal a pejorative one?
I wonder if you see a prospective healthy balance between matriarchal and patriarchal, maternalistic and paternalistic attitudes. If not too heavily imposed and self-serious, it seems to me that a more cooperative balance, instead of the modish fantasy of a gender-free world, might be a better path forward given our current biological and social realities as a species.

Last edited 11 months ago by AJ Mac
Phil Mac
Phil Mac
11 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

People used to recognise that untrained men can be bad to women so we were brought up to aspire to standards of behaviour summarised as “gentlemanly”. The best people to train young boys & men in this were (i) their father, (ii) other male relatives and (iii) teachers, and the best training was by instruction and example.
Now, something went wrong with this process. Wonder what that was? It’s tragic not just for the girls but the men; the pleasure you can get from the positive reaction from women to your gentlemanly behaviour is it’s own reward.
The result, I’m sure, creates a worse environment for girls to become women in and perhaps it is contributing to ROGD, though I can’t help but think fashion, the need to fit the picture, is also playing it’s part.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
11 months ago
Reply to  Phil Mac

As a young man in the early 90s, I sometimes encountered scowls or angry refusals when trying to hold doors open for women. Not recently. I usually offer to hold doors for anyone though: young or old, male/female/unknown.
Nowadays I think the mood is less reactionary/extreme feminist, at least in that particular way around opening doors, lifting heavy things, or escorting to car, etc. Or maybe I’ve just aged out of seeming like a threat in my early 50s. But I’m still quite convinced the current average “brand” of feminism is less extreme than it was about 1990, whereas gender radicalism and denialism is at an obvious raging extreme, which will subside soon.
In other words, things aren’t great but many are well aware of that and we needn’t panic (of course it doesn’t help anyway). And it’s not as if there was no condescension or belittling attitude associated with the “ladies first” practices of the 1950s. I advocate a balance that isn’t merely a return to an imperfect time we might prefer to today, nor a hyper-engineered charge into some newfangled nightmare. Well, that was easy to type!

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
11 months ago
Reply to  Phil Mac

As a young man in the early 90s, I sometimes encountered scowls or angry refusals when trying to hold doors open for women. Not recently. I usually offer to hold doors for anyone though: young or old, male/female/unknown.
Nowadays I think the mood is less reactionary/extreme feminist, at least in that particular way around opening doors, lifting heavy things, or escorting to car, etc. Or maybe I’ve just aged out of seeming like a threat in my early 50s. But I’m still quite convinced the current average “brand” of feminism is less extreme than it was about 1990, whereas gender radicalism and denialism is at an obvious raging extreme, which will subside soon.
In other words, things aren’t great but many are well aware of that and we needn’t panic (of course it doesn’t help anyway). And it’s not as if there was no condescension or belittling attitude associated with the “ladies first” practices of the 1950s. I advocate a balance that isn’t merely a return to an imperfect time we might prefer to today, nor a hyper-engineered charge into some newfangled nightmare. Well, that was easy to type!

Phil Mac
Phil Mac
11 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

People used to recognise that untrained men can be bad to women so we were brought up to aspire to standards of behaviour summarised as “gentlemanly”. The best people to train young boys & men in this were (i) their father, (ii) other male relatives and (iii) teachers, and the best training was by instruction and example.
Now, something went wrong with this process. Wonder what that was? It’s tragic not just for the girls but the men; the pleasure you can get from the positive reaction from women to your gentlemanly behaviour is it’s own reward.
The result, I’m sure, creates a worse environment for girls to become women in and perhaps it is contributing to ROGD, though I can’t help but think fashion, the need to fit the picture, is also playing it’s part.

AJ Mac
AM
AJ Mac
11 months ago
Reply to  CF Hankinson

The pornographication of our culture–especially when hard-core scenes are perceived as “tutorials”–is surely a factor. So is the rise of another internet-fueled phenomenon: judgment and competition among girls themselves, exacerbated by the omnipresent algorithms of social media. While this “mean girl” behavior occurs within a somewhat patriarchal or misogynistic social environment, I don’t think that quite explains it away.
Or course paternalistic or anti-female attitudes are not a thing of the past in the West, but a country such as Afghanistan is back under the control of actual patriarchs, and their far more oppressive rules and expectations aren’t leading a rise in “transitioning” among girls (I know there’s not a one-to-one comparison with the West and a land where women can, with few exceptions, only be domestic and monogamous. I’m just saying that there are degrees of patriarchy, and they don’t all bend in one direction).
I hope you’ll give me the benefit of the doubt when I ask this question: Would you agree that matriarchal is almost always used in a favorable sense, patriarchal a pejorative one?
I wonder if you see a prospective healthy balance between matriarchal and patriarchal, maternalistic and paternalistic attitudes. If not too heavily imposed and self-serious, it seems to me that a more cooperative balance, instead of the modish fantasy of a gender-free world, might be a better path forward given our current biological and social realities as a species.

Last edited 11 months ago by AJ Mac
Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray
Steve Murray
LL
Steve Murray
11 months ago

Thanks for that link, which is from before my time on Unherd but worth reading.
In fact, it was this article from February this year i was thinking of:
The tragedy of becoming a woman – UnHerd

Last edited 11 months ago by Steve Murray
Steve Murray
LL
Steve Murray
11 months ago

Thanks for that link, which is from before my time on Unherd but worth reading.
In fact, it was this article from February this year i was thinking of:
The tragedy of becoming a woman – UnHerd

Last edited 11 months ago by Steve Murray
CF Hankinson
CF Hankinson
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Tbh Steve most women know this. When I was a prepubescent girl I bound my breasts with my man’s crepe bandages as I was so tired of the unwanted attention: Being followed, Chased, trapped. I didn’t know why, I was really scared. Imagine the volume turned up as it is today on YouTube, tik tok. The shaming, the porn the expectations to, I’m sorry I will have to say it, suck d**k. Immense scary pressure. No wonder they want to escape it, as they are too young and powerless to stop it. Which is why grownups have to.

Laura Creighton
LC
Laura Creighton
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray
R Wright
R Wright
11 months ago
Reply to  CF Hankinson

My own theory is young white girls are susceptible to ROGD because it is unpopular to be privileged, and see transitioning as a high prestige action that wins them social acceptance from their peers. This used to only be a thing on Tumblr but it has now long since broken free into ‘IRL’. Note the high correlation between autism spectrum disorder and young girls that transition.

Marissa M
Marissa M
11 months ago
Reply to  R Wright

I was not aware of that link. Interesting.
I have long suspected there is a similar link between autism spectrum disorder and mass shooters…which of course cannot be discussed in any rational manner because mothers of the former will spin their heads off at any mention of a correlation.
Do you have a link regarding the girls on the spectrum and transgenderism?

Marissa M
Marissa M
11 months ago
Reply to  R Wright

I was not aware of that link. Interesting.
I have long suspected there is a similar link between autism spectrum disorder and mass shooters…which of course cannot be discussed in any rational manner because mothers of the former will spin their heads off at any mention of a correlation.
Do you have a link regarding the girls on the spectrum and transgenderism?

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
11 months ago
Reply to  CF Hankinson

Perhaps it’s because the central message of feminism for fifty years at least has been: “it’s better to be a man”.

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
11 months ago
Reply to  CF Hankinson

I think there are many reasons for young girls to be lured into transgenderism. Exposure to porn is one, victim of child s e x abuse us another (if I was a boy they might not touch me), social acceptance (I’m deemed privileged in my white, straight cis identity), homophobia (I’m attracted to girls but don’t want to be called names, if I was a boy…), ASD (I think I’m different to others), social contagion (I want to fit in and seem cool to my peers). There may be a few genuine cases too.

Coralie Palmer
Coralie Palmer
11 months ago
Reply to  CF Hankinson

I agree and have been voicing this concern for more than three years. Every single woman who’s gone through puberty knows it’s agonising and embarrassing. But now you have to contend not only with cyber-bullying by and of both sexes, but sexual pressure and harassment from boys who learn their attitudes and behaviour from violent degrading porn. For boys with no other experience, this represents what men are supposed to demand and what women are supposed to want. Listen – if I’d been subjected to that sh*tshow at 12, I’d have gone trans in a shot.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
11 months ago
Reply to  Coralie Palmer

“boys who learn their attitudes and behaviour from violent degrading porn. ”
That’s one part of the problem.
Lack of fathers and an education system that doesn’t care for educating boys are probably larger factors.
My daughter has always played with a couple of boys. Even at the age of 3-4 they knew how to treat her “differently”. In other words, with an almost old world courtesy and respect.
So what’s goes wrong?

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
11 months ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

Agreed. On one hand, society desperately wants to shed itself of the “old world” chivalry yet doesn’t like the results. If women are being brainwashed into thinking they are equal to men, then welcome to the arena.

Marissa M
MM
Marissa M
11 months ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

My man.
That is some dangerous and insulting territory you have just dipped your toe in.
Perhaps we can say women are intellectually equal and not inferior, but that there are societal roles that may be set in biological differences?

Nikki Hayes
Nikki Hayes
11 months ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

Are you having a laugh? Men and women ARE equal but we are also different. The fact you think women are not equal to men says a lot about you, unfortunately.

Zeph Smith
Zeph Smith
11 months ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

Could you clarify what you mean by “equal”? In which regards do you think that women are equal, or are not equal but are brainwashed into thinking they are?
(I see that others may be answering this question on your behalf, in their own heads, and responding thereto. But I’d rather hear more about what you mean before responding)

Marissa M
MM
Marissa M
11 months ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

My man.
That is some dangerous and insulting territory you have just dipped your toe in.
Perhaps we can say women are intellectually equal and not inferior, but that there are societal roles that may be set in biological differences?

Nikki Hayes
Nikki Hayes
11 months ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

Are you having a laugh? Men and women ARE equal but we are also different. The fact you think women are not equal to men says a lot about you, unfortunately.

Zeph Smith
ZS
Zeph Smith
11 months ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

Could you clarify what you mean by “equal”? In which regards do you think that women are equal, or are not equal but are brainwashed into thinking they are?
(I see that others may be answering this question on your behalf, in their own heads, and responding thereto. But I’d rather hear more about what you mean before responding)

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
11 months ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

Agreed. On one hand, society desperately wants to shed itself of the “old world” chivalry yet doesn’t like the results. If women are being brainwashed into thinking they are equal to men, then welcome to the arena.

Samir Iker
SI
Samir Iker
11 months ago
Reply to  Coralie Palmer

“boys who learn their attitudes and behaviour from violent degrading porn. ”
That’s one part of the problem.
Lack of fathers and an education system that doesn’t care for educating boys are probably larger factors.
My daughter has always played with a couple of boys. Even at the age of 3-4 they knew how to treat her “differently”. In other words, with an almost old world courtesy and respect.
So what’s goes wrong?

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
11 months ago
Reply to  CF Hankinson

Your post makes me think of the truism that if you have a good hammer, every problem looks like a nail. I do not doubt it is tough to grow up to become a woman in the modern west, but do you really think women are much more unhappy here than in, say, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, or Medieval England? With women officially equal to men – except when they are better – full freedom to do whatever you like, and female role models and sports teams all over the media? Would it not make more sense to think that growing up to be a woman was always tough, and that the difference lies in the falling away of socially enforced roles – which gives you both the option and the obligation to invent yourself for first principles? Coupled with the widespread idea that you *can* become whatever you want – including changing sex – and that it is up to all the others to make room for your particular identity? When people are offered a role (‘trans’) that can explain whatever was incomprehensibly wrong in their lives, that gives a ready-made chorus of social support, and that holds out the promise of miraculous improvement in your situation, is it surprising that a lot of people bite?

CF Hankinson
CF Hankinson
11 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Sexism and the role of women as the ‘second sex’ is the most resistant condition to change in patriarchal societies, and we know of no others.
In fundamental patriarchies oppression of women is obvious: Women are chattels as in medieval times here, often highly prized and protected but have no autonomy.
In modern ‘progressive’ secular societies laws have been changed to allow women autonomy but these laws are still very new, and there are powerful currents of misogyny at work keeping women in their place, scaring them, mocking them, erasing them.
The fight for the women of Iran couldn’t be more important where a woman can be killed for showing her hair and her supporters and defenders, of either sex, executed. Of course that is worse but that doesn’t invalidate the pressure young girls are under here.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
11 months ago
Reply to  CF Hankinson

It does not invalidate the pressure – but if you want to explain the great increase in transsexualism for girls by “They were happy to be female. They no longer are.” I challenge you to explain when they were much happier than they are at the moment, why they were much happier, and why you do not see the ROGD phenomenon in other societies where women have it much worse. Or, just possibly, the main cause of the epidemic of ROGD among girls is not “the appalling risks and humiliations of the porn addled male threat, and ubiquitous misogyny” but something else.

CF Hankinson
CF Hankinson
11 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Well ‘they were happy’ meaning when they were children before hormones kicked in when they were very much like their male peer group.
Why not in places where there is greater discrimination? Because gender identity is an ideology of the western elite with its foothold in schools, libraries, charities youth groups. It is the girls who are sexually at risk. What do you think?

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
11 months ago
Reply to  CF Hankinson

OK, that does make sense. Happier than when they were small, not happier than generations before them. No disagreement if that is what you meant. As a reason for the trans phenomenon I still think it makes more sense to concentrate on the ‘encouragement’ of trans thinking specific to our culture than on the horrors of growing up female here, which sound likely to be much worse in so many other times and places, though.

If you are up for a more wide-ranging discussion, I would like to ask: The girls are more at risk, sexually, yes, but why is that, exactly? They mature earlier, so why do they not desire and hunt after boys, the way boys hunt after girls? Why do the girls not binge on pornography the way boys do? One might suspect it is because the two sexes are inherently and profoundly different – in which case having girls remain just ‘like their male peer group’ would seem to be a hopeless goal.

CF Hankinson
CF Hankinson
11 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Hormones change the sexes differently.
Most girls will find a way of coping in this present sexual climate. ROGD maybe one of them.

CF Hankinson
CF Hankinson
11 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Hormones change the sexes differently.
Most girls will find a way of coping in this present sexual climate. ROGD maybe one of them.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
11 months ago
Reply to  CF Hankinson

OK, that does make sense. Happier than when they were small, not happier than generations before them. No disagreement if that is what you meant. As a reason for the trans phenomenon I still think it makes more sense to concentrate on the ‘encouragement’ of trans thinking specific to our culture than on the horrors of growing up female here, which sound likely to be much worse in so many other times and places, though.

If you are up for a more wide-ranging discussion, I would like to ask: The girls are more at risk, sexually, yes, but why is that, exactly? They mature earlier, so why do they not desire and hunt after boys, the way boys hunt after girls? Why do the girls not binge on pornography the way boys do? One might suspect it is because the two sexes are inherently and profoundly different – in which case having girls remain just ‘like their male peer group’ would seem to be a hopeless goal.

CF Hankinson
CF Hankinson
11 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Well ‘they were happy’ meaning when they were children before hormones kicked in when they were very much like their male peer group.
Why not in places where there is greater discrimination? Because gender identity is an ideology of the western elite with its foothold in schools, libraries, charities youth groups. It is the girls who are sexually at risk. What do you think?

Rasmus Fogh
RF
Rasmus Fogh
11 months ago
Reply to  CF Hankinson

It does not invalidate the pressure – but if you want to explain the great increase in transsexualism for girls by “They were happy to be female. They no longer are.” I challenge you to explain when they were much happier than they are at the moment, why they were much happier, and why you do not see the ROGD phenomenon in other societies where women have it much worse. Or, just possibly, the main cause of the epidemic of ROGD among girls is not “the appalling risks and humiliations of the porn addled male threat, and ubiquitous misogyny” but something else.

CF Hankinson
CF Hankinson
11 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Sexism and the role of women as the ‘second sex’ is the most resistant condition to change in patriarchal societies, and we know of no others.
In fundamental patriarchies oppression of women is obvious: Women are chattels as in medieval times here, often highly prized and protected but have no autonomy.
In modern ‘progressive’ secular societies laws have been changed to allow women autonomy but these laws are still very new, and there are powerful currents of misogyny at work keeping women in their place, scaring them, mocking them, erasing them.
The fight for the women of Iran couldn’t be more important where a woman can be killed for showing her hair and her supporters and defenders, of either sex, executed. Of course that is worse but that doesn’t invalidate the pressure young girls are under here.

Stephen Schwartz
Stephen Schwartz
11 months ago
Reply to  CF Hankinson

Beyond general disgust with the pornified social environment among young females, there’s another possible contributing factor. The trans lobby relentlessly promotes the idea that the only alternative to being trans (for the gender dysphoric) is suicide. Since “being gender dysphoric” would be hard for anyone to self-diagnose, it seems at least possible that a good many unhappy (aka dysphoric) young women and girls with suicidal thoughts, having internalised trans lobby rhetoric, have concluded that the only way out from those feelings is to transition. In other words, the trans lobby’s weaponisation of suicide doesnt just serve to silence all questioning on the part of critics: it also creates a conceptual framework in which “being trans” and suicide are each alternatives to one another.

Last edited 11 months ago by Stephen Schwartz
Patrick Butler
Patrick Butler
11 months ago
Reply to  CF Hankinson

Yes, the missing WHY for cross-sex ideation in children from Bailey’s paper, which I just read, suggests that he and his sexologist colleagues may be part of the problem. Many adult cross-sex ideators attribute their fetish to pornography addiction. Having the same access to pornography, children must be risking the same addiction. Surveys need to ask parents of ROGD children if they think use of pornography by adults is acceptable.

Samir Iker
SI
Samir Iker
11 months ago
Reply to  CF Hankinson

As a father of a daughter, this is obviously a huge concern.
And it’s not helpful to have bs like this.

Young girls are not going this route because of “risks and humiliations of the porn addled male threat”, though it’s obviously the preferred explanation.
Anyone with any clue or experience of young girls would know they are not damsels in distress fleeing from the male gaze, but every bit as sexually aggressive as the boys.

What’s a far greater factor for them is intra female bullying, politics and abuse. I can already see that, even when my daughter is young. Problem is, that isn’t a palatable problem to solve.

Last edited 11 months ago by Samir Iker
Steve Murray
LL
Steve Murray
11 months ago
Reply to  CF Hankinson

There was an article published by Unherd quite recently which indicated this is precisely the issue – the discomfort bring experienced by pubescent females with the social environment in which they are being required to mature into healthy young women, and which is failing them.

I can’t recall who the author was (apologies) but it was a convincing enough analysis. Perhaps other readers can recall it and provide a link?

If i do recall or find it (i think i commented) i’ll update.

Last edited 11 months ago by Steve Murray
R Wright
R Wright
11 months ago
Reply to  CF Hankinson

My own theory is young white girls are susceptible to ROGD because it is unpopular to be privileged, and see transitioning as a high prestige action that wins them social acceptance from their peers. This used to only be a thing on Tumblr but it has now long since broken free into ‘IRL’. Note the high correlation between autism spectrum disorder and young girls that transition.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
11 months ago
Reply to  CF Hankinson

Perhaps it’s because the central message of feminism for fifty years at least has been: “it’s better to be a man”.

Lindsay S
LS
Lindsay S
11 months ago
Reply to  CF Hankinson

I think there are many reasons for young girls to be lured into transgenderism. Exposure to porn is one, victim of child s e x abuse us another (if I was a boy they might not touch me), social acceptance (I’m deemed privileged in my white, straight cis identity), homophobia (I’m attracted to girls but don’t want to be called names, if I was a boy…), ASD (I think I’m different to others), social contagion (I want to fit in and seem cool to my peers). There may be a few genuine cases too.

Coralie Palmer
Coralie Palmer
11 months ago
Reply to  CF Hankinson

I agree and have been voicing this concern for more than three years. Every single woman who’s gone through puberty knows it’s agonising and embarrassing. But now you have to contend not only with cyber-bullying by and of both sexes, but sexual pressure and harassment from boys who learn their attitudes and behaviour from violent degrading porn. For boys with no other experience, this represents what men are supposed to demand and what women are supposed to want. Listen – if I’d been subjected to that sh*tshow at 12, I’d have gone trans in a shot.

Rasmus Fogh
RF
Rasmus Fogh
11 months ago
Reply to  CF Hankinson

Your post makes me think of the truism that if you have a good hammer, every problem looks like a nail. I do not doubt it is tough to grow up to become a woman in the modern west, but do you really think women are much more unhappy here than in, say, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, or Medieval England? With women officially equal to men – except when they are better – full freedom to do whatever you like, and female role models and sports teams all over the media? Would it not make more sense to think that growing up to be a woman was always tough, and that the difference lies in the falling away of socially enforced roles – which gives you both the option and the obligation to invent yourself for first principles? Coupled with the widespread idea that you *can* become whatever you want – including changing sex – and that it is up to all the others to make room for your particular identity? When people are offered a role (‘trans’) that can explain whatever was incomprehensibly wrong in their lives, that gives a ready-made chorus of social support, and that holds out the promise of miraculous improvement in your situation, is it surprising that a lot of people bite?

Stephen Schwartz
SS
Stephen Schwartz
11 months ago
Reply to  CF Hankinson

Beyond general disgust with the pornified social environment among young females, there’s another possible contributing factor. The trans lobby relentlessly promotes the idea that the only alternative to being trans (for the gender dysphoric) is suicide. Since “being gender dysphoric” would be hard for anyone to self-diagnose, it seems at least possible that a good many unhappy (aka dysphoric) young women and girls with suicidal thoughts, having internalised trans lobby rhetoric, have concluded that the only way out from those feelings is to transition. In other words, the trans lobby’s weaponisation of suicide doesnt just serve to silence all questioning on the part of critics: it also creates a conceptual framework in which “being trans” and suicide are each alternatives to one another.

Last edited 11 months ago by Stephen Schwartz
Patrick Butler
PB
Patrick Butler
11 months ago
Reply to  CF Hankinson

Yes, the missing WHY for cross-sex ideation in children from Bailey’s paper, which I just read, suggests that he and his sexologist colleagues may be part of the problem. Many adult cross-sex ideators attribute their fetish to pornography addiction. Having the same access to pornography, children must be risking the same addiction. Surveys need to ask parents of ROGD children if they think use of pornography by adults is acceptable.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
11 months ago
Reply to  CF Hankinson

As a father of a daughter, this is obviously a huge concern.
And it’s not helpful to have bs like this.

Young girls are not going this route because of “risks and humiliations of the porn addled male threat”, though it’s obviously the preferred explanation.
Anyone with any clue or experience of young girls would know they are not damsels in distress fleeing from the male gaze, but every bit as sexually aggressive as the boys.

What’s a far greater factor for them is intra female bullying, politics and abuse. I can already see that, even when my daughter is young. Problem is, that isn’t a palatable problem to solve.

Last edited 11 months ago by Samir Iker
CF Hankinson
CF Hankinson
11 months ago

I’m more interested in WHY there is this ROGD. Isn’t it a misguided, physically dangerous, sane reaction to the appalling risks and humiliations of the porn addled male threat, and ubiquitous misogyny? Safer to join them? They were happy to be female. They no longer are. Tragic and disturbing. They are the canaries warning us all.

Iris Violet
IV
Iris Violet
11 months ago

I work in a secondary school for girls. Girls transitioning or being non-binary, demanding to be addressed as he or they has become a very regular thing. Many have adopted a properly male name or a neutral name like Charlie or Alex. Some chose other nouns like Rain. They invariably (not some but all) have autism and/other mental health issues. They found an identity that comes with a ‘community’ that offers support and belonging. Their new identity enables them to finally be seen and respected by peers who more often than not had been indifferent if not cruel prior to the (brave!) identity announcement. Only one has been experiencing these feelings for long time; the rest is all ‘ROGD’ although this is a term I have read here for the first time. I have carefully brought up with the pastoral leads how we all know that these children’s teenage brains are still developing and whether it should not be part of our safeguarding duty to – rather than to affirm quite so readily – help them consider and understand their feelings, what they might mean, that their discomfort and insecurity about their appearance may just be normal, what they can do to help themselves, that they have perfectly good healthy bodies and that ‘just’ social transitioning is still a major thing. Even when done cautiously, I have found it difficult to express my concerns among staff. The tide is turning a little now it seems at least in public discourse but even when you remain absolutely apolitical and focused exclusively on what is in the best interest of the child, the assumption is quickly made that you are a bigot or worse, a Tory, who desperately needs DEI training. Somewhere along the line we seem to have lost sight of the children’s well-being.

Iris Violet
Iris Violet
11 months ago

I work in a secondary school for girls. Girls transitioning or being non-binary, demanding to be addressed as he or they has become a very regular thing. Many have adopted a properly male name or a neutral name like Charlie or Alex. Some chose other nouns like Rain. They invariably (not some but all) have autism and/other mental health issues. They found an identity that comes with a ‘community’ that offers support and belonging. Their new identity enables them to finally be seen and respected by peers who more often than not had been indifferent if not cruel prior to the (brave!) identity announcement. Only one has been experiencing these feelings for long time; the rest is all ‘ROGD’ although this is a term I have read here for the first time. I have carefully brought up with the pastoral leads how we all know that these children’s teenage brains are still developing and whether it should not be part of our safeguarding duty to – rather than to affirm quite so readily – help them consider and understand their feelings, what they might mean, that their discomfort and insecurity about their appearance may just be normal, what they can do to help themselves, that they have perfectly good healthy bodies and that ‘just’ social transitioning is still a major thing. Even when done cautiously, I have found it difficult to express my concerns among staff. The tide is turning a little now it seems at least in public discourse but even when you remain absolutely apolitical and focused exclusively on what is in the best interest of the child, the assumption is quickly made that you are a bigot or worse, a Tory, who desperately needs DEI training. Somewhere along the line we seem to have lost sight of the children’s well-being.

Brian Villanueva
BV
Brian Villanueva
11 months ago

You’re trying to fight a theological argument with liberal proceduralism. It won’t work. Stop it!
These people are crazy and need to be called out for it. Believing that slicing off (or withering away with chemicals) the private parts from children is acceptable is child abuse. Period.
This was the same mistake the Christian denominations made with gay advocates that “just wanted dialogue”. We agreed to dialogue. Then dialogue morphed to acceptance. Then acceptance morphed to dogmatism. And once the radicals gained control… no more dialogue. Evil preaches tolerance until it gains power, then it crushes all dissent.
The charade of rational, procedural, liberalism needs to end. If this journal really thinks your article is hateful, then retract it yourself! Publish somewhere else. Publish on substack for God’s sake! But stop propping up people who are committing evil. These institutions are unreformable; they must die

Last edited 11 months ago by Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
11 months ago

You’re trying to fight a theological argument with liberal proceduralism. It won’t work. Stop it!
These people are crazy and need to be called out for it. Believing that slicing off (or withering away with chemicals) the private parts from children is acceptable is child abuse. Period.
This was the same mistake the Christian denominations made with gay advocates that “just wanted dialogue”. We agreed to dialogue. Then dialogue morphed to acceptance. Then acceptance morphed to dogmatism. And once the radicals gained control… no more dialogue. Evil preaches tolerance until it gains power, then it crushes all dissent.
The charade of rational, procedural, liberalism needs to end. If this journal really thinks your article is hateful, then retract it yourself! Publish somewhere else. Publish on substack for God’s sake! But stop propping up people who are committing evil. These institutions are unreformable; they must die

Last edited 11 months ago by Brian Villanueva
Amy Horseman
Amy Horseman
11 months ago

This is tragic. Being a 14-year-old girl is traumatic. Few survive this TRANSITIONAL stage without a lot of tantrums. It’s an existential crisis. Fortunately for those of us over 30, the fall out was over-bleached hair, a bad tattoo, a pumped stomach after a drinking binge, and/or a school suspension. It’s so distressing to think of girls being prescribed hormone treatment, having their breast tissue removed and being sterilised. Irreversible changes to their bodies. I pray more adults will stand up and fight for our children. This is a catastrophe.

Veronica Lowe
VL
Veronica Lowe
11 months ago
Reply to  Amy Horseman

It IS a catastrphe. It is also child abuse to condone it.

Amy Horseman
Amy Horseman
11 months ago
Reply to  Veronica Lowe

Absolutely!

Amy Horseman
Amy Horseman
11 months ago
Reply to  Veronica Lowe

Absolutely!

Veronica Lowe
Veronica Lowe
11 months ago
Reply to  Amy Horseman

It IS a catastrphe. It is also child abuse to condone it.

Amy Horseman
Amy Horseman
11 months ago

This is tragic. Being a 14-year-old girl is traumatic. Few survive this TRANSITIONAL stage without a lot of tantrums. It’s an existential crisis. Fortunately for those of us over 30, the fall out was over-bleached hair, a bad tattoo, a pumped stomach after a drinking binge, and/or a school suspension. It’s so distressing to think of girls being prescribed hormone treatment, having their breast tissue removed and being sterilised. Irreversible changes to their bodies. I pray more adults will stand up and fight for our children. This is a catastrophe.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
11 months ago

Why is there a surge in the number of adolescent girls declaring they are really boys? Easy, it’s because it’s no longer cool to be anorexic.

Amy Horseman
Amy Horseman
11 months ago

Exactly. But it comes from the same place. A pathological fear of puberty. Becoming an adult woman is terrifying

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
11 months ago
Reply to  Amy Horseman

I never knew this. Why is that? For me, as a man, it was quite the opposite. I enjoyed growing older, stronger, and smarter.

Amy Horseman
AH
Amy Horseman
11 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Julian, there’s no short answer to this. It’s hugely complex. I have no idea if anyone has studied it. Maybe a mix of the fear of bodily changes. Not every girl delights in getting her first period or growing breasts and underarm hair. It’s weird. Also maybe a societal thing in that you feel historical oppression of women. Not so long ago, a woman went from being the “property” of her father to being the “property” of her husband, with the latter having conjugal rights to her body. Some of that fear will have trickled down through generations. While a man got his power when he “came of age”, a woman lost her power. It’s complicated.

Amy Horseman
AH
Amy Horseman
11 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Julian, there’s no short answer to this. It’s hugely complex. I have no idea if anyone has studied it. Maybe a mix of the fear of bodily changes. Not every girl delights in getting her first period or growing breasts and underarm hair. It’s weird. Also maybe a societal thing in that you feel historical oppression of women. Not so long ago, a woman went from being the “property” of her father to being the “property” of her husband, with the latter having conjugal rights to her body. Some of that fear will have trickled down through generations. While a man got his power when he “came of age”, a woman lost her power. It’s complicated.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
11 months ago
Reply to  Amy Horseman

I never knew this. Why is that? For me, as a man, it was quite the opposite. I enjoyed growing older, stronger, and smarter.

Nikki Hayes
NH
Nikki Hayes
11 months ago

Correct – the number of girls supposedly anorexic or bullemic has dropped dramatically in recent years. Trans is the latest unhealthy craze for teenagers and let us hope it goes the same way as anorexia/bulimia sooner rather than later. Hormone treatment causes irreversible changes, and do not get me started on actual surgery.

Amy Horseman
Amy Horseman
11 months ago

Exactly. But it comes from the same place. A pathological fear of puberty. Becoming an adult woman is terrifying

Nikki Hayes
Nikki Hayes
11 months ago

Correct – the number of girls supposedly anorexic or bullemic has dropped dramatically in recent years. Trans is the latest unhealthy craze for teenagers and let us hope it goes the same way as anorexia/bulimia sooner rather than later. Hormone treatment causes irreversible changes, and do not get me started on actual surgery.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
11 months ago

Why is there a surge in the number of adolescent girls declaring they are really boys? Easy, it’s because it’s no longer cool to be anorexic.

David Pogge
David Pogge
11 months ago

When activists over-rule scientists we begin the march backwards into the Dark Ages.

David Pogge
DP
David Pogge
11 months ago

When activists over-rule scientists we begin the march backwards into the Dark Ages.

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
11 months ago

There seems to have been an explosion in general mental health issues amongst adolescents and young adults. This may also be “socially contagious”.
Regardless of whether it is real or not, it is all about how they feel and to them those feelings feel real. Doing things that have lasting physical consequences to treat feelings must be wrong, until all non harmful methods of treating feelings have been exhausted.
Above all far more proper unbiased scientific research is needed to properly understand all these issues, nobody who genuinely cares about young people should object to that.

Adrian Smith
AS
Adrian Smith
11 months ago

There seems to have been an explosion in general mental health issues amongst adolescents and young adults. This may also be “socially contagious”.
Regardless of whether it is real or not, it is all about how they feel and to them those feelings feel real. Doing things that have lasting physical consequences to treat feelings must be wrong, until all non harmful methods of treating feelings have been exhausted.
Above all far more proper unbiased scientific research is needed to properly understand all these issues, nobody who genuinely cares about young people should object to that.

Marissa M
Marissa M
11 months ago

5000? What reality is England in?? In the USA it seems like it has become AT least 1 out of every 10 girls I know who have fallen to this gender confusion nonsense. I would guess in the tens of thousands easily.
And why? Of course it is social contagion. It’s like a virus.
But also? Look to history. I have said it time and time again. Look at the age of girls from 13 to 18. They are the most manipulative while also being the most emotionally confused, no thanks to their hormonal rage coursing through them. The Salem Witch Trials ALWAYS comes to my mind. A group of young girls, most likely convinced themselves that they were being somehow controlled by innocent “witches”, bound together in their momentary madness.
So THESE are the people we should start to allow to medically and surgically change their bodies?? MADNESS.

Marissa M
Marissa M
11 months ago

5000? What reality is England in?? In the USA it seems like it has become AT least 1 out of every 10 girls I know who have fallen to this gender confusion nonsense. I would guess in the tens of thousands easily.
And why? Of course it is social contagion. It’s like a virus.
But also? Look to history. I have said it time and time again. Look at the age of girls from 13 to 18. They are the most manipulative while also being the most emotionally confused, no thanks to their hormonal rage coursing through them. The Salem Witch Trials ALWAYS comes to my mind. A group of young girls, most likely convinced themselves that they were being somehow controlled by innocent “witches”, bound together in their momentary madness.
So THESE are the people we should start to allow to medically and surgically change their bodies?? MADNESS.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
11 months ago

“Anne Lawrence, a brilliant scholar of gender dysphoria and a transwoman herself”

*Himself

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
11 months ago

“Anne Lawrence, a brilliant scholar of gender dysphoria and a transwoman herself”

*Himself

Kenda Grant
Kenda Grant
11 months ago

The argument of the transgender explosion – The first holds that increased tolerance of transgender people has allowed transgender youth to come out earlier and in greater numbers would only hold true if we saw similar numbers across all female age groups. This is not the case.

ROGD is a symptom or subset of other mental health conditions. It rarely stands alone. For the afflicted they see it as their “solution”, just like anorexia, cutting and other forms of (usually young, usually female) mass hysteria. However, in all the other forms, medical doctors and psychiatrists try to help the girls. They don’t encourage them to “lose weight” or “try one more cut” to feel better. These wise, experienced adults including their parents, recognize that (for most) “this too shall pass”. They recognize the situation for its social, mental (and perhaps) hormonal roots and work to provide mental health support and, good old time, before parts are removed and irrevocable harm is done.

Iris Violet
Iris Violet
11 months ago
Reply to  Kenda Grant

So true Kenda. Your analogy with telling anorexics to lose weight and self harmers to cut more illustrates the strangeness of current protocol when children express feelings of discomfort with their sex.

Last edited 11 months ago by Iris Violet
Iris Violet
Iris Violet
11 months ago
Reply to  Kenda Grant

So true Kenda. Your analogy with telling anorexics to lose weight and self harmers to cut more illustrates the strangeness of current protocol when children express feelings of discomfort with their sex.

Last edited 11 months ago by Iris Violet
Kenda Grant
Kenda Grant
11 months ago

The argument of the transgender explosion – The first holds that increased tolerance of transgender people has allowed transgender youth to come out earlier and in greater numbers would only hold true if we saw similar numbers across all female age groups. This is not the case.

ROGD is a symptom or subset of other mental health conditions. It rarely stands alone. For the afflicted they see it as their “solution”, just like anorexia, cutting and other forms of (usually young, usually female) mass hysteria. However, in all the other forms, medical doctors and psychiatrists try to help the girls. They don’t encourage them to “lose weight” or “try one more cut” to feel better. These wise, experienced adults including their parents, recognize that (for most) “this too shall pass”. They recognize the situation for its social, mental (and perhaps) hormonal roots and work to provide mental health support and, good old time, before parts are removed and irrevocable harm is done.

Daniel P
Daniel P
11 months ago

Silly question. We all KNOW why it is being suppressed and it has everything to do with left wing politics and nothing to do with science.

Daniel P
Daniel P
11 months ago

Silly question. We all KNOW why it is being suppressed and it has everything to do with left wing politics and nothing to do with science.

Betsy Warrior
Betsy Warrior
11 months ago

Kirk Susong “Big Pharma and BlackRock and the like didn’t create our transgender mania; they merely seek to profit off it – as people and businesses always do, off any current social conditions. The mania we’re living through is caused by something much deeper than a desire for money….”
CF Hankinson “WHY is there ROGD. Isn’t it a misguided, physically dangerous, sane reaction to the appalling risks and humiliations of the porn addled male threat, and ubiquitous misogyny? Safer to join them?”
Steve Murray “the discomfort being experienced by pubescent females with the social environment in which they are being required to mature into healthy young women, and which is failing them.”
Coralie Palmer “Every single woman who’s gone through puberty knows it’s agonising and embarrassing. But now you have to contend not only with cyber-bullying by and of both sexes, but sexual pressure and harassment from boys who learn their attitudes and behaviour from violent degrading porn.”
AJ Mac “Or course paternalistic or anti-female attitudes are not a thing of the past in the West, but a country such as Afghanistan is back under the control of actual patriarchs,”
But misogyny and male supremacy come in many forms. It can dig into the brains of its targets and distort their thinking in many ways. Saudi Arabia is not the same as Afghanistan or South Africa (known as the rape capital of the world), is not the same as Oklahoma where Jesse McFadden recently shot seven dead instead of facing sex crime charges or Wisconsin where Darrell Brooks Jr killed six after beating his girlfriend for not bailing him out of jail nor is there always sameness in any of the over 4,000 cases of femicide occurring every year in the USA. Misogyny takes many forms and the resultant symptoms and may include pubescent girls rejecting a female identity.

Betsy Warrior
Betsy Warrior
11 months ago

Kirk Susong “Big Pharma and BlackRock and the like didn’t create our transgender mania; they merely seek to profit off it – as people and businesses always do, off any current social conditions. The mania we’re living through is caused by something much deeper than a desire for money….”
CF Hankinson “WHY is there ROGD. Isn’t it a misguided, physically dangerous, sane reaction to the appalling risks and humiliations of the porn addled male threat, and ubiquitous misogyny? Safer to join them?”
Steve Murray “the discomfort being experienced by pubescent females with the social environment in which they are being required to mature into healthy young women, and which is failing them.”
Coralie Palmer “Every single woman who’s gone through puberty knows it’s agonising and embarrassing. But now you have to contend not only with cyber-bullying by and of both sexes, but sexual pressure and harassment from boys who learn their attitudes and behaviour from violent degrading porn.”
AJ Mac “Or course paternalistic or anti-female attitudes are not a thing of the past in the West, but a country such as Afghanistan is back under the control of actual patriarchs,”
But misogyny and male supremacy come in many forms. It can dig into the brains of its targets and distort their thinking in many ways. Saudi Arabia is not the same as Afghanistan or South Africa (known as the rape capital of the world), is not the same as Oklahoma where Jesse McFadden recently shot seven dead instead of facing sex crime charges or Wisconsin where Darrell Brooks Jr killed six after beating his girlfriend for not bailing him out of jail nor is there always sameness in any of the over 4,000 cases of femicide occurring every year in the USA. Misogyny takes many forms and the resultant symptoms and may include pubescent girls rejecting a female identity.

Samantha Stevens
Samantha Stevens
11 months ago

I teach at a large public high school in New York and have for the past 25 years. The increase in trans students, girls especially, is incredible. An increase in vulgarity as well as a complete breakdown of social norms for dress and behavior has preceded this. I believe porn is a large part of the problem, if not the problem. Kids have access to porn at obscenely young ages through their devices, and it’s warping their views of themselves, sex, and reality. And I think they are watching really deviant stuff. I think girls are desperate to escape becoming the pornified objectified woman that seems their only option adulthood.
Also, I really question many parents and their judgment. I am not a proponent of book banning, but there are books that do not belong in schools, and we have parents rallying around them. Two that I think are completely inappropriate are Gender Queer and Let’s Talk About It – Sex and Teens. They are both graphic novels with pictures that can only described as pornography. And not normal things at all. Gender Queer features sex toys, sex acts, and a depiction of a scene from Plato’s Symposium of a nude man and BOY touching. It’s sick.
Let’s Talk About It is a “reference guide” to sex for teens that has cartoon drawings of adult Trans bodies, butt plugs, threesomes, and recommends kids investigate their “kinks” and “fetishes” through porn and online communities. It has shockingly good ratings on Amazon. What is happening to our world? I felt sick when I realized parents were demanding these books stay in school libraries.
I am at a loss to understand what is happening in our world, and why people don’t want to protect even their own children.
https://www.amazon.com/Lets-Talk-About-Teens-Relationships/dp/1984893149/?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_w=T9d0V&content-id=amzn1.sym.bc5f3394-3b4c-4031-8ac0-18107ac75816&pf_rd_p=bc5f3394-3b4c-4031-8ac0-18107ac75816&pf_rd_r=R7KGF3Q3A0KASG4PTQ8H&pd_rd_wg=GwIMa&pd_rd_r=ecb05a5a-17ef-4644-b074-39e3e8d11120&ref_=pd_gw_ci_mcx_mr_hp_atf_m

Samantha Stevens
Samantha Stevens
11 months ago

I teach at a large public high school in New York and have for the past 25 years. The increase in trans students, girls especially, is incredible. An increase in vulgarity as well as a complete breakdown of social norms for dress and behavior has preceded this. I believe porn is a large part of the problem, if not the problem. Kids have access to porn at obscenely young ages through their devices, and it’s warping their views of themselves, sex, and reality. And I think they are watching really deviant stuff. I think girls are desperate to escape becoming the pornified objectified woman that seems their only option adulthood.
Also, I really question many parents and their judgment. I am not a proponent of book banning, but there are books that do not belong in schools, and we have parents rallying around them. Two that I think are completely inappropriate are Gender Queer and Let’s Talk About It – Sex and Teens. They are both graphic novels with pictures that can only described as pornography. And not normal things at all. Gender Queer features sex toys, sex acts, and a depiction of a scene from Plato’s Symposium of a nude man and BOY touching. It’s sick.
Let’s Talk About It is a “reference guide” to sex for teens that has cartoon drawings of adult Trans bodies, butt plugs, threesomes, and recommends kids investigate their “kinks” and “fetishes” through porn and online communities. It has shockingly good ratings on Amazon. What is happening to our world? I felt sick when I realized parents were demanding these books stay in school libraries.
I am at a loss to understand what is happening in our world, and why people don’t want to protect even their own children.
https://www.amazon.com/Lets-Talk-About-Teens-Relationships/dp/1984893149/?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_w=T9d0V&content-id=amzn1.sym.bc5f3394-3b4c-4031-8ac0-18107ac75816&pf_rd_p=bc5f3394-3b4c-4031-8ac0-18107ac75816&pf_rd_r=R7KGF3Q3A0KASG4PTQ8H&pd_rd_wg=GwIMa&pd_rd_r=ecb05a5a-17ef-4644-b074-39e3e8d11120&ref_=pd_gw_ci_mcx_mr_hp_atf_m

Nick A
NA
Nick A
10 months ago

We should all write letters to the publisher demanding they do the right thing. Too many people whine about this happening but don’t use the same tactics that these activist groups use. You need to make yourself heard. Moderate people need to stand up and be bothersome and not just quiet and meek. As a published engineer, I’m going to write a letter stating that the integrity of research must be upheld. I’ll also send it to the NYT and others. Why are they not saying a single word about this!? I know the answer but they must be pressured.

Nick A
Nick A
10 months ago

We should all write letters to the publisher demanding they do the right thing. Too many people whine about this happening but don’t use the same tactics that these activist groups use. You need to make yourself heard. Moderate people need to stand up and be bothersome and not just quiet and meek. As a published engineer, I’m going to write a letter stating that the integrity of research must be upheld. I’ll also send it to the NYT and others. Why are they not saying a single word about this!? I know the answer but they must be pressured.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
11 months ago

This is why I go to Rumble (the alternative streaming service to youtube which is not lefty/Liberal agenda mandatory) and watch ‘Salty Cracker’ on Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday for his hour and a half monologue which is heavily about this very phenomenon.

That he calls the adults in the system Kid F* c king Lizard People, and Kid F* c king Monsters, and ‘troons'(the word yet uncensored here, but is the derogatory name of the adult that those in this article seek to create from these poor children) is a plus…haha….

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
11 months ago

This is why I go to Rumble (the alternative streaming service to youtube which is not lefty/Liberal agenda mandatory) and watch ‘Salty Cracker’ on Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday for his hour and a half monologue which is heavily about this very phenomenon.

That he calls the adults in the system Kid F* c king Lizard People, and Kid F* c king Monsters, and ‘troons'(the word yet uncensored here, but is the derogatory name of the adult that those in this article seek to create from these poor children) is a plus…haha….

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
11 months ago

Gotta try a Salty Cracker link again – they always get deleted here, but one can hope…. Here you go, ‘Trooney the Hut”

https://rumble.com/v2mqbj6-trans-cleared-of-flashing-p***s-after-judge-ruled-hes-too-fat-for-p***s-to-.html


UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
11 months ago

Gotta try a Salty Cracker link again – they always get deleted here, but one can hope…. Here you go, ‘Trooney the Hut”

https://rumble.com/v2mqbj6-trans-cleared-of-flashing-p***s-after-judge-ruled-hes-too-fat-for-p***s-to-.html