In Brief: Gender Dysphoria Censored
Trans activists forced the retraction of my paper. Their efforts have redoubled my commitment to the truth.
For the Left, “science” isn’t so much a method for determining truth as it is a cudgel to silence political opponents. Aside from perhaps climate change, nowhere is this more evident than in the new push for transgenderism. Researcher J. Michael Bailey writes about his experience with the Rainbow Mafia:
I am a professor of psychology at Northwestern University. I have been a professor for 34 years, and a researcher for 40. Over the decades, I have studied controversial topics — from IQ, to sexual orientation, to transsexualism (what we called transgenderism before 2015), to pedophilia. I have published well over 100 academic articles. I am best known for studying sexual orientation — from genetic influences, to childhood precursors of homosexuality, to laboratory-measured sexual arousal patterns.
My research has been denounced by people of all political stripes because I have never prioritized a favored constituency over the truth.
But I have never had an article retracted. Until now.
On March 29, I published an article in the prestigious academic journal Archives of Sexual Behavior. Less than three months later, on June 14, it was retracted by Springer Nature Group, the giant academic publisher of Archives, for an alleged violation of its editorial policies.
Retraction of scientific articles is associated with well-deserved shame: plagiarism, making up data, or grave concerns about the scientific integrity of a study. But my article was not retracted for any shameful reason. It was retracted because it provided evidence for an idea that activists hate.
Bailey explains that his article, “Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria: Parent Reports on 1655 Possible Cases,” dug into the stories of parents and kids alike to try to understand Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria (ROGD), which he defines ROGD as “the new phenomenon of adolescents, largely girls, with no history of gender dysphoria, suddenly declaring they want to transition to the opposite sex.” Bailey and some others want to study this. Activists want to silence it.
I believed that ROGD was a promising explanation of the explosion of gender dysphoria among adolescent girls because these young people do not have gender dysphoria as usually understood. Until recently, females treated for gender dysphoria were masculine-presenting girls who had hated being female since early childhood. By contrast, girls with ROGD are often conventionally feminine, but tend to have other social and emotional issues. The theory behind ROGD is that through social contagion from friends, social media, and even school, vulnerable girls are exposed to the idea that their normal adolescent angst is the result of an underlying transgender identity. These girls then suddenly declare that they are transgender. That is the rapid onset. After the declaration, the girls may desire — and receive — drastic medical interventions including mastectomies and testosterone injections.
There is ample evidence that in progressive communities, multiple girls from the same peer group are announcing they are trans almost simultaneously. There has been a sharp increase in this phenomenon across the industrialized West.
Yet he lamented the lack of scientific data or studies. Now he knows why that’s the case. “Researchers who have touched this topic have been punished for their curiosity,” he says. In fact, that’s why his coauthor, Suzanna Diaz, uses a pseudonym. Then he gets into a bit of the research:
Our article was based on parent reports of 1,655 adolescent and young adult children. Three-fourths of them were female. Emotional problems were common among this group, especially anxiety and depression, which many parents said preceded gender issues by years. Most of these young people had taken steps to socially transition, including changing their pronouns, dress, and identity to the other sex (or in some cases, to neither sex). Parents observed that after their children socially transitioned, their mental health deteriorated. A small number—seven percent of those whose parents answered Suzanna’s survey—had received medical transition treatment, including drugs to block puberty, or cross-sex hormones.
Disturbingly, those young people with more emotional problems were especially likely to have socially and medically transitioned. The best predictor of both social and medical transition was a referral to a gender specialist. Some 52 percent of parents in our study who had received a referral said they felt pressured by the gender specialist to facilitate some sort of transition for their child.
He doesn’t speculate as to the reason for that, but we’ve noted it before — there’s an awful lot of money to be made by creating lifelong patients.
Debate is essential to good science, but that is not what these activists want. They seek surrender. And that is what they got.
The good news for Bailey’s research, he said, is that it has gotten far more attention after being canceled than it ever would have gotten otherwise.
Censors have tried to stop scientific progress before. Now, as then, the pursuit of truth requires scientists and researchers who refuse to cow to puritans, ideologues and activists.
Start a conversation using these share links: