March 28, 2023

Yes, We Are Making Kids Trans

Although there is a massive effort to deny it among trans activists and in much of the media.

We are going to look back years from now and wonder how we failed young girls so badly.

Between social media and fashionable gender theories, we are making teenage girls depressed, anxious, and trans.

In a Substack essay the other day, a mother wrote of her daughter: “She was among the last of her small group of biologically female friends to socially transition. It was mid-pandemic, and she spent most of her time with her best friend, who had, unbeknownst to me, shown her hours upon end of transgender entertainment on YouTube and TikTok.”

Of course, that is going to have an effect, although there is a massive effort to deny it among trans activists and in much of the media.

The Geico gecko can convince us to buy car insurance. Trump can post a meme on Truth Social and it can convince someone to go take a baseball bat to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. Someone can use the wrong pronoun and it can convince a trans person to harm himself or herself. But what can’t possibly happen, we are supposed to believe, is that the constant discussion and celebration of transgenderism might convince confused young people to decide they are nonbinary or trans.

Even some trans advocates are willing to admit this makes no sense. Marci Bowers, president of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, told the progressive New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg: “There are people in my community who will deny that there’s any sort of ‘social contagion’ — I shouldn’t say social contagion, but at least peer influence on some of these decisions. I think that’s just not recognizing human behavior.”

Bowers is an exception, though. It is taken as an article of faith among trans activists and much of the left that social contagion is a pernicious myth.

This denial is based on the idea that people, especially young people, aren’t suggestible. As if what we are told, what our friends do and say, what signals we get from society aren’t enormously important. And as if awareness and encouragement of transgenderism, nonbinary status, and heretofore unknown genders haven’t increased dramatically.

Internet searches for anorexia in recent years have declined while searches for transgender have soared. There are transgender and nonbinary celebrities. Schools have started teaching kids gender ideology, and some will “transition” children without telling parents.

The trans advocates argue that a more permissive environment is simply allowing people to embrace their true identities, the same way more people admitted they were left-handed when the taboo against lefties gave way in the 20th century. That analogy falls down, though, since the spike in trans and other identification is particularly pronounced in areas that are particularly encouraging.

As Madeleine Kearns of National Review points out, young people in California identify as trans at roughly about a 40% higher rate than the national average. And in the Davis Joint Unified School District, in a heavily progressive city outside Sacramento, the rate is three times that of California as a whole.

Girls are particularly sensitive to peer pressure. This aligns with the trend. According to Kearns, there used to be more gender-dysphoric boys than girls by about a two-to-one margin. Now, there are more gender-dysphoric girls than boys by three to one.

Such suggestibility was evident in the TikTok-driven phenomenon during the pandemic of teenagers developing strange tics. According to a Canadian study, The New York Times reports, “The adolescents were overwhelmingly girls, or were transgender or nonbinary — though no one knows why.”

In light of all this, other countries have pressed the brakes on aggressive treatment for trans-identifying minors. In urging that so-called gender-affirming care be used only in “exceptional cases,” Sweden’s National Board of Health and Welfare cited “the uncertainty that follows from the yet unexplained increase in the number of care seekers, an increase particularly large among adolescents registered as females at birth.”

If Sweden can acknowledge reality, so should we.

© 2023 by King Features Syndicate

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