Attempts To Suppress New Study On Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria

rapid onset gender dysphoria


An important study on Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria, a new presentation which affects mainly teenage girls, was published last week in the online science journal PLOS ONE. The study, Rapid onset gender dysphoria in adolescents and young adults: A study of parental reports by Dr Lisa Littman of Brown University is the first to research the unprecedented rise in the number of teenage girls who are suddenly identifying as boys after starting puberty. The link to Dr Littman’s survey questions was placed on three websites, Transgender Trend, 4thWaveNow and

Brown University published a press release on August 22nd which was subsequently withdrawn and replaced with an apologetic statement on August 27th after five days of aggressive protest by trans activists. To support Dr Littman’s study, along with the freedom of academic research and scientific inquiry, there is a petition to Brown University and PLOS ONE which you can sign here.

Littman’s study is crucial as the first of its kind. The referral rate reversal between boys and girls and the sudden increase in the number of adolescents identifying as transgender, with no previous history of gender dysphoria, has not yet been adequately explained. At the Tavistock clinic, the rise in the referral rate of female adolescents is unprecedented and the reversed ratio between boys and girls is reflected globally:

rapid onset gender dysphoriaTransgender and LGBT organisations have shown no interest in why this should be so; in fact the ubiquitous response to any mention of rapid onset gender dysphoria is ‘it doesn’t exist’. But parents have observed first-hand their teenagers suddenly developing a ‘trans’ identity and the testimonials we receive by email all follow a similar pattern: a daughter who has previously come out as lesbian, or has ASD or a history of mental/psychological health problems, or is bullied/isolated, susceptible to peer pressure, or has experienced previous trauma and has discovered that she is ‘trans’ from immersion in Tumblr or YouTube transition videos. Almost 100% of the sons of parents who contact us are ASD/OCD. None of these children showed any evidence of gender confusion before adolescence.

This is a very recent phenomenon which deserves study. It is not enough to say ‘transgender people are more visible and more accepted now’, this doesn’t explain the phenomenal increase in girls, nor the onset of gender dysphoria at adolescence. Trans activists deny the existence of Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria because the suggestion of social contagion or potential underlying causative factors calls into question not only the concept of ‘innate gender identity’ but the ‘affirmation only’ model of care.

Given the bullying and silencing tactics of activists towards anyone who questions the new gender ideology and the real threat to people’s jobs and livelihoods if they speak publicly, it is a brave researcher who tackles this subject. The onslaught from activists began as soon as Dr Littman’s study was published and Brown University tweeted it, a tweet which they later deleted. Although you can’t see the whole pile-on in the archive we made, the first response set the tone:

This is hate speech.
There is no such things as “rapid onset gender dysphoria”, this has been debunked already.
People are born transgender.
This kind of anti-transgender hate speech is harmful to us.

Transgender Trend was accused of being a ‘far-right’ site demanding that medical transition be ‘criminalised’, among other things. In fact the three websites where parents were recruited for Littman’s study are actually run by mainly left-leaning, liberal parents, but the campaign on Twitter to paint us as far-right bigots has been running for a long time.

The inevitable article by activist Julia Serano which followed began with the false assertion that the three websites where parents were recruited “have a history of promoting anti-transgender propaganda”. Serano claims that what we are seeing now is just the latest manifestation of parental non-support and non-acceptance of their transgender children:

“..this is not a new type of gender dysphoria, but rather a new name for a recurring parental dynamic”.

Serano seems to think there is only one way to support your child: by unquestioningly obeying the dictates of a political lobby. But parents know their own children best and can think for themselves. In fact the parents who visit this site are those who want to research all information before making decisions about irreversible medical interventions for their children, as any thoughtful, caring and responsible parent would do.

Towards the end of the essay Serano makes this rather contradictory suggestion:

“Until convincing evidence materializes to the contrary, we should adhere to the principal of Occam’s razor and presume that these children are experiencing regular old gender dysphoria.

In their excellent response to Serano’s critique on the new site, Lisa Marchiano and Robert D’Angelo point out:

“Serano claims that adolescent onset dysphoria is nothing new. In fact, it has long been acknowledged that some natal males will experience gender dysphoria that first appears during adolescence. However, until very recently, adolescent onset gender dysphoria in natal females was almost unheard of. Now, this group often makes up the majority of those presenting for services – about 70% at the Tavistock Gender Identity Development Service in London, for example.”

It is irresponsible to ‘presume’ that there is nothing to see here. Serano’s attempt to discredit Littman’s study suggests  that ‘convincing evidence materialising to the contrary’ is exactly what Serano wishes to suppress.

The concerted Twitter campaign led to the issue of this statement from PLOS ONE:

“PLOS ONE is aware of the reader concerns raised on the study’s content and methodology. We take all concerns raised about publications in the journal very seriously, and are following up on these per our policy and COPE guidelines. As part of our follow up we will seek further expert assessment on the study’s methodology and analyses. We will provide a further update once we have completed our assessment and discussions.”

Brown University subsequently took down their original press release and issued this statement:

“In light of questions raised about research design and data collection related to Lisa Littman’s study on “rapid-onset gender dysphoria,” Brown determined that removing the article from news distribution is the most responsible course of action.”

The whole statement can be viewed here.

Trans activists took to Twitter to celebrate:


Transgender lobby groups who are quite happy to promote flawed studies on suicide ideation are suddenly up in arms about ‘methodology’ when the study in question does not support their own narrative.

Once again, such research is in danger of being suppressed. Bath Spa University blocked James Caspian’s research project on detransitioners precisely because of the fear of this kind of bullying response on social media.

This is not acceptable. We are talking about a cohort of very vulnerable youngsters, mostly girls. Marchiano and D’Angelo point out in the post cited above:

“…Littman found that 62.5% of young people were diagnosed with one or more psychiatric disorder prior to announcing that they were trans. 48.4% had experienced stress or trauma. 45% were engaging in self-harm prior to coming out as trans and 58% had difficulties with emotion regulation. These proportions appear very high and suggest a troubled, clinical population. And concerningly, of those parents who were aware of the content of their child’s consultation with a mental health professional 71.6% reported that the clinician did not explore mental health issues, previous trauma or other potential causes for gender dysphoria.”

It is a failure in our duty of care to these young people to use them for political purposes to support an ideology and to suppress necessary research which would help us assess what kind of clinical support individual youngsters need.

In the UK, people are speaking out about the epidemic of teenage girls who are suddenly identifying as transgender. Times journalist Janice Turner wrote about Littman’s study in her Comment piece Trans teenagers have become an experiment and has vowed never to shut up about this subject. Only this week Women’s Minister Victoria Atkins spoke up in a Telegraph interview:

“I read in the paper recently that there has been a large increase in the number of teenagers who are identifying as such, and I think we need to get down to the reasons why this is happening.

“It may simply be a case of greater awareness, it may be that for some they see it as an answer to questions they are perhaps not asking themselves. We need to be particularly alert to this with regard to young people. The treatments are so serious and life-changing, I’m a little cautious of the use of those treatments because of the potential for the rest of their lives.

“Lots of questions are rightly being asked about how we treat young people, people whose bodies perhaps haven’t developed yet.”

Despite the inevitable backlash from LGBT+ campaigners who accused Atkins of “making “damaging” comments and warned that people’s “lives are at stake””, Atkins also received public support from politicians and academics. In The Telegraph coverage of the story today, Susie Green, CEO of Mermaids, could only resort to defamation of the ‘anti-trans’ websites involved:

“As a colleague, a clinician who works in this field has stated, it’s like recruiting from a white supremacist website to demonstrate that black people are an inferior race,” she added.

This is not a reasoned response to an academic research study.

Academics and researchers have signed a letter of support for Littman, written by Michael Bailey, professor of psychology at Northwestern University, and clinical professionals are commenting on the petition using their real names. The more that lobby groups try to suppress debate and research, the more people are daring to speak openly and publicly.

The number of supportive comments from parents on the petition speaks for itself. Parents have a right to expect the highest level of clinical care for their children and research journals should not underestimate the anger of parents who feel that in this area ethical standards are being compromised.

Please sign this petition and if you are the parent of a teenager who has suddenly identified as transgender, please add your story in the comments. You can find more details about how you can show your support for Littman’s study in this post from 4thWaveNow.

The link to the petition is here:


This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. E


  2. Marco Polo

    So the scientific community coins a term that the trans community dislikes, with ideals that don’t suit there views. Why? The non-trans community is literally demanded to accept terms such as non-binary and fluid gendered… yet, a Dr. (that’s right a doctor) brings up something that stands in the way of the trans agenda, it’s wrong… huh. Funny how that works.

  3. Dan

    Please tweet this petition asking others to sign it.

  4. Concerned Mum

    It’s so difficult feeling that you are the “only” parent questioning this. I’m trying to convince my 17 year old who has identified as ftm for the last 2 years to hold off on hormones and eventual top surgery until she is 25 years old. I don’t think anyone knows their right mind until that age. I would be interested in seeing figures on how many young people who reported to clinics as trans have either reverted back to their natural gender or resorted to reversal after treatments when they reach the age of 25. She is determined to go down this road and I’m apparently a bad parent for not supporting the journey. My only hope is that in the next couple of months the governments in the UK put a halt on passing out hormones to under 25’s to allow teens to mature in their minds first. It doesn’t help that TV programme makers are jumping onto the Trans trend instead of encouraging young people to wait and see how they feel when a little older. I will sign the petition.

    1. susan

      Dear Concerned Mum,

      I am a journalist, who has written about trans issues before. I write for the Daily Mail. You can google me.

      I was very interested to see your heartfelt message regarding your 17 year old. I am writing about the rush to hormones and even surgery at a young age and examining thE damage it may be doing to our young people.

      If you feel you could contact me – on AN ENTIRELY CONFIDENTIAL – basis, I would be so grateful. This is urgent as I am preparing the article this week.

  5. Nancy

    This post was 4 years ago, can you update how things are going now? I’m finding myself in a similar position with my child.

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