Irreversible Damage: Abigail Shrier

The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters  

Shrier’s book is a timely contribution documenting increasing levels of  concern over the rising rate of Trans-identifying Females. Young girls are having drastic surgeries/medical intervention, at ever younger ages, in a quest to become their “authentic selves”. Sadly, some of those young women are emerging, in their earlier twenties, to the realisation they were simply Lesbian or in flight from their sex for other reasons.  This self-knowledge sometimes comes after years on testosterone, double mastectomies  and even hysterectomies /ovary removal. 

Facts and figures on the rising numbers of these girls are included in Shrier’s book. Many of the statistics are from the UK because the NHS makes it easier to keep track of the figures.  In the US there are now tens of “Gender Identity” clinics to service the rising rates of “transgender” children /teens. This is a phenomenon across North America, Europe and Australasia. Shrier’s book documents this  with extensive references, an excellent bibliography and conversations with many people at the cutting edge. This includes practitioners working in the field or reporting on this area.  She also shares personal testimony from the young women and their parents.

I have kept quotations to a minimum because you really should buy this book! I have, however,  interspersed some links/blogs to expand, or  reference the UK context.  

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Censorship. 

When research papers, articles or books, are published on the phenomenon of Trans-identifying children/ teens, they are inevitably followed by calls to ban them, accompanied by attacks on the author, sackings, loss of office or sponsorship. This book is no different.

Here is Chase Strangio, from the ACLU (Americal Civil Liberties Union), calling Shrier’s book “dangerous polemic” and calling for it to be taken out of circulation.

863E533B-F491-42CC-8275-6EC01217F731The ACLU have a proud history defending Civil Liberties and Free Speech.  A legacy which has been utterly squandered by its advocacy of Gender Identity Ideology. As an organisation they appear  unwilling to accept that Women, LGB people and even Transsexuals,  have legitimate concerns about the extremist positions of Gender Identity Ideologues.  

Chase Strangio is a Transman and ACLU Lawyer.  Anyone questioning the transitioning of children seems to be perceived as an attack on Chase’s identity, as a man.  Choosing to critique a book without reading it seems to be common in this “debate” but  Chase claims to have actually read it.  This doesn’t  prevent Chase from seeking to deny other people the opportunity. This smacks of authoritarianism and is  shocking from an organisation which,  not too long ago, defended the right to free speech  for members of the Ku-Klux Clan.  

What is happening to Abigail’s book follows a familiar pattern of silencing. This happened to the work of Michael Bailey, Lisa Littman, Ken Zucker and many researchers whose work I have covered on this blog.

Lisa Littman

Lisa Littman coined the term “Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria”. Lisa Littman spoke to parents with children claiming to be transgender. These children/teens had not shown any signs of discomfort, with their sex, during childhood, and their stories were also at odds with the experience / recollections of their parents. Diane Ehrensaft, a proponent of Gender Identity Ideology, made this statement about talking to parents (p.28). claiming it was akin to “recruiting from Klan or alt-right sites to demonstrate that blacks really are an inferior race”. I would contend that parents are demonised because we know when our children fabricate a fantasy trans-narrative. This knowledge is perceived as dangerous, as is (legal) parental responsibility, to safeguard our children from youthful mistakes. Parents who affirm biological sex are a direct challenge to ideologues, like Ehrensaft, who contend three year olds are competent to know their “gender identity”.

You can read more about what happened to Dr Littman here https://quillette.com/2019/03/19/an-interview-with-lisa-littman-who-coined-the-term-rapid-onset-gender-dysphoria/

You can meet Diane Ehrensaft here: https://youtu.be/DnILbwUL19Y

A tale of two sexes

Ms Shrier’s book centres teenage girls. This makes sense because young girls are emerging as the main demographic being harmed. The causes are also different for females. As a parent of one of the boys, caught up in this, I contend that, whilst there is some overlap in the causality, this is primarily a tale of two sexes. It therefore makes sense to cover boys separately. Let us hope someone takes up the challenge to look at the Transgender Craze in Our Boys. Maybe I will.

Autogynephilia

Shrier does not shy away from covering the more controversial issues accompanying Gender Identity Ideology in our society. This includes a reference to Autogynephilia (AGP) which is a male paraphilia. The love of oneself, as a woman, is the new love that cannot bear to be named. Acknowledging AGP tends to provoke narcissistic rage and backlash and explains a lot of the testeria in this “debate“.

Shrier also talks about the erosion of female only spaces (see anecdote about the bra-fiting for a teenage girl. p.143). She also covers the potential /actual destruction of female sports due to male inclusionary policies. Shrier quotes young women who told her the social cache attached to a transgender identity is in direct contrast to the disregard for Lesbians. (p.151). Why would you want to be Lesbian when it is mainly known as a category of porn? Indeed the depiction of young women, in porn generally, seems suffiicient explanation for a flight from the female sex. Looked at one way adopting a male identity is a perfectly rational response to a hostile environment.

School Policy

Shrier is also excellent on the way Transgender ideology is disseminated, particularly in schools. The same phenonemon is at play in the UK. Sometimes this is done overtly via a Transgender Policy but other times it is slipped in, covertly, under the guise of anti-bullying. To truly root it out you have to check school transgender policy but also anything referencing bullying or equality or inclusion. I am doing a series on all the policies I have found and downloaded. This is one.

School Transgender Policy 1. Brighton: Allsorts

Shrier’s also documents how parents are treated by these policies and by schools, generally.  Parents are  painted as a safeguarding risk to our children, if we don’t  immediately “affirm” a trans identity. I blogged about this here 👇 covering school policies advocating lying to parents about our children and “socially transitioning” them behind our backs. 

Putting the Loco in Loco Parentis

Another issue subject to scrutiny is the threat of suicide and the topic of transgender kids. Not just in the US but globally. This is despite the fact suicide attempts are actually no higher in trans-identifying children than other kids with mental health issues. Completed suicides are actually very rare in transgender youth but they are higher in the adult group post transition. One Swedish study, with the longest follow up time of any other study, found the suicide rate to be significantly higher than their comparator sex. You can read about this here:

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article/file?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0016885&type=printable

2020-11-18 (2)

This is one of the longest follow up studies and points to a need for more after care and a review of the outcomes for post-operative transsexuals. This area is replete with references to suicide as evidenced by the repetition of “Better a live daughter than a dead son” . Yet discussion on post-operative mental health issues is verboten.

I wrote about suicide, in transgender youth, below.

Suicide in the Trans Community

Ray Blanchard

Shrier seems to have spoken to most of the prominent voices in this debate. Ray Blanchard is the man who coined the term Autogynephilia. He is very good on the psychological toll it takes to present as the opposite sex. I have written about this, which I call “imposter syndrome on steroids” , after observing and listening to adult transsexuals. Blanchard goes a bit “bad on both sides” re Trans Activists and Gender Critical Feminists (p. 132) but then we do appear to be, or are, critiquing his life’s work.

Medical Treatment

The book is bold and unflinching on the paucity of medical research and provides case studies on the deleterious impact of experimental, medical, solutions to a trans-identity. She points out that there is no reliable test for an innate “Gender Identity”. There is no biological marker. Detransitioners met the diagnostic criteria in the same way as did those who persist, for now, with a medicalised solution to their distress. She explodes the myth that puberty blockers are a pause and emphasises the public data which shows that 100%, put on puberty blockers, will continue to Cross Sex hormones. This is not a pause, it is the introduction to, an almost inevitable, pathway to medical transition. Shrier deals with the risks of puberty blockers (p.165); the shocking statistic of a 5 times higher rate of heart attack in females on testosterone (p. 169) and the medical complications leading to the high rate of hysterectomies after 5 years on testosterone. (p.171). She is also not afraid to name leading proponents of Gender Identity /Medical transition such as Jo Elsson-Kennedy who dismisses post mastectomy regret with this flip response “if you want breasts later on you can go and get them”. (p. 172)

Personal Testimony 

The book is packed with personal stories from parents, adult transsexuals, desisters/de-transitioners. The bulk of these are females, as you would expect, but she does also reference young males. This approach allows us to meet some of the young girls/women caught up in the Transgender phenomenon, putting flesh on the bones of the statistics, just as surely as flesh is being put on the line. We hear the voices of parents endeavouring to navigate a path to protect their children, without alienating them. This is difficult and not always successful. Young women share their stories, one on being a Butch Lesbian, who identified as trans. The anorexic who swapped pro-ana sites for transgender ones. Crucially she ends the book with stories of those who made their way back, to reconcile with their sex and, very often to their formerly estranged families. Because: There is a way back!

Cultural differences

This is clearly a global phenomenon as I have tried to demonstrate. There are also some cultural differences.  I don’t think therapy and medicalised responses to children/teenagers distress are quite as embedded in the UK.  Though I am from the North of England and we can be a bit “haven’t you got any mates?” (Crocodile Dundee Style😉)   about North American reliance on therapy. Shrier has lots to say about parenting styles and our growing impulse to step in when our children encounter difficulties. The phenomenon of Helicopter parents is less embedded in working class culture but is definitely rampant in middle class parenting.  Overall this book translates very well, to the U.K. context,  and it is eerie how much commonalty there is in the experiences of parents on both sides of the atlantic. 

In Conclusion. This is a very important book.

Purchasing Abigail’s book via the link, below, will provide funds to a UK Parent’s group (Bayswater Support Group) who support families, with children who identify as transgender, to navigate a path to wholeness.

My copy of this book will be going to a generous donor who has purchased it to help fund my work. If you wish to support me you can do so here.

If you are able to support my work please do so. I am unwaged and all my content is open.

Investigating the march of Gender Identity Ideology. The impact on Women’s rights and the cost paid by our Gay offspring & children on the Autistic spectrum.

£5.00

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