Are people on the secular left interested in conforming their beliefs to what scientists discover about the universe? Do they greet the progress of science with an open heart and an open mind? Well, we already know that secular leftists are hostile to what science has shown about the origin of the universe, and the fine-tuning of the universe for intelligent life. But what about moral issues like transgenderism?
Consider this study, which was reported by Science Daily:
This month, a Brown University researcher published the first study to empirically describe teens and young adults who did not have symptoms of gender dysphoria during childhood but who were observed by their parents to rapidly develop gender dysphoria symptoms over days, weeks or months during or after puberty.
[…]The study was published on Aug. 16 in PLOS ONE.
Littman surveyed more than 250 parents of children who suddenly developed gender dysphoria symptoms during or after puberty.
The pattern of clusters of teens in friend groups becoming transgender-identified, the group dynamics of these friend groups and the types of advice viewed online led her to the hypothesis that friends and online sources could spread certain beliefs. Examples include the belief that non-specific symptoms such as feeling uncomfortable in their own skins or feeling like they don’t fit in — which could be a part of normal puberty or associated with trauma — should be perceived as gender dysphoria; the belief that the only path to happiness is transition; and the belief that anyone who disagrees with the teen is transphobic and should be cut out of their life.
“Of the parents who provided information about their child’s friendship group, about a third responded that more than half of the kids in the friendship group became transgender-identified,” Littman said. “A group with 50 percent of its members becoming transgender-identified represents a rate that is more 70 times the expected prevalence for young adults.”
Additionally, 62 percent of parents reported their teen or young adult had one or more diagnoses of a psychiatric disorder or neurodevelopmental disability before the onset of gender dysphoria. Forty-eight percent reported that their child had experienced a traumatic or stressful event prior to the onset of their gender dysphoria, including being bullied, sexually assaulted or having their parents get divorced.
This suggests that the drive to transition expressed by these teens and young adults could be a harmful coping mechanism like drugs, alcohol or cutting, Littman said. With harmful coping mechanisms, certain behaviors are used to avoid feeling negative emotions in the short term, but they do not solve the underlying problems and they often cause additional problems, she noted.
Well, this seems like a OK study, and, as a Christian, my gut response to scientific data is to agree with it, and adjust my beliefs accordingly. I am a little concerned that her data is coming from self-selected individuals who are self-reporting, but it can be hard to find transgender test subjects.
This article at The Federalist had a few examples to illustrate the conclusion of the study:
The study includes other eye-opening information, such as case studies of several children’s stories.
“A 14-year-old natal female and three of her natal female friends were taking group lessons together with a very popular coach. The coach came out as transgender, and, within one year, all four students announced they were also transgender.”
“A 14-year-old natal female and three of her natal female friends are part of a larger friend group that spends much of their time talking about gender and sexuality. The three natal female friends all announced they were trans boys and chose similar masculine names. After spending time with these three friends, the 14-year-old natal female announced that she was also a trans boy.”
I thought this quote from that article was interesting as well, given the culture’s obsession with “bullying”, which is a nebulous term that can mean actual bullying, or mere disagreement.
The study also may indicate that school “anti-bullying” programs typically created by LGBT activist organizations such as the Human Rights Campaign may help accelerate children identifying as transgender by pushing peers and authority figures to profusely express their support. It also may suggest that Marxist-style identity politics that brand heterosexuality as oppressive increase gender dysphoria.
Coming out as transgender means instant fame and popularity, because you’re a victim, and everyone has to be nice to you… or else:
“Great increase in popularity among the student body at large. Being trans is a gold star in the eyes of other teens,” wrote one parent on the study response form. Another wrote, “not so much ‘popularity’ increasing as ‘status’ … also she became untouchable in terms of bullying in school as teachers who ignored homophobic bullying …are now all at pains to be hot on the heels of any trans bullying.”
Very interesting. But the secular left had a completely different reaction to the study.
The Daily Wire reports:
In any case, this Brown University study could not stand — any effort to actually research the environmental component of transgenderism is met with raucous calls for censorship. And Brown immediately caved. The University pulled down a news article about the study. Realistically, Brown and the journal in which the original comment was published, PLOS ONE, turned against the study because it offended politically correct sensibilities about transgenderism.
Here’s what the spokeswoman for Brown University had to say about pulling the study:
Independent of the University’s removal of the article because of concerns about research methodology, the School of Public Health has heard from Brown community members expressing concerns that the conclusions of the study could be used to discredit efforts to support transgender youth and invalidate the perspectives of members of the transgender community.
[…]There is an added obligation for vigilance in research design and analysis any time there are implications for the health of the communities at the center of research and study.
So much for the spirit of free inquiry and academic debate on the Brown University campus. The progress of science has been overridden by the hysterical reactions of the secular left.
The future is Canada
In Canada – a country that does not have free speech protected by law – it’s actually a criminal offense to make transgender people feel bad by disagreeing with them.
A Canadian human rights lawyer explained what the law is in Canada:
Brown, who appeared with Peterson before the Senate last May to argue against Bill C-16, said a “small cadre of trans activists” have “made a successful revolution” by instantiating a social construct into law.
Denying gender theory under Bill C-16 could result in jail or bankruptcy, he said.
A human rights tribunal can levy fines, or assign a “public interest remedy,” such as sensitivity training, and non-compliance would be considered contempt of court, said Brown.
[…]He advised people watch the case of Barry Neufeld, a British Columbia school trustee facing a human rights complaint for “transphobia” for criticizing the province’s Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI 123) curriculum.
If you want to know what’s coming to America in ten years, just look north to Canada. Right now, we are having gay activists sue Christian business owners who refuse to take part in same-sex weddings. Canada was doing that in the late 90s and 2000s. Now Canada is arresting people, bankrupting them, and putting them in jail, for using the wrong pronouns when referring to transgender people. That shows you where the secular left in America would like to take our country. Are you comfortable with having your free speech limited like this?