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A Season of Destruction

Google “How to inject testosterone by yourself,” and you will get over 3,600,000 hits. Then change it to, “How should girls inject testosterone” and you get almost 57,000,000, almost sixteen times as much. 

Gender dysphoria has become a social contagion. In the U.S., between 2016 and 2017, gender surgeries increased by 400%. In the United Kingdom, when looking at the previous decade, the increase was over 4000% for girls seeking gender treatment.1

Dr. Lisa Littman was an ob-gyn and mother of two when she noticed on social media an odd statistic. Several young girls in a small Rhode Island town came out as transgender, and all were within the same friend group. One of her fields of analysis was epidemiology (the study of the distribution of health-related events in populations). Dr. Littman understood the social reasons some teen girls might come out in the current culture as opposed to twenty or thirty years ago, but it does not explain why this spikes significantly within friend groups. 

Dr. Littman gave this statistical occurrence the label “rapid-onset gender dysphoria”2, or you may have heard the term “social or peer contagion.” 

This fad, fever, trend, craze, and madness have acted like social trends that teens over the decades have been caught up in. Some examples come to mind for those over the age of fifty, Bell-bottoms, Nike shoes, and Hula-Hoops; others can remember Furbys, Beanie Babies, Pokemon, Fifty Shades of Grey, TikTok, and iPhones. Some I’ve listed are harmless, others destructive by nature. 

U.S. Surgeon General Warning

Two patterns have emerged when studying this phenomenon of gender dysphoria. 

First, the majority of girls who come to realize they have a gender identity that does not fit their biological identity (I am dividing the two for argument’s sake) “have done so after a prolonged period of social media immersion.”3

In May of this year, the U.S. surgeon general warned us of the dangers of social media exposure in young people. NPR reports, “According to the advisory, 95% of teenagers ages 13-17 say they use a social media app and more than a third say they use it ‘almost constantly.’…social media can perpetuate ‘body dissatisfaction, disordered eating behaviors, social comparison, and low self-esteem, especially among adolescent girls.’4

U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy pointed out kids feel worse about themselves and their friends when spending time on social media. Furthermore, nearly 50% of adolescents say that social media makes them feel worse bout their body image.4

A Thousand Percent

The most recent Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5) reports gender dysphoria at .005-.014% for males and .002-.003 for females in the U.S. population. For those who struggle with math, out of a thousand, 2 to 3 girls would struggle with gender dysphoria. And those who would actually seek out medical intervention would be less than 1 in 10,000. That statistic has increased by 1000 percent.((Shrier, Abigail. “The Puzzle.” Irreversible Damage, Regnery Publication, 2021, p. 32))

Let’s put that 1000 percent in perspective and look at this graph. Tragically 45,000 people die per year in the U.S. in auto accidents. If we increased that by 1000%, it would be 450 million a year. In the U.S., 282,043 women were raped or sexually assaulted in 2021. If that were increased by 1000%, it would be over 282 million women raped or sexually assaulted. Finally, in 2020 according to the CDC, 602,347 people died of cancer. If that increased by 1000%, it would be 602,347,000 deaths by cancer. 

If any of those above scenarios occurred, the etiology would be extensively researched. Hundreds of millions, if not billions, would be poured into the research to find the cause of a 1000% increase. Blank checks would be handed out to the specialists in those fields. The president and state governors would create special task forces to analyze the cause and cure. All stops would be pulled, and social media would be ablaze with armchair generals postulating their theories. Yet none of this took place with the sudden phenomena of gender dysphoria. Why? Because it morphed into a ‘political’ issue, not a mental health and welfare issue. 

Friend Groups

The second pattern of girls who suddenly begin to question their gender identity is within their friend groups. For some groups, it is more than 70 times the expected occurrence. Keep in mind this is happening among groups with no prior history of questioning their gender in adolescence.5 Couple that with the fact that before 2012 the expected incidence of gender dysphoria was greater with boys two to five time more than girls and now that has completely flipped, exponentially. Furthermore, in 2016 females accounted for 46% of sex reassignment surgeries in the U.S., but just a year later, it was 70%.6

The pattern is obvious for those who would do some digging. Young girls with a history of anxiety and social struggles would enter high school and join a friend group with ‘transgender’ students. In a short period of time, she announces to friends and family that she may be transgender. Over time their anxiety and depression worsen. Dr. Littman writes, “The daughters ‘became more angry and sullen and hostile to parents.’ The more they suffered dysphoria, the more they pulled away from the people who might help.”7

Humans naturally look for patterns to explain circumstances. Lisa Marchiano is an analyst, social worker, and widely published author who has researched this social contagion. Any ‘avant-garde’ disorder is dismissed or not taken seriously. She explained when we feel psychological distress, we want to be able to label it and fit it into a narrative. Once that is done, then we find a cure. 8 Or at least come to understand what the cause is. 

An example of this took place in 1994, in Hong Kong. A girl who died from anorexia was widely publicized, and the blame was placed on a Western phenomenon called ‘anorexia.’ Girls in the West were starving themselves, but this was almost unheard of in the East. After that, cases of this emotional disorder became an expression of physiological distress in Hong Kong. Ethan Watters, who wrote on America’s cultural pathogens, explained, “[Only] when anorexia became a culturally agreed-upon expression of internal distress, did it become widespread.”9

Keeping Parents Uninformed

Of course, California State Superintendent Tony Thurmond, with the full backing of Governor Gaven Newsom, thinks parents should NOT be informed of this life-altering decision. This kind of policy in most public schools is ludicrous. California Education Code requires that any student taking medication during the school day must have a doctor’s written order and parent’s written permission. As a public school teacher, I can’t even give a student an aspirin without serious repercussions, but if they decide to make the life-altering transition to the other sex, parents are to be kept in the dark. 

The National Education Association (NEA) recommends that schools use a confidential ‘Gender Support Plan’, which was written by a trans-activist group called Gender Spectrum. This plan asks if parents/guardians support the student’s gender transition. If not, then the parents/guardians are to be excluded and remain uninformed about any further gender-affirming care actions taken by the school. 

Governor Gavin Newsom and the state of California fully support this policy. At a recent school board meeting in southern California, Tony Thurmond, California State Superintendent of Public Instruction, said, “I come before you as a parent tonight but we can debate all of the laws and all of the policies and practices, I ask you to consider this- that nearly half of students who identify as being LGBTQ+ are considering suicide,”10

If nearly 1/2 of students who identify as LGBTQ+ are considering suicide, that should tell you something; and who better to advise, comfort, console, and counsel these students than their parents? Yet Tony Thurmond wants to keep parents ignorant so these struggling students can continue to get advice from their peers and the school staff who, in full view, have drank the Kool-aid and want to affirm their new gender. 

Thankfully one school district in California has pushed back against policies that keep parents in the dark. The Chino Valley Unified School District policy passed after a significant heat from the state of California. The policy stipulated that parents must be informed if their child expresses a desire to be identified or treated as a gender different from their biological sex, intends to use the bathroom and athletic facilities of the opposite sex, seeks a pronoun or name change, or if there are mental health concerns with the child.

Who would have thought 20 years ago that parents would have to fight for the right to be informed of their child’s mental and physical well-being in the public school system? Not only that, but now parents ‘must listen’ and ‘affirm’ their child’s choice. Gone are the days of Father Knows Best with Robert Young and Jane Wyatt. It has been replaced with Johnny and Susie Know Best, and no questions asked.

3 John 1:4

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Razing of Teen Girls by James William Glazier is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
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  1. Rayner, Gordon. “Minister orders inquiry into 4,000 percent rise in children wanting to change sex.” The Telegraph, 16 September 2018, 6 July 2023. []
  2. Shrier, Abigail. “The Puzzle.” Irreversible Damage, Regnery Publication, 2021, p. 27 []
  3. Shrier, Abigail. “The Puzzle.” Irreversible Damage, Regnery Publication, 2021, p. 26 []
  4. West, David. “Social media can put young people in danger, U.S. surgeon general warns.” NPR,, 23, May 2023, [] []
  5. Shrier, Abigail. “The Puzzle.” Irreversible Damage, Regnery Publication, 2021, p. 26 []
  6. 2017 Plastic Surgery Report, American Society of Plastic Surgeons, []
  7. Shrier, Abigail. “The Puzzle.” Irreversible Damage, Regnery Publication, 2021, p. 33 []
  8. Shrier, Abigail. “The Puzzle.” Irreversible Damage, Regnery Publication, 2021, p.136 []
  9. Watters, Ethan. “Crazy Like Us.” The Globalization of the American Psyche, New York, Simon & Schuster 2010, pgs 32-33 []
  10. McEntyre, Nicholas. “California school superintendent booted from district board meeting after opposing new transgender policy.” New York Post, 22 July 2023. 27 July 2023. []

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