Welcome to Gender Analysis

Gender Analysis is a web series launched in 2014 exploring transgender science and life experiences in depth, and revealing the many insights to be found at their intersection. We take a closer look at fields such as sociology, public health, psychiatry, cognitive science, and more, weaving these diverse perspectives into a deeper understanding of gender-related phenomena. Gender Analysis goes beyond the 101s to educate both trans and cis viewers on some of the most fascinating dimensions of our lives – and the pressing issues we face in society.

Support Gender Analysis on Patreon

New episodes of Gender Analysis are published several times a month and are backed by our generous supporters on Patreon. Want to learn more? Check out our instant index for a quick introduction to the wide range of topics we cover:

Curious about…?

Gender dysphoria Self-discovery
How hormones work Bathroom bills
Finding a doctor Treatments for trans youth
Passing Sexuality
Transness and autism Paul McHugh
Regret and detransition Sex chromosomes
Posted in Gender Analysis | Leave a comment

What parents don’t know: Trans youth study reveals fatal flaw at the heart of “rapid-onset gender dysphoria” (ROGD) pseudo-diagnosis (3 of 3)

Part 1Part 2 — Part 3

If ROGD is fundamentally unsound, what about its related claims?

Zinnia JonesLittman has not sufficiently demonstrated that a syndrome characterized by a “rapid onset” of false gender dysphoria exists as a new entity distinct from classic forms of gender dysphoria. She ignores nearly all existing research on the subject of trans youth’s gender development timelines, the feature that is supposedly key to ROGD’s difference from authentic gender dysphoria.

In light of decades of research in this area as well as more recent studies of both trans youth and their parents, what is proposed as “rapid onset gender dysphoria” based on only parental reports is most likely to be just an incomplete observation of the lengthy course of trans youth’s development that has already been studied in detail – the experience of gender dysphoria throughout childhood. Continue reading

Posted in Family, Gender dysphoria, Hoaxes, Media, Outcomes of transition, Sociological research, Statistics and demographics, Trans youth, Transgender medicine, Transphobia and prejudice | Leave a comment

What parents don’t know: Trans youth study reveals fatal flaw at the heart of “rapid-onset gender dysphoria” (ROGD) pseudo-diagnosis (2 of 3)

Part 1 — Part 2 — Part 3

A recent study fills in ROGD’s missing pieces, joining trans youth and parent reports of gender milestones

Zinnia JonesSorbara et al. (2021) surveyed trans youth receiving care at a youth gender clinic as well as their parents or caregivers, asking each of them to describe the child’s (perceived) age of self-recognition as trans and age of first disclosure of their gender to others. 121 trans youth and 121 of their caregivers responded:

  • Trans youth who first presented for evaluation at 14 years or younger reported self-recognizing as trans at a median age of 9.5 years and first coming out at 12.6, a span of over 3 years. Meanwhile, this group’s caregivers reported perceiving that their child first privately self-identified as trans at age 12 and came out at age 12.4, little over four months later.
  • Similarly, trans youth who presented for treatment at age 15 or over reported identifying themselves at a median age of 12.5 years old and first coming out at 14.3, but their caregivers believed they first identified as trans at 14.3 – the same median age as their first coming out – and first came out at 14.7 years old.

The distance between parent and youth perspectives can be measured: For trans youth, what took two to three years appeared to their parents to take place over perhaps a season. The overall pattern is dramatic. While the youth self-identified as trans at 11.3 years, their caregivers said this happened at 13.

Youth reported a median time of 2 years from self-recognition to first coming out. Their caregivers perceived a median time of 0 years (as in 0.0 years). The caregivers believed that gender self-recognition and coming out were happening at the same time – an apparent rapid onset. Continue reading

Posted in Family, Gender dysphoria, Hoaxes, Media, Outcomes of transition, Sociological research, Statistics and demographics, Trans youth, Transgender medicine, Transphobia and prejudice | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What parents don’t know: Trans youth study reveals fatal flaw at the heart of “rapid-onset gender dysphoria” (ROGD) pseudo-diagnosis (1 of 3)

Part 1 — Part 2Part 3

Origin and scope of the “rapid onset gender dysphoria” (ROGD) pseudo-diagnosis of trans youth

Zinnia JonesRapid-onset gender dysphoria (ROGD) is an alleged new social phenomenon of inauthentic gender dysphoria suddenly appearing among cisgender adolescents in growing numbers and in social clusters, unlike other currently known forms of gender dysphoria already seen among trans people. This claimed syndrome was first named by Dr. Lisa Littman of Brown University in an abstract (Littman, 2017) and later study (Littman, 2018) based on sampling readers of three prominent anti-trans communities which featured claims throughout 2016 of a growing trend of “sudden onset” of this false gender dysphoria in cis adolescents.

The proposed condition of ROGD thus suggests that, as apparent trans adolescents may actually be misdiagnosed cis youth, the effective gender-affirming treatment given as a standard of care for trans youth would be inappropriate or harmful for this group of youth, and so this gender-affirming treatment should be withheld from them.

Following Littman’s 2018 study, this claimed condition has been widely promoted in the public discourse by anti-trans advocacy groups, right-wing legal groups, conservative legislators, “intellectual dark web” commentators, and those of any stripe whose politics include the invalidation of trans youth. The spectre of this contagion of mistaken gender running rampant among youth has recently been the subject of alarm among Republican lawmakers, as always under the banner of “protecting children”, working to ban access to medical transition for trans adolescents – and in at least one state succeeding.

Littman’s study has a fundamental flaw in its methodology that broadly undermines its reported findings. According to Littman, a key feature distinguishing ROGD from classic gender dysphoria is that ROGD appears very quickly in a child who was heretofore apparently cisgender with no sign of gender incongruity. The observations of this rapidity consisted entirely of reports from anonymous parents on their own perception of their child’s gender identity and development, almost universally expressing surprise at the sudden nature of their child’s statement of a transgender identity. The youth themselves were not surveyed on their own experiences of gender incongruity throughout their childhood, how long they had experienced gender incongruity or considered themselves transgender, or how long they had waited to make their trans identity visible to these parents for the first time. Continue reading

Posted in Family, Gender dysphoria, Hoaxes, Media, Outcomes of transition, Sociological research, Statistics and demographics, Trans youth, Transgender medicine, Transphobia and prejudice | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Twice in a million: Heather McNamara on surviving two rare CVST strokes

By Heather McNamara

The first intelligible words I remember speaking when I woke up were “I wish I hadn’t…” 

My mother answered from beside me “Wish you hadn’t what?”

“I don’t know? Drank so much? Eaten so much?”

“It wasn’t one of those,” she said. “The doctor told me. It was a CVST. It’s a very particular kind of stroke that happens because your blood is clotting in your veins.”

“What should I have done differently, then?”

“There wasn’t anything you could do. It was just going to happen.” Continue reading

Posted in Personal | Tagged , | Leave a comment

AstraZeneca or not, cerebral venous sinus thrombosis is a complex and potentially fatal emergency. Is the world prepared?

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice. The COVID-19 pandemic and investigations into the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and blood clots are rapidly evolving situations. This information may be superseded by later findings. This article was last updated on March 31, 2021.

Zinnia JonesOver the past month, several European nations have halted, resumed, then once again halted their use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine upon several reports of serious and fatal blood clots in those who received the shot. Initial responses to these reports focused on comparing the rates of occurrence of blood clots as a broad category between populations that had received and had not received the vaccine. Blood clots, discussed generally, can refer to such conditions as deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, or arterial (ischemic) stroke.

However, additional information soon clarified that these reports of blood clots after the AstraZeneca vaccine were not distributed among these various types of conditions in the same way that is seen to occur in the general unvaccinated population. Instead, blood clots following AstraZeneca have much more frequently been in the form of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST), a blockage of the veins draining deoxygenated blood from the brain, or disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), in which numerous blood clots form throughout the body’s vessels. These patients were also often seen to have a paradoxical severe depletion of platelets, which produce blood clotting, similar to that seen in a rare reaction to the blood thinner heparin.

A key signal involves the rarity of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) under normal conditions: CVST is estimated to occur in only 2 to 5 out of every million people every year (Devasagayam et al., 2016). Within the German population given AstraZeneca, over the time period following vaccination, only one CVST would be expected to occur; instead, there were seven, resulting in three deaths. Frustratingly, even if a one-in-a-million condition becomes ten times more common, it may still not be common enough to appear at all in trials of merely tens of thousands of participants – so it might not be possible to detect these rare side effects before one has already administered a treatment to tens of millions. Continue reading

Posted in COVID-19, Personal, Statistics and demographics | Tagged , , | 2 Comments