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
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Zinnia’s notes on college: The queer campus is all right

Zinnia Jones

Dear diary: I made new friends! My last update on going to college as an adult learner was a generally hopeless wail of despair from a fairly dark place: central Florida at the height of its most recent pandemic wave, facing unavoidable exposure at a state university that’s shown no efforts to make in-person attendance any safer. After another month of this, my outlook and attitude have somehow improved, even if the primary concern in this situation has not meaningfully changed. I still sometimes become anxious and tense on the day or night before classes, but it’s not as strong, and just being able to recognize what this is and point it out helps to blunt its impact. I’ve been spending more time on campus when possible, staying outdoors and exploring the grounds before and after class, and I’ve become less on edge over time. I’ve also found something I didn’t have last month, something that helps to balance out the ever-present risks and make being present there worthwhile. I found my people – a group of people I can trust enough to make a connection even in an environment where someone’s untrustworthiness can prove lethal. Continue reading

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Contrary to Abigail Shrier’s “Irreversible Damage”, testosterone use in trans men is not associated with increased reproductive cancers

Zinnia JonesIrreversible Damage by Abigail Shrier has become one of the most celebrated books among anti-trans advocates for its popular and accessible repackaging of their movement’s current master narrative: that trans youth and young adults who come out are largely confused cis youth, mostly assigned female, adopting an inaccurate identity under the malign influence of social contacts, media, and culture. Its central arguments are founded on bad information. The supposedly “epidemic” growth in the population of trans youth constitutes an extremely small share of all youth, and may even represent underrecognition and undertreatment of trans youth. The proposed hypothesis for contagious spread of trans identity in youth, “rapid onset gender dysphoria”, is likely the result of an illusion created by the methodological choice to theorize based only on parents’ external perceptions of another’s onset of gender dysphoria; this shortcoming was later corrected by interviewing trans youth, with substantially different findings on this “rapidity”.

The main thrust of Irreversible Damage is to foment existing discomfort and panic among conservatives about “protecting” “their” “women and children” on the basis of this very thin evidence. Scientific misfires like “rapid onset gender dysphoria” are offered up as justification for political and personal sentiments that would persist anyway: the opposition to recognizing the authenticity and basic equality of trans people, and the belief that trans people are ambassadors of an unnatural and threatening social disease that must be met with hostile suppression. The pseudoscientific narrative dresses these positions in a pretense of respectability, as something a reasonable person could believe.

But there’s also a series of statements in Shrier’s book that have nothing to do with subtleties of statistics, demographics, or methodology. Instead, this appears to be a far more straightforward matter of factual findings. Shrier suggests repeatedly that trans men taking testosterone will experience an increased risk of endometrial, ovarian, or other reproductive cancer due to this transition treatment. However, existing literature on trans men using testosterone indicates that they do not face any higher risk of cancers at all. Continue reading

Posted in Breast, Endocrinology, Hoaxes, Oncology, Safety data, Transmasculine, Transphobia and prejudice | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Learning to love and accept your body: Testosterone helps adolescent trans boys do that

Zinnia JonesDiscussions of transgender issues among the general public often take an unproductive turn when the distress of gender dysphoria is cast as something that can be remedied by simply “accepting your body as it is”. Most forgivably, this may be just the initial impression of uninformed cis people who do not want us to continue to suffer that distress, and also incorrectly believe there may be an “easier” way to reach that point without the difficulties that can be associated with transitioning. Less understandable are those who do have the time to learn and clearly know better, but instead have chosen to spend their time arguing that transitioning is axiomatically undesirable, harmful, or immoral, and therefore no beneficial outcomes could possibly justify it anyway. Continue reading

Posted in Faith and religion, Gender dysphoria, Outcomes of transition, Philosophy and language, Transphobia and prejudice | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Trans Broken Brain Syndrome: When “subjective cognitive decline” becomes a subjective attack on trans healthcare

By Heather McNamara

Have you ever looked at an object and forgotten what it was called? Maybe you’ve been in the produce section of a grocery store, standing in front of the pineapples and found yourself thinking “Banana? Mango?” I have. In fact, as a stroke survivor and anxiety/depression sufferer, these moments occur more often than I’d like to admit. Sometimes, alternative suggestions don’t even come up. I can stare at an ordinary object for a full minute without a single clue as to what it’s called. I can say from experience that the seconds in that minute are very, very long as the situation gradually transforms from a humorous anecdote to an inconvenience to something I might Google later and finally something I know I need to talk to my doctor about. I often wonder: Do I not have the words at all? Will they come back? Will I be okay or will I eventually lose my ability to work and function in society altogether? Continue reading

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Zinnia’s college adventures, year 3: A Florida public university is forcing us into conditions of unchecked pandemic exposure

Zinnia JonesI have been a student in the Florida community college and public university system since spring of 2019, and as of the fall 2021 semester it looks like just about everything that isn’t my own personal academic performance – including the educational system itself – has gone completely sideways. This is now the second summer where our state has been the global hotspot of the pandemic. During last year’s, I took summer semester off and spent a week in late June in an Orlando ICU with my wife as she was recovering from near-fatal strokes, then packed my fall schedule with whatever courses I could find that were available online. By this summer term, continuing to work toward my statistics degree required registering for classes that were only available in-person, and this has also been the case for this fall term. I am now attending fully in-person for the first time since spring 2019, this time at one of the largest universities in the country during a pandemic that is worse than ever and still worsening. Continue reading

Posted in COVID-19, Personal | Tagged | 1 Comment