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

How did Lisa Littman choose my “That was dysphoria” article for inclusion in her rapid onset gender dysphoria study?

Zinnia JonesFinding out that my 2013 article “‘That was dysphoria?’ 8 signs and symptoms of indirect gender dysphoria” was cited in Lisa Littman’s “rapid onset gender dysphoria” study came as a surprise to me last year – not only because I didn’t expect to become personally implicated in what is by all appearances a pseudodiagnosis and a hoax, but because someone working as a doctor, assistant professor of social and behavioral science, and researcher in the area of gender dysphoria somehow still failed to recognize depersonalization disorder as a distinct syndrome (and one which occurs at elevated rates in untreated gender dysphoria) rather than “vague and nonspecific symptoms called signs of GD” as she described it. Such an oversight of an entire psychiatric condition is nothing short of glaring, and Littman herself later backed away somewhat from her characterization of my work on depersonalization as being about only “vague” symptoms.

But maybe I shouldn’t have been so surprised. It turns out that this same misrepresentation and ignorance of depersonalization in gender dysphoria had a history in the communities associated with Littman’s study and the “ROGD” hoax – including several specific references to my 2013 article. Continue reading

Posted in Depersonalization, Gender dysphoria, Hoaxes, Psychology and psychiatry, Trans youth, Transphobia and prejudice | Tagged | Leave a comment

Ongoing media misrepresentation of early-onset and late-onset gender dysphoria

Alongside the common misconception that children lack the capacity to understand or recognize that their gender doesn’t align with their assigned sex, there now proliferates the notion that only those trans people who were aware of their gender identity as young children are the ones who are “truly” trans. I’ve previously noted this error in my dissection of Debra Soh’s credulous and incompetent reporting for Quillette on the “rapid onset gender dysphoria” hoax condition. While Soh claimed that the youth in the ROGD study “don’t meet any of the diagnostic criteria for gender dysphoria” (as observed only via secondhand parental reports submitted anonymously online), the study in fact stated that none of these youth “would have met diagnostic criteria for gender dysphoria in childhood”, but that more than 80% of them did meet the diagnostic criteria for adolescent and adult gender dysphoria.

This month, Federalist writer Abigail Shrier repeated the same error in an uncritical regurgitation of ROGD myths for the Wall Street Journal’s opinion page. (This is not the WSJ’s first fumble in covering the “rapid onset gender dysphoria” hoax.) Shrier writes: Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Don’t Forget

By Penny Robo

Penny RoboStay optimistic. I know that’s one of the hardest things to do for anyone that makes it their business to be informed about the state of the world but to not do so is to lose sight of the very reason they’re doing this all for.

We’ve got our own light, not needing to be gifted by or validated by anyone but ourselves. The insights granted by our minds, the most complex calculator known in nature, lets us see patterns and recognize cause and effect like no other creature we’ve ever encountered, and we can use that to make this world a better place.

The universe doesn’t see good or bad, those are human concepts, human constructs, and that origin means that there can be no absolute definition. But we can agree on much. There’s too much unity in many of the basics of our definitions, across cultures separated by thousands of years, split before writing was even invented, to believe that the wiring of the human brain isn’t predisposed toward largely unanimous beliefs in what constitutes generosity or cruelty… that we generally shared those concepts before encountering one another gives credence to that. Continue reading

Posted in Personal | 1 Comment

Confusing Communities

By Penny Robo

Penny RoboHumans aren’t a uniform creature. We experience vastly different things. We’re fueled by those experiences and it’s no matter whether all those differences in our upbringing and everyday lives are brought about by individual circumstance or society at large, those differences are still there, affecting our outlook and morality, how we communicate verbally or express ourselves visually, what we believe to be important or even what we believe exists.

These differences shape us as individuals, but the similarities create our communities. Continue reading

Posted in Personal | Leave a comment

Hormones Can Be Hard

By Penny Robo

Penny RoboThe fog of dysphoria masks much of ourselves from even ourselves, with feelings and thoughts deadened and flattened as though our own internal monologue is being heard through ear muffs. And we generally spend so much of our lives experiencing the world filtered that way that when it’s gone we’re not sure how to handle it.

Especially for those of us that learned to substitute certain emotions for ones more readily accessible in our dysphoric states. For some, anger could be felt more easily than sadness, for others, inexplicable guilt could be the go-to emotion in lieu of disappointment. It might not make sense to those on the outside, but for us in that state, where your emotions are hindered in ways our language is ill-equipped to describe, it feels a lot like trying to paint a sunrise with sidewalk chalk. In one color.

So when you find another color, even if it’s neon green, you’re gonna latch onto it as if it were a full artist’s palette. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment