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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What happened, proxalutamide? New antiandrogen for COVID-19 is entangled in clinical data irregularities and human rights violations

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice.

Zinnia JonesFrom the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been interest in a possible relationship between sex hormones and likelihood of infection or severity of disease. Cis men were observed to be more likely to become severely ill than cis women, while the androgen receptor was hypothesized to play a role in the disease due to its effects on ACE2 and TMPRSS2, which are used by the SARS-CoV-2 virus to achieve entry into cells. This suggested the possibility of modifying sex hormone levels using treatment with antiandrogens or feminizing sex hormones like estradiol and progesterone to treat COVID-19 disease. Continue reading

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The fall, and fall, and fall of “rapid-onset gender dysphoria”: New study does not find evidence of a distinct “ROGD” population of gender-diverse youth

Zinnia JonesIn proposing a new condition of “rapid-onset gender dysphoria” (ROGD), Littman (2018) describes an allegedly distinct new cohort of youth presenting to gender clinics for assessment and transition treatment. According to Littman’s telling, these youth, mostly assigned female, have begun to experience what they believe to be gender dysphoria relatively recently – a few weeks or months before seeking treatment. However, these apparent symptoms are instead a misidentification of other conditions experienced by these actually-cis youth, such as depression, eating disorders, autism, social difficulties, or nearly anything else, and this misidentification is likely the result of influence by peer groups or online resources.

Littman’s study, claiming to be about trans or gender-questioning youth, surveyed only anonymous parents from three specifically anti-trans websites, rather than youth themselves or parents and children confirmed to be engaged with gender clinics. From these unconvincing beginnings, the “ROGD” claim has only continued to fall apart: though mental and behavioral health conditions and social and emotional difficulties may be very common among youth in the general population, it is still very uncommon for youth overall to report symptoms of gender dysphoria. One of the supposedly influential online resources cited in the study as misleading cis youth into believing they’re trans was actually a post from this website about a dissociative condition experienced unusually frequently by trans people. Most pertinent to the central ROGD claim, trans people, including trans kids, are typically aware of their gender for many years before making this known to others, meaning that only surveying their parents on the timeline of their gender identity development will systematically bias the results. Continue reading

Posted in Gender dysphoria, Hoaxes, Statistics and demographics, Trans youth, Transphobia and prejudice | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Recent report of potential fertility preservation in an early-transitioning trans girl: A new nuance, but no breakthrough yet

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice.

Zinnia JonesIn trans adolescents, puberty-blocking GnRH agonists to halt the progression of unwanted other-sexed puberty are ideally given at Tanner stage 2 or 3 before those changes can take place, although many youth still do not obtain blockers until Tanner stage 4 or 5 – in effect, transitioning as adults. The accepted wisdom in early transition treatment holds that if blockers are started at stages 2-3, the absence of natal sex hormones means that viable gametes will not develop, and continuation onto cross-sex hormone therapy without interruption means that gametes will never develop, making fertility preservation impossible (Hembree et al., 2017):

Treating early pubertal youth with GnRH analogs will temporarily impair spermatogenesis and oocyte maturation. Given that an increasing number of transgender youth want to preserve fertility potential, delaying or temporarily discontinuing GnRH analogs to promote gamete maturation is an option. This option is often not preferred, because mature sperm production is associated with later stages of puberty and with the significant development of secondary sex characteristics.

This poses difficulties for trans youth who may wish to have biological children in the future, and this obstacle has been misused by anti-trans advocates to assert that trans youth should therefore experience none of the known benefits of early transition with puberty blockers. However, this issue may not be completely intractable: two cases have been reported of adolescent trans boys, receiving puberty blockers at stage 2, undergoing successful ovarian stimulation and retrieving viable eggs with only a brief interruption before continuing onto testosterone. Continue reading

Posted in Biology of transition, Endocrinology, Fertility and reproduction, Trans youth, Transfeminine | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Trans Mammogram Gap: Large numbers of trans people aren’t receiving their recommended screenings for breast cancer. Are you?

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice.

Zinnia JonesRoutine screenings for breast cancer using regular mammograms have enabled the earlier detection of these cancers in cis women at a stage when they are often more easily treatable and less likely to have spread. This can reduce the need for more extensive and aggressive treatment, substantially improve their prognosis, increase the likelihood of being cured, and prevent deaths from breast cancer. But far fewer people are aware of the importance of mammograms for trans people, which trans people need mammograms, and when they should receive this vital screening.

Continue reading

Posted in Awareness building, Breast, Endocrinology, Health care, Oncology, Safety data, Surgery, Transfeminine, Transgender medicine, Transmasculine | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

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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