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.

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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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The Gender Analysis word of the year is: resentment

Zinnia JonesWhen I think about the concept of resentment, I primarily think about it in the context of relationships: causes for anger or offense that aren’t voiced aloud and handled productively, but left unaddressed, piling up into an accumulation that ruptures, poisons, slowly forces a wedge between what should be a bond. Nor is it a transient matter – it is anger that comes with a supply chain, anger that never has a chance to fade or go out, anger stoked and fed from a coal hopper. Resentment, without remediation and without a moment to cool, is the best word I can find to describe how I feel about the circumstances of my 2020. Continue reading

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2020’s hard lessons in public health pessimism

Zinnia JonesI was wrong.

For the better part of a decade, my approach to communicating transgender medicine and science to the public has been premised on certain unexamined lay assumptions about what this wider audience struggles with and what they require to develop a useful understanding of these topics. For instance, when explaining the basis for the usage of puberty blockers in treating trans adolescents, I assumed that common misunderstandings of and opposition to this treatment stemmed from an unfamiliarity with its rationale and benefits, and that all that was needed was access to the right set of facts. I also assumed that prejudiced hostility toward trans people, and rejection of us as well as the facts that come to bear on our ability to live our lives, was primarily a matter of a lack of personal contact and familiarity, and that this stance would soften if a friend or loved one was trans – or if they at least had some exposure to our personal narratives and experiences.

Essentially, I believed that a lack of support for trans people was something of a special case, the result of a lack of specialized knowledge on a somewhat obscure topic along with bias against a minority that’s long been portrayed as incomprehensible at best and malign at worst. This year has provided the opportunity to test my assumptions on how the public engages with and acts on knowledge about medical topics. I realized I had been telling myself that the world would be more understanding and accepting of trans people if certain conditions were different and pushed to an extreme: If gender dysphoria affected almost everyone around us, if the consequences were more vivid and immediate than abstract statistics on increased likelihood of depression and suicidality, if everyone had skin in this game… obviously they’d manage to figure out, pretty quickly and out of sheer necessity, that gender dysphoria is real and serious and there are known effective approaches to it.

Right? Continue reading

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Lesbocalypse Now: Elliot Page took nothing from you

Zinnia Jones“Where have all the lesbians gone?” This is the assertion recently made by a spate of anti-trans commentators in the wake of Elliot Page’s coming out as a nonbinary trans man: that the number of cisgender lesbians is diminishing, being siphoned away as more trans men come out and transition. Each adds their own repellent flavor to the mix:

  • Andrew Sullivan, asserting that “so many” lesbians “are now becoming men”, appears to believe that this population of women serves as role models characterized by an unusual capacity for commitment and aversion to hedonism, with their proper role being to care for gay men in times of sickness (apparently even lesbianism is no escape from having to perform labor for men).
  • Katie Herzog, who previously described being a lesbian as “boring” in contrast to queer-identified people who literally drink blood, claims that “lesbian as a category itself” is “disappearing”, quotes a student who has only been able to confirm the existence of five lesbians in North America (“I have one other lesbian friend, and together we have collected reports of five other lesbians between the U.S. and Canada, of which three are in our generation”), and speculates that transitioning is “a fad, a form of social contagion”.
  • Chadwick Moore, who feels that being nonbinary is a sign of immaturity and offers his opinion that it is improper for men to be seen crying, asserts that “Lesbian culture is going extinct and Page is only the most recent death knell”, and that transgender existence in general “is a massive and sinister gay conversion therapy program”.
  • And the founders of the LGB Alliance, having already abandoned all shame with a transparently childish name reminiscent of the No Homers Club, claimed: “Is lesbianism going to become extinct? Yes. It’s deeply uncool. At school, in university, it is so uncommon, it is the bottom of the heap. Becoming trans is now considered the brave option.”

All of these missives give the appearance of discussing a real phenomenon and exploring its causes and its implications, in the same manner as one might write about melting permafrost or the disappearing middle class. But conspicuously absent in each piece is anything to support the foundational claim that this is happening at all. Before asking “where have all the lesbians gone?”, it seems none of these writers bothered to ask: Have all the lesbians gone? Continue reading

Posted in Hoaxes, Media, Sexuality, Statistics and demographics, Transmasculine, Transphobia and prejudice | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Notes on my first two years at college as an adult learner

Zinnia JonesI’ve been posting occasional updates on my experiences since starting college in January of 2019, and as I’ll have attended for two years this December, another update is in order. After four semesters at the community college, I transferred this year to the nearby state university from which my wife and fellow contributor Heather graduated a few years ago. I’ve made the dean’s list in all previous semesters and expect to do so this semester as well, and I anticipate receiving my bachelor’s in statistics some time in 2022. Continue reading

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Many trans men on HRT may not show testosterone levels in the “target range” – and that can be okay

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

Zinnia JonesBlood tests and monitoring are a standard component of prescribed feminizing or masculinizing hormone therapy, with these tests typically including measurements of testosterone levels and estrogen levels taken every three months in the first year and once yearly after this (Hembree et al., 2017). These measurements are intended to help adjust dosing so that trans women achieve estrogen and testosterone levels within a typical female range, and trans men achieve levels within a typical male range. But while the concept of this is straightforward, in practice there are still questions about how best to carry this out: What are the actual ranges that should be aimed for? And how much does it matter, in terms of the effectiveness of treatment, whether those ranges are attained? Continue reading

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