By Sara Beth Johnson

                On Bill’s program Realtime on HBO, the host went off the rails claiming that kids were rapidly deciding that they were trans.  While gender dysphoria is extremely rare, the social world we live in has given voice to share stories, but in order to transition to the opposite gender, there would be gender dysphoria symptoms the child would experience well before or during puberty.  For some, myself included, symptoms start at 4 or 5 years old.

                After doing my own research, I found the article by Lisa Littman who did a biased study on the prevalence of Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria.   Not only was her method of data gathering wrong, but the study also assumed that 80% of teen girls believed that they were supposed to be boys.  Littman’s study has never been peer reviewed.  Studies aren’t normally cited when they are not peer reviewed.  If ROGD becomes diagnosable, there should be other studies that can verify Littman’s claims.  Published data states that there are a slightly higher number of trans-women than trans-men in the United States.

                Some psychologists believe and defend the study by Littman, but they are using data about other diagnosable brain disorders such as depression in the context of other brain disorders that have been experienced collectively by children with not fully developed brains, but this is a new area that should be studied.

                Bill is wrong to use Littman’s study as an example of a rising number of transgender people.  GD is still rare and any increase in numbers is that people feel it’s safe to come out.

Sara Beth Johnson is pursuing a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health and Counseling.