Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters. Abigail Shrier, Regnery Publishing, 227pp, £28.99, ISBN 978-1684510313
The Family Education Trust writes : This harrowing book deals with the effects of transgenderism on adolescent girls. In researching for the book, the author conducted nearly 200 hundred interviews and spoke to nearly 50 families of adolescents. The result is a thorough and comprehensive study of the transgender phenomenon covering multiple areas including the teenage mental health crisis, the effect on parents, the role of social media, transgenderism in education and health care and the damaging effects of puberty blockers, testosterone and the surgery associated with transition.
One of the most striking features highlighted by Shrier is how recently and suddenly the transgender phenomenon has taken root among girls. Until 2012 gender dysphoria overwhelmingly affected males and no scientific literature existed on dysphoria among adolescent girls.
Today however it is primarily these girls who are seeking treatment for dysphoria. Shrier writes:
Between 2016 and 2017 the number of gender surgeries for natal females in the United States quadrupled, with biological women suddenly accounting for 70% of all gender surgeries. In 2018, the UK reported a 4,400 percent rise over the previous decade in teenage girls seeking gender treatments.
Shrier links this with a general teenage mental health crisis. Today’s teens are lonelier than any previous generation, spending more time online and less with friends. They have record levels of anxiety and depression. Says Shrier:
Between 2009 and 2017, the number of high schoolers who contemplated suicide increased 25 percent. The number of teens diagnosed with clinical depression grew 37 percent between 2005 and 2014. And the worst hit—experiencing depression at a rate three times that of boys— were teenage girls.
95% of today’s teenagers possess an iPhone which for many is a substitute friend. Many effectively live on their iPhones and maintain a social media persona that is highly susceptible to peer pressure. Transgenderism has become a craze with 2% of American high school students identifying as transgender according to a 2017 survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Shrier draws on the research of Dr Lisa Littman of Brown University to paint a revealing picture of transidentifying young people. Dr Littman collected data from 256 parents whose children had never experienced gender dysphoria in childhood, but suddenly identified as transgender in adolescence. Her survey discovered that:
- Over 80% of the adolescents were natal females with a mean age of 16.
- Almost a third of the adolescents did not seem at all gender dysphoric, according to parents, prior to the adolescents’ announcement of being trans.
- A majority had one or more psychiatric diagnosis and almost half were engaging in self-harm prior to the onset of the gender dysphoria.
- Nearly 70% of the teenagers belonged to a peer group in which at least one friend had also come out as transgender. In some groups, the majority of the friends had done so.
- Over 65% of teens increased their social media use and time spent online immediately prior to their announcement of transgender identity.
- Over 60% of parents said the trans announcement brought their child a popularity boost.
- Over 88% of parents surveyed reported being supportive of transgender rights.
- Fewer than 13% of parents believed that their adolescents’ mental health had improved after
- Over 47% reported that mental health had worsened.
Shrier stresses the harmful impact of the internet in influencing young people’s choices. She chronicles the work of online trans ‘influencers’ who encourage young girls on their
One of the foremost influencers is the YouTuber, Chase Ross, a female-to-male trans guru whose channel has had over 10 million views and has more than 166,000 subscribers. Ross has taken testosterone for more than a decade and has developed a beard though she is still struggling with her period. Her basic message is that being trans is innate and permanent. Ross encourages girls to experiment. Girls are encouraged to wear breast binders. Ross will send young girls breast binders at a friend’s address if their parents disapprove. The trans influencers are not above telling children to cut off their parents if they are insufficiently supportive of the new identity.
The influencers diagnose vague symptoms which they claim may be indications of a person being trans. These include ‘feeling different, not really fitting in…not feeling feminine or masculine enough…feeling uncomfortable in your body.’
Most disturbing is the influencers’ willingness to encourage experimentation with hormones and testosterone. One influencer states: You don’t need to be a hundred percent sure you’re trans to try hormones…You can try hormones for three months. After three months there starts to be permanent effects, but until around then you can just try hormones and see how you feel. It’s great, it’s that easy.
Shrier writes of the influencers:
Many of them peddle misinformation, outright medical falsehoods, and just bad advice. They extol the glories of testosterone as if it were a protein shake, not a Schedule III controlled substance. They enthuse over double mastectomies as if they were of no more significance than a haircut….They coach you to lie to doctors by inventing a history of childhood dysphoria or omitting your own mental health history.
One of the most troubling parts of this book describes the damage done to girls’ bodies by puberty blockers and testosterone. She writes:
Suppression of normal bone density development and greater risk of osteoporosis, loss of sexual function, interference with brain development, and possibly suppressing peak IQ are all risks puberty blockers carry…these risks increase dramatically if an adolescent moves straight from puberty blockers to cross-sex hormones…infertility is almost guaranteed.
If a biological girl regrets her decision and stops taking testosterone, her extra body and facial hair will likely remain, as will her…deepened voice, and possibly even the masculinization of her facial features…eliminating testosterone doesn’t whisk an adolescent back to where she started …The long term effects include heightened rates of diabetes, stroke, blood clots, cancer, and….heart disease…mortality risk rises.
Shrier also describes some of the horrors that can result from gender surgery. Reading this requires a strong stomach.
This is a well-researched, often moving and deeply disturbing book full of heart-rending personal stories that effectively illustrate the damage done to individuals, families and society by the transgender agenda. If you are a parent this book will make you want to put strong limits on your child’s internet use and exercise extra-caution over what your child may be being exposed to by teachers, doctors, counsellors etc. It also contains useful advice for parents on how to protect their daughters from exposure to the transgender nightmare.