Earlier this week, Brown University published a news story about a controversial study conducted by a professor from the university that suggested in its findings that social media may be influencing some teens to identify as transgender.
Following the publication of the article, numerous transgender activists spoke out against the study on the grounds that it could be used to discredit attempts to support those who identify as transgender, which is something that’s been increasingly accepted by many liberals.
Unfortunately, though, rather than defend their own professor, the university, quite shockingly, let diversity beat truth and promptly took down their news article about the controversial study that had simply tried to highlight a potential fact about some in the “trans” community.
Unsurprisingly, after apparently removing the article about the academic study, which attempted to show the facts, because some consider the truth to be unpalatable to the mentally ill, they were then promptly met with a massive amount of backlash from others in the academic community.
In the study, its author Lisa Littman, who is an assistant professor of behavioral sciences at the university, analyzed 256 surveys that had been distributed to three different websites and completed by parents of children who experienced “rapid-onset gender dysphoria.”
Upon doing so, Littman found that 21% of parents reported that one or more of their child’s friends began identifying as transgender around the same time, 20% reported that their child had increased their social media use around the same time that they purportedly began experiencing symptoms of gender dysphoria, and 45% reported that both had had actually happened.
Additionally, she also found that in nearly one-third of the cases, more than half of the people in the friendship circles of children who supposedly experienced rapid-onset gender dysphoria had also begun identifying as transgender.
“Of the parents who provided information about their child’s friendship group, about a third responded that more than half of the kids in the friendship group became transgender-identified,” explained Littman in the study.
“A group with 50 percent of its members becoming transgender-identified represents a rate that is more 70 times the expected prevalence for young adults,” she added in an attempt to highlight just how unusual the phenomena truly is.
Moreover, Littman also found that over 62% of the teens had been previously diagnosed with at least one neurodevelopmental disability or mental health disorder and 48% reportedly experienced a stressful or traumatic event, such as being sexually assaulted, bullied, or having their parents get divorced, prior to experiencing the initial symptoms of gender dysphoria.
In addition to this data, Littman also put forward two hypotheses about the findings in her study. Specifically, she speculated that “social contagion” may be a “key determinant of rapid-onset gender dysphoria” and that rapid-onset gender dysphoria may be a maladaptive coping mechanism that some teens are using similar to drinking alcohol, doing drugs, or cutting.
Although many would agree that the findings in Littman’s study are absolutely fascinating and require further study, it also left a multitude of transgender activists utterly outraged.
Many activists, for example, like Susie Green, who is the CEO of an LGBTQ nonprofit group in the United Kingdom (UK) known as “Mermaids,” claimed that the study was “completely flawed” because the websites where the surveys were issued were allegedly biased.
“The places they went to get these responses were very much anti-trans websites. They haven’t talked to the young people themselves and the parents are sourced from gender-critical websites, who do not believe that trans children exist, who think that children should be forced to accept their birth gender, no matter how much damage that causes,” argued Green while speaking about the study.
“As a colleague, a clinician who works in this field has stated, it’s like recruiting from a white supremacist website to demonstrate that black people are an inferior race,” added the trans activist.
In response to Green’s criticism, Stephanie Davies-Arai, who is the founder of Transgender Trend, which was one of the websites reportedly used by Littman, stated, “we are a left-leaning group of parents who would support their children no matter what the outcome.”
Despite this, Brown University decided to cave to the subsequent outrage and promptly removed the news article from their website.
“Independent of the University’s removal of the article because of concerns about research methodology, the School of Public Health has heard from Brown community members expressing concerns that the conclusions of the study could be used to discredit efforts to support transgender youth and invalidate the perspectives of members of the transgender community,” explained the university in a statement about their decision.
Shortly after taking down the article, the officials at the university were then understandably criticized by countless others who suggested that they were setting a dangerous precedent.
Journalist Jesse Singal, for instance, tweeted, “the honesty here is noteworthy. Researchers can publish findings that support the ‘born this way’ storyline (which plenty of trans people themselves disagree with) all day long with no problems. Anything else will be careful picked apart for signs of ‘harmfulness.’”
In a follow-up tweet, he added, “‘[T]he School… has heard from community members expressing concerns that the conclusions could be used to discredit efforts to support Y and invalidate the perspectives of Z’ could be used as justification to discredit just about any interesting social science study.”
“Raising questions about study methodology is normal. Pulling down articles about scientific studies thanks to public pressure isn’t,” asserted Shapiro in an article published on his own website.
To clarify, he added, “it’s simply an attempt to shut down discussion about a critical issue of public importance in order to avoid a narrative that the political Left doesn’t want: a narrative that suggests that the transgender movement might actually be having an impact on the behavior of people who don’t actually suffer from childhood gender dysphoria, associating costs with society’s radical embrace of a completely unscientific set of ideas regarding sex and gender.”
Alarmingly, Littman isn’t the only person to recently come under attack for what they’ve said about transgender youth. Earlier this year, numerous trans activists protested a speaking event featuring Dr. Michelle Cretella, who is the president of the American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds), because he reportedly believes that gender transition therapy is a form of child abuse.
Without a doubt, many would agree that removing news articles about studies because some object to the findings is wholly unacceptable. Hopefully, the officials at Brown University will eventually come to recognize this and re-publish their article about Littman’s study.