By Jonathon Van Maren
Just over a week ago, I wrote that Dr. Lisa Littman of Brown University may well have risked her academic career by publishing a bombshell study titled “Trans teenagers have become an experiment,” examining the dangers of transgender ideology for children and teenagers. Predictably, trans activists promptly went on the offensive, accusing Dr. Littman of academic misconduct, transphobia, and a slew of other transgressions. Despite the fact that the peer-reviewed study had already been published and widely covered, they demand that her university make it disappear. It worked, and Brown University buckled. From FOX News:
Brown University has come under fire after censoring its own study on transgender youth, which found that social media and friends can influence teenagers to change their gender identity. The university removed an article about the study from its website five days after it was published, following community complaints that the research was transphobic, the Daily Wire first reported.
In addition, the findings “might invalidate the perspectives of members of the transgender community,” a university dean wrote. The dean insisted, however, that it was still committed to “academic freedom,” noting that all studies should be “debated vigorously.” The study examined what it called “rapid-onset gender dysphoria,” when a teen suddenly begins identifying as transgender despite never previously never questioning their identity.The transition often happens after teens use social media and watch online videos about transitioning to another gender.
“In on-line forums, parents have been reporting that their children are experiencing what is described here as ‘rapid-onset gender dysphoria,’ appearing for the first time during puberty or even after its completion,” said Lisa Littman, an assistant professor in behavioral sciences at Brown and author of the study.“The onset of gender dysphoria seemed to occur in the context of belonging to a peer group where one, multiple, or even all of the friends have become gender dysphoric and transgender-identified during the same timeframe.”
Understandably, the transgender community consider these findings to be very inconvenient to their agenda—and in a stunningly successful campaign, they successfully managed to bully a university into suppressing a published study. The university has essentially admitted that it was pressure from the trans community that led to their repudiation of Dr. Littman’s work:
In a statement posted online, Bess Marcus, dean of Brown’s School of Public Health, said the university “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.”
“The University and School have always affirmed the importance of academic freedom and the value of rigorous debate informed by research,” Marcus continued, noting that all studies “should be debated vigorously.”
The university did not say how the study was to be debated after they had removed it from their website, and of course, the message that their surrender has sent loud and clear is that there can be no debate on transgenderism. Despite the fact that Dr. Littman exposed the very real danger that very real children are in as a direct result of their consistent exposure to trans ideology, Brown University was willing to toss her under the bus due to the vitriolic attacks of a tiny interest group. Other academics will be far more reticent to pick up where Dr. Littman left off now that the trans activists have a researcher’s head hoisted on their bloody pike. And that’s a crying shame.
For anyone interested, my book on The Culture War, which analyzes the journey our culture has taken from the way it was to the way it is and examines the Sexual Revolution, hook-up culture, the rise of the porn plague, abortion, commodity culture, euthanasia, and the gay rights movement, is available for sale here.