Gender Dysphoria and Teenage Girls
If you are a parent, or grandparent of teenage girls, almost certainly, they are being exposed to gender dysphoria, or those who believe they have it. Let me say right up front, there is an actual condition recognized almost universally by health-care professionals, Christian or not, called Gender Dysphoria. It is “the strong, persistent feelings of identification with another gender and discomfort with one’s own biological gender and sex.” So, I don’t want to minimize, or trivialize those who suffer from this very traumatic condition. It’s real.
And also, just to be clear, gender dysphoria is not the same as being gay, or lesbian. Gays and lesbians are attracted to someone of their same sex. Transgender people identify mentally and sexually as someone different than their biological sex. In other words, if they are biologically male, they think of themselves as female and don’t feel comfortable in a male body. It’s more nuanced than that, but that’s the general idea.
However, until the last 6-8 years, this condition was relatively rare, with most researchers pegging it at .5-1.0% of the population. However, in the last half dozen years, there has been an explosion of cases, primarily in teenage girls. In Britain, there has been a 4,400% increase in reported cases! In some school districts in the U.S. nearly 30% of teenagers, mostly girls, self identify as being neither male, or female, but something else. What is going on?
This new phenomena has been dubbed Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria. (ROGD) It is these feelings of sexual discomfort appearing more or less suddenly and apparently out of the blue. Is ROGD for real? In 2018, Lisa Littman MD, and a researcher at Brown University conducted a study of 256 parents and children who claim to have not grown up with gender dysphoria, but all of a sudden, now 80% of them have it, or think they do.
Dr. Littman became convinced that the vast majority of these girls were influenced by friends, popular musicians, pop culture and online communities and did not in fact have classical gender dysphoria. The Trans community went crazy and Brown pulled the study as a result. However, many noted psychiatrists and psychologists came to her defense in an article the Psychology Today, March 29, 2019. They did so because they too were seeing a dramatic and inexplicable increase to cases of gender dysphoria in their offices.
Here’s why this is important to you as Christian parents and grandparents. Being trans, or bi-sexual is cool today. I'm almost certain your children, or one of their friends believe they are trans or bisexual. I’d be shocked if your teenagers didn’t know several students with gender dysphoria. Ten years ago, I doubt most teens would know any! Besides the danger posed by the pressure you might get from your teens to transition, the biggest danger long term is that it plants doubt in their minds that God created, only male and female.
Please hear me again say, I’ve met with a number of actual transgender people who have incredible internal conflicts and have had them most, if not all their lives. According to the Bible they are still male or female, but for whatever reason, mentally and emotionally they “do not fit in their bodies” as they say. I’ve cried with them. This is a very unwanted mental condition for these dear people and most have begged God for years to take away. So I’m not dismissing, or minimizing the real cases. But this major study by Johns Hopkins University, determined that roughly 80% of all truly transgender people, mentally realign to the biological gender by age 28, so they have warned the medical community against sex change surgery or therapy anytime before that age.
If your child or grandchild self-identifies as trans, please get good godly counseling before you decide to do anything with hormones and resist anything medically. Many who did, have grown out of it and deeply regret their decision. Dr. Preston Sprinkle just released a book giving a biblical perspective on transgender and bi-sexual questions entitled, Embodied. You will want to read this important book. Here’s a quote from this book, “Humans differ in how they are male and female, but this doesn’t mean sex categories exist in addition to male and female.”
One more great resource, World Magazine published a great article on this phenomena entitled, Pressure to Conform.
You may think these conversations are a waste of time. However, if you are serious about being the thought leader in your family, this is an issue that will shape your family for decades in ways we cant imagine. Please get ahead of the curve, now and talk to your kids.