J Michael Bailey one of the foremost experts in the field had his published paper about Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria retracted. He’s written a rebuttal in The Free Press.
I am a professor of psychology at Northwestern University. I have been a professor for 34 years, and a researcher for 40. Over the decades, I have studied controversial topics—from IQ, to sexual orientation, to transsexualism (what we called transgenderism before 2015), to pedophilia. I have published well over 100 academic articles. I am best known for studying sexual orientation—from genetic influences, to childhood precursors of homosexuality, to laboratory-measured sexual arousal patterns.
But I have never had an article retracted. Until now.
On March 29, I published an article in the prestigious academic journal Archives of Sexual Behavior. Less than three months later, on June 14, it was retracted by Springer Nature Group, the giant academic publisher of Archives, for an alleged violation of its editorial policies.
Retraction of scientific articles is associated with well-deserved shame: plagiarism, making up data, or grave concerns about the scientific integrity of a study. But my article was not retracted for any shameful reason. It was retracted because it provided evidence for an idea that activists hate.
The retracted article, “Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria: Parent Reports on 1655 Possible Cases,” was coauthored with Suzanna Diaz, who I met in 2018 at a small meeting of scientists, journalists, and parents of children they believed had Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria (ROGD).
ROGD was first described in the literature in 2018 by the physician and researcher Lisa Littman. It is an explanation of the new phenomenon of adolescents, largely girls, with no history of gender dysphoria, suddenly declaring they want to transition to the opposite sex. It has been a highly contentious diagnosis, with some—and I am one—thinking it’s an important avenue for scientific inquiry, and others declaring it’s a false idea advocated by parents unable to accept they have a transgender child.
I believed that ROGD was a promising explanation of the explosion of gender dysphoria among adolescent girls because these young people do not have gender dysphoria as usually understood. Until recently, females treated for gender dysphoria were masculine-presenting girls who had hated being female since early childhood. By contrast, girls with ROGD are often conventionally feminine, but tend to have other social and emotional issues. The theory behind ROGD is that through social contagion from friends, social media, and even school, vulnerable girls are exposed to the idea that their normal adolescent angst is the result of an underlying transgender identity. These girls then suddenly declare that they are transgender. That is the rapid onset. After the declaration, the girls may desire—and receive—drastic medical interventions including mastectomies and testosterone injections.
There is ample evidence that in progressive communities, multiple girls from the same peer group are announcing they are trans almost simultaneously. There has been a sharp increase in this phenomenon across the industrialized West. A recent review from the UK, which keeps better records than America, showed a greater than tenfold increase in referrals of adolescent girls during just the past decade.
But there have been virtually no scientific data or studies on the subject.
Open Inquiry and Intellectual Freedom