After removing the news about a study on transgender youth from their website, Brown University received a lot of criticism.
The study was written by assistant professor Lisa Littman and published last month in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Plos One.
According to the study’s findings, gender dysphoria which takes place at puberty (as opposed to early childhood) could be due to influences from outside – online or peer pressure.
Gender dysphoria is a conflict between a person’s gender identity and the sex which was assigned at birth.
Politically Biased Or Opposed to The Facts
The study was criticized that its results might be politically biased or opposed to the youth’s identifying as transgender because the observations were made by parents.
According to the officials at Brown University, they removed the news article because they were concerned about the research method of the study.
School of Public Health’s dean at the university stated that they also 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.”
Littman stated that her research would have to continue to better understand the “rapid-onset gender dysphoria” in youth and its “implications and scope,” but added that she stands by the conclusions of the study.
Until 5 September, over 4,000 signatures were gathered in an online petition to support Littman’s research and encourage the university to resist “ideologically based attempts to squelch controversial research evidence.”
According to the authors of the petition, the study offers parental reports which are “important and much-needed preliminary information about a cohort of adolescents, mostly girls, who with no prior history of dysphoria, are requesting irreversible medical interventions.”
Many of the petition’s authors claimed to be parents that participated in the study and stated that they were not anti-transgender:
“We, the signatories to this letter, overwhelmingly support the rights of transgender people, but we want better diagnostic and mental health care for youth who suddenly demand serious medical interventions.”
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.