Tony Perkins of Family Research Council is a hate group leader. Tony Perkins is also full of crap. Whether he is a cynic or a true believer is immaterial. Perkins is promoting hogwash to advance a religious agenda; one that seems to be based on greed and vanity. Sunday’s topic is Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria or ROGD.

Perkins writes: Peer Pressure Gender Perils:

Parents used to worry about “peer pressure” encouraging their kids to experiment with alcohol or drugs, or to have sex. Now, they have to worry that it may encourage their kids (especially daughters) to change sex altogether.

I am confident — to the point of certainty — that ROGD does not exist.

The source of ROGD is a young assistant professor at Brown named Lisa Littman. Her sample sources were parents from anonymous trans denial sites. I have learned a sad and frustration lesson. Once something is published, no matter how moronic, it is almost impossible to get it unpublished. In this case the outlet, PLOS-One, is not an academic journal, it is not highly respected and its peer review is something less than robust.

Gender dysphoria produces various degrees of discomfort, from unease to absolute misery and most young people with gender dysphoria do not transition. And by the way, Mr. Perkins, being transgender does not change someone’s sex as you claim. It aligns their presentation to their gender which is the opposite of their natal sex.

The first thing that a parent is going to do — and should do — is to get counseling for themselves and their child from a competent psychiatrist. The mythology that conservative Christians love to spread is that psychiatrists whose practice includes treating gender dysphoria will influence the child to become transgender. It is utterly false and it is spread in an attempt to get parents to consult with “Christian” therapists in the hope that those crackpots can offer some sort of discredited reparative therapy which is neither safe nor effective

Gender dysphoria in a child can be objectively diagnosed if someone knows what they are doing. Nevertheless only those who are most severely affected are going to transition. The notion that a junior high girl is going to be influenced to become a trans boy because it is fashionable is ludicrous to the point of being preposterous. I would sooner believe that a girl was influenced by visitors from the 24th century.

Perkins continues with obvious delight. Tony Perkins is a con artist. He is crafty but he is not very smart:

If you are a parent of a child or teenager, you owe it to yourself to read World magazine’s latest cover story, which addresses the relatively new but expanding phenomenon of “rapid-onset gender dysphoria,” abbreviated “ROGD.”

Advocates for the LGBT movement have long argued that you can diagnose “gender dysphoria” in children who are “consistent, insistent, and persistent” in expressing a discomfort with their birth sex from an early age. Just like we are (wrongly) told about people who identify as homosexual, people who identify as transgender are born that way, we’ve been assured.

World Magazine is an evangelical Christian outlet. In fact, to the best of my knowledge, no academic has repeated Lisa Littman’s findings. Don’t you just know that those ubiquitous LGBT advocates get the blame? A diagnosis of gender dysphoria is very. Children with gender dysphoria are, in fact, persistent about their gender. That does not mean that children who are so have gender dysphoria.

“Born that way” is a close cousin to the gay gene. It is irrelevant Christian distraction. What we do know, to a scientific certainty, is that no one chooses to be gay and no one chooses their gender identity. Were it a choice there would not be many LGBT people. Perkins’ purpose is to convince people that LGBT leaders lie all the time and cannot be trusted. If only he extended the same scrutiny to his exploiter, Donald Trump.

Human sexuality is formed between two and four years of age and it is not subject to influence as evidenced by the number of conservative Christian leaders with gay children. The crackpottery of reparative therapy is based on blaming parents for causing their children to be LGBT and that is what needs to be “repaired.” Nor, by the way, is there any evidence that reparative therapy works.

Adding more turds to the pile:

Now, however, social trends are evolving so rapidly that even the pseudo-scientists of the sexual revolution are having a hard time keeping up. Children (especially girls) who have successfully navigated childhood without a hint of gender confusion are suddenly, shortly after hitting puberty, declaring that they are the opposite sex (or “genderqueer,” or “agender,” or one of dozens of other “gender identities”).

No clinician uses the term “gender confusion.” That is evangelical-speak for something that they disapprove of because of nothing more than superstition. Moreover, Littman was unable to quantify anything. So Perkins’ use of the word “children” is without empirical support.

“What’s going on?” parents ask. “Is this a biological issue?” If it were, we wouldn’t expect such declarations to suddenly emerge from a half a dozen girls in one friend group at the same time. And we wouldn’t expect them to use almost the exact same language in making such declarations.

If people are using similar language (something Littman was informed of second hand) it is because Littman recruited people (whom she did not interview) from denial communities. It is those parents in denial who speak with common terms.

Hoisted by his own petard:

Last summer, Dr. Lisa Littman of Brown University published a study based on interviews with over 200 parents of children who had experienced “rapid-onset gender dysphoria.” Most of the parents were not social conservatives (85% supported allowing legal civil marriages for same-sex couples), but they were taken aback by what happened to their children.

Parents were completely anonymous and they completed online forms. The key to a meaningful study would be to interview the children which Littman did not do. These were parents who were desperately trying to have cisgender children, regardless of the condition of the child. Totally unknown is the diversity of therapy that the parents and their children were involved in and who provided it, with what qualifications.

Again, gender dysphoria is present with a huge range of severity. These children would have a large range of symptoms and discomforts which went unexplored.

BS declares itself with contradictions:

Two things were common to the parental accounts — neither of which had anything to do with being “born that way.” There was a strong element of “social contagion” at work; and the young people were being coached by websites as to how to demand — and get — puberty-blocking or cross-sex hormones and even, for some, elective double mastectomies. And in 2019, such teens are not inviting persecution to be “true to themselves” — 60 percent of parents thought coming out as transgender increased their child’s popularity at school. “Being trans is a gold star in the eyes of other teens,” wrote one.

Perkins previously wrote that these experiences began “shortly after hitting puberty.” Why, then, would any of them seek puberty blockers. Furthermore, the way perkins writes this nonsense, he is claiming that puberty blockers are hormones. They are not. They are, in fact, hormone blockers. There are no statistics on what any of these supposed kids wanted and no verification since it all came from parents with an agenda. These were recruited from anonymous sites. Littman has no idea what she got or, for that matter, how many driven people claimed to be several people (as is often the case with anonymous surveys).

FRC’s Cathy Ruse and Peter Sprigg have previously written about the Littman study, and the transgender backlash it provoked. It now seems clear that among the values parents need to instill in children from an early age is an appreciation for how God made them male or female. And limiting children’s time on the internet and social media is not just to make sure they get their homework done.

Neither Cathy Ruse nor Peter Sprigg are qualified. Neither am I but I consulted with leading experts to understand this issue and I have no agenda. If children could be influenced to be dysphoric then I would have no reason not to write about it. Beliefs in God are not going to alter a medical condition one way or the other.

I prefer to refrain from assigning motives to the actions of others. I am not even sure why I do many of the things that I do. Perkins, it seems, is trying to discredit the very existence of transgender teens and that could present peril for them if enough people are baffled by his bullshit. Out of greed, Tony Perkins plays a very dangerous game that has severe consequences on the lives of others.

It’s a safe bet that Perkins has never spoken with a trans teen or their parents. He prefers blissful ignorance.


Speaking about not knowing why I do some of the things that I do, I find that a qualify for a medical marijuana card. I haven’t smoked weed in decades. The thought of this Slowly Boiled Frog with the munchies in Whole Foods is really quite amusing.

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.