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My guest today is Abigail Schreier and she is the author of Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters.
Um, this is all about teenage girls that had shown no signs whatsoever of gender dysphoria. But now in shocking numbers are transitioning. And through her research and talking to experts in and people that have had this issue, she has come to some pretty shocking conclusions. And I found it - uh - I found it scary and very interesting at the same time.
So please welcome Abigail Schreyer.
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The Joe Rogan Experience
Train by day, Joe Rogan Podcast by night, all day!
Hello, Abigail. How are you?
I'm doing great. How are you?
Thanks for doing this. Appreciate it.
Thanks so much for having me on.
Irreversible damage: The transgender craze seducing our daughters. Boy, that's a hot button subject, right? That is a this is a minefield.
It shouldn't be though.
It really shouldn't be.
No, it shouldn't be, but - so, I think we should probably establish some things like upfront.
Right. Um, some people surely as adults are transgender.
Of course. I interviewed a lot of them.
And we fully support that.
I have friends who who fall into that category.
Your concern is about very young children.
That - teenage girls has nothing to do with adults who are transgender. OK, many of whom are amazing people. They, you know, went through mental health, you know, therapy. And they decided they made those decisions. They suffered with discomfort in their bodies from the time they were young. And as adults, they made the decision to transition. Fully support them, has nothing to do with my book.
What di - what what - was the motivation to write this book, and if it's about teenagers, why is there a very young girl on the cover?
- Well, ih ...
This is like - the cover, it looks like a ...
Four year old.
Right, it does. I mean, obviously I didn't do cover, but I think I think the cover is very good. Because I think is supposed to evoke what we've lost in our a whole generation. Well, yeah, she's ...
What is that?
I assume her uterus infertility is what's ..
It looks like a pillow.
Yeah, that's what that's what happens.
I mean, I, I got nvolved in this - this wasn't a personal issue for me. In fact, it was an issue, originally I thought I was going to avoid. A reader wrote to me - I write most often for the Wall Street Journal - and a reader wrote to me and she said, listen, I've tried to get every mainstream journalist to pick this up. No one will touch it. But my daughter got caught up in this. All of a sudden she went off to college all of a sudden with her friend.
She had a lot of mental health issues, anxiety, depression, and all of a sudden with her group of friends, they all decided they're trans. And she went on hormones. And this is happening to parents all across the country. Teenage girls all of a sudden deciding with their friend that they're trans, wanting surgeries and hormones and getting them. And at first I thought, I don't need this. And so I tried to get another journalist to take it up.
A real investigative reporter. I'm not I'm an I'm an opinion journalist usually, you know, that's what I've done.
And I couldn't get someone to take it up.
Because it's such a minefield. Because ...
Yeah, because it's a minefield. Because for some reason, the activists who are do not representative of transgender adults that I've met at all. But the activists had convinced the world that because, you know, they they, you know, object to anyone's transition being questioned, we can't talk about a mental health issue facing teenage girls.
Now, I've heard there's an issue with some teenage girls who are on the spectrum who wind up getting sort of roped into this idea that that's what's wrong with them. Is that one of the things you cover in your book?
Yeah, I actually don't deal with that specifically very much. And the reason is that's a whole book in of itself, because a lot of it is true that a lot of girls who are high functioning autistic. And I did interview some experts in autism and that's when I realized that's a book of its own, which is that a lot of girls who are high functioning autistic, you know, they tend to fixate and they had they are particularly susceptible to fixating on the idea that they might be a boy when it's introduced to them.
So, yeah, I know exactly what you're talking about in there. They are one part of this phenomenon, but they're a big part.
So the teenage girl part. So this you're you're talking about teenage girls that are susceptible to influence. Are you talking about teenage girls that are confused? Like, why - why are there so many teenage girls that are going in this direction? Like, what do you think is happening?
So these are the same girls that would have been anorexic. They would have been polemic, and they would have been they are high anxiety, very precocious girls, but they don't really fit in. They come to high school and they don't have friends. They don't have a click for them. And they're so smart and they're so lonely because they're on the Internet all the time and they're with mom all the time and they don't fit in at school. And this is a way to explore, understand.
They're just their their pain that they're really feeling they're in pain, but they decide that their problem is that they're supposed to be a boy and the fix is testosterone.
So you heard of this problem. You knew of people that their children were going through this. And how long did it take you before you decided to commit to pen to paper on this?
So I spent a maybe a month or so just hearing the reports of the parents and reading the original study. There's an original study that the book is, you know, juh - jumps off from, which is the Lisa Lipmann paper at Brown University, public health researcher who looked into this. And she found that there was all of a sudden this huge epidemic in America of teenage girls deciding they were trans with their friends after social media immersion and and pushing for hormones and surgeries.
Have you had a conversation about this with someone who's a trans activist that says, well, maybe what's really going on - I mean, I'm just takin' the the argument of it - maybe what's going on is there are a lot of trans women and there would be more or there's a lot of women who would turn trans become a man - there would be more, but they never had had that door open to them before. And maybe there's more trans people than we think.
Amazing. Amazing. So it's a great point. And I thought about it 'cause, I've I've you know, I tried to look, I'm a journalist. I like to look at ideas on both sides. I didn't have like I did not have a dog in this race. So let me tell you three reasons. I don't think that's compelling. Number one, when when Lisa Lippman looked at the prevalence rate, she found that it's 70 times what we would expect within a friend group, which means it's highly concentrated in groups of friends.
But there's two other reasons. So we wouldn't expect that if it were randomly distributed among the population with the two other reasons I don't think that's right. Number one, if we're just revorting to normal now that there's greater society uh societal acceptance. Right. We're just say we're just aborting to reverting to a normal base rate of transgender women. Why are where all the women in their 40s and 60s coming out as trans? They should be coming out.
Now is their time. Now is their moment. We should see tons of women in their 40s and 60s and so on coming out as transgender. We're not seeing that. We're seeing the same population that gets involved in cutting, demonic possession. Witchcraft, anorexia, bulimia and convinces themselves there's a problem. And and there's one. Anyway, there's there's one last reason is that suicide rates are going up. But if these women who were living under a prior, you know, supposedly these all these transgender these real transgender people who are living under a more repressive regime and are now just finding themselves, this, you would think the suicide rate would be going down with greater acceptance.
So when you're saying suicide rates are going up, you mean suicide rates with teens who turn trans?
Both with the rate of trans of suicide among this populay - first of all, among girls in general is extraordinarily high. This is just one part of the mental health crisis there. And second of all, we know that the rate that these did, these kids, these trans identified kids have very high rates of suicide, suicidal ideation. It's it's really, you know, an area of real concern.
Well, there's definitely an area of real concern as well with um social media. Did you read Jonathan Heitz book, The Coddling of the American Mind?
Yeah. And it was on your show that I really like this light bulb went on when I re watched it because he talked about exactly this. He connects it to social media. And he talked about on your show the huge rates we're seeing in anxiety, depression, all that among these same girls. And, you know, putting it together, with Lisa Lippmann's research and the other investigation I'd done, I think it's really pretty clear that one more manifestation of these girls who we know are involved in a lot of cutting and all kinds of self-harm; this is one form of self-harm for them.
So there are chill... So let's essentially say there's young teenagers that are confused and they're looking for something that makes them feel whole or something that makes them feel normal or something that gives them some sort of an escape from this angst that they suffer from. And you're thinking that turning trans is one of those pathways that they gravitate towards, but it might not necessarily be a good idea for them.
Yeah, that's exactly right. If these girls were transitioning to boys and they were living great lives and their mental health was great like it is for so many transgender adults, I wouldn't have written this book. That's a great story.
But is it great for so many transgender adults? Because even in transgender adults, the suicide rate is very high.
There's no question. And that's, you know, that's a separate issue. But I do think that I yeah, I agree. I think that there are I believe personally believe that there are transgender adults who've been helped by transition.
But these girls are not being helped by transitioning
I think as a population, yeah. I mean, that's that's what Lisa stud - Lisa Lipmann's study showed. But also through my investigation, you know, I hear from I interview a lot of parents. I also interviewed transgender youth. And they you know, they'll tell you their anxiety's a mess, their depression's a mess. Transition's not curing these girls. They drop out of school, they cut off their families. They're not living a great life.
It's so it's such a strange call. Right. I mean. I mean strange. I don't mean strange in a negative way. I mean, it's you're dealing with hormones in a human body. Like you're you're taking a woman and you're injecting hormones into her body. And you're saying that these exogenous hormones are what's going to fix her. And I never I never understand that. Like, if if this is my argument about this, like, how do we know how do you know that that's what's going to do it? And when you are doing that, what damage is being done?
It's one thing if someone's a 25 year old woman and they say, I have always wanted to be a man. And I think I'm a man. I think I was. I think I'm born in the wrong body. But when you're going through this developmental cycle from 17, 18, 19, 20, there is a lot of chaos, right? There's a lot of hormonal chaos. There's a lot of confusion. I don't think there's anything specifically that you can point to that could say some sort of an intervention chemically, some sort of if you just step in now and start injecting this body with male hormones is going to fix all your problems. But yet it's really popular to do that.
It's really popular. These girls are getting it on their own diagnosis. So they're just going in and self-diagnosing. Nobody questions it. We now have informed consent, which means you walk into Planned Parenthood, you sign a waiver, you decide you have gender dysphoria, you walk out that day with testosterone.
Planned Parenthood is doing this?
Yeah. It's one of the biggest distributors.
So you don't have to have some sort of a long some transitional therapy session with ...
You can get your breasts removed with no therapist note.
So you could be a confused 18 year old girl and walk into a Planned Parenthood, self-diagnosing with no therapy at all, and they'll prescribe tech - testosterone and you can get your breast removed?
Absolutely. You sign a form. Oh wait, wait, wait, wait. You can't you get your breast removed at Planned Parenthood. Sorry. No, you. You can also get your breast removed from. Yes. Surgeon surgeons of some type. Some of them require a therapist note. I interviewed a man in my book, some who did not. And, you know, there are, you know, both kinds.
Jesus. That's a big decision, right? That's a decision that you can't really come back from. - What what did the surge of - Have you talked to surgeons about this?
What do they think?
They think that ...
Obviously we're generalizing [inaudible 00:20:28]...
Right. So they think a couple of things. I mean, obviously, there are a lot of surgeons who refuse to do it. So I interviewed them as well. They say you don't destroy the biological function like I didn't become a doctor to destroy someone's biological function for, you know, something that they've decided they have without even, you know, any oversight or...
But the ones who do it say, look, this population is really desperate for surgery. It's a civil rights issue. I you know, if I'm you know, I'm giving them what they what will seem to bring them comfort seems to bring them comfort. The problem is that there's no, like, follow up to see how their mental health is afterwards.
The surgeon is basically a mechanic, right. They just remove the tires
... a little bit ...
And send you on your way.
Yeah. The problem is we're not cars.
RIght, it's all connected. So, unfortunately, very often the mental health deteriorates. I mean, I talked to yet one young woman, Desmond, who's amazing. And she she decided in high school she was trans. She got celebrated everywhere. Her teachers, her therapist told her, yeah, you're definitely a man. You're supposed to be a man. Affirmed her everywhere she went.
She got on testosterone and it caused uterine cramping, which can happen. It's one of the many bad side effects of testosterone. She had to have a hysterectomy. So at 21, she wakes up with a hysterectomy. And she realized this whole thing had been a giant mistake. Her mental health had not improved at all, and this was a huge, like mistake and path she had gone on. And all of a sudden she didn't know what to do.
There was no one cheering her on anymore.
Why do you think people get cheered on for this decision?
I think in America we have a weakness for anything that gets cloaked in civil rights. And part of that is very noble and good. Obviously, the civil rights movement was extremely important in our country and and and extremely, you know, valuable and valorous.
But but now anything that gets called a civil rights issue, you can't question.
So I interview parents and they'll tell me they're almost all politically progressive. Most the parents that call me are politically progressive. And I interviewed almost five dozen of them now. And they'll tell me, like, I support LGBTQ, but I really I'm not sure this is right for my daughter. Like, I don't. I don't think she's really gender dysphoric. She's getting worse. Like, what is going on here? And I'll say to them, would you take away her binder, you know, binders, that compression garment they wear to flatten their breasts.
And they'll say to me, I can't do that. I mean, I you know, I support LGBTQ and whatnot. And I'll say to her, you know, sometimes they'll say I'm would you give her cigarettes? Why don't you give her cigarettes cause cause a binder will deform breast tissue, it can cause rib cracking, it can cause shortness of breath. You know,
I'm not I wasn't aware of these binders. So this is something like a corset.
Yeah, but. Yeah. Right. So it makes them look like a man. So it's got squash. And if you're, you know, a big breasted woman, it's gonna squash even harder. I mean, it's going to really try to flatten you to give you the physique. You know, the appearance of a male physique.
So but it's just an appearance thing or is it?
So that's just an appearance thing. They usually. Sixteen year old girls don't usually go straight to top surgery. They start with a binder or, you know, 13, 14 year olds.
So do you think that there's something about whuh - people are really susceptible to praise, right?
When they lean towards love. And they lean towards anything that celebrates their actions. It's real common. I mean, you see it with artists in sometimes er sometimes for the worst, right? You see I see it with comedians, which is my general area of expertise when it comes to this. You see, sometimes a comic'll do something, particularly online, and then they get sort of celebrated for that and then they start doing a lot of it. And it seems just ingenuous and weird, but they're like fishing for for love.
And you see it with social media and pretend with people. I mean, this is a lot of what happens with social justice warriors and online virtue signalling. Right. They're trying to get this reaction from people. So if someone comes out as trans and everyone celebrates, if perhaps they're a little confused and they come out as trans, and no one says anything. And then they're just sort of they have to sit and think about it for themselves. That's one way.
But if someone comes out as trans and everybody says, that's amazing, that's amazing. They want that feeling of that's amazing.
That's exactly right. So I talk about this in my book.
I interviewed this young woman, Benji, who was going through a really hard time and in middle school really hard. And at 13, she you know, she got really into these YouTube trans stars, and who promised testosterone's like the greatest thing ever. And she's she decided to start an account on one of the social media sites. And she came out as trans and everybody congratulated her.
There's a girl who was lonely. Everyone was telling her, you know, this is the yours - you should be. I'm so proud of you. I'm there for you. I'm your glitter family. And a lot of them were adults. And lo and behold, she waits until. You know, all of a sudden they start asking for things like pictures.
Right. And I talk to transgender adults like I talk to this I interview this trans woman in crystal in my book who is, you know, very, very nice. I interview her and she made the decision as an adult to transition. And she said to me, it was biological man now, not woman. And and she said to me, you know, when Caitlyn happened, it was a nightmare for me because I had been going along in my job, I know I didn't look perfectly like a woman, but I felt comfortable like I wasn't.
Now I had people crossing the street to hug me.
She said it was embarrassing.
Like I had people in restaurants stopping to celebrate me
Well, it's on one hand - see, this is where I'm torn because on one hand, if you are trans and you do feel better about this, but you confuse how people gonna react. And then all of a sudden people are celebrating you like, yes, this is great. I love the idea of an accepting society, and people are open, loving and happy that someone is making this transition. But on the other hand, I'm very aware of the influence of the masses and of of just people's love and praise.
It can shift you one way or another.
I mean I mean this is like a classic scene in a movie, right, where there's a boy who doesn't want to get involved in manly things and but his dad's like, come on, son, I want you to do it. He just does it for his dad. Then he feels bad about it. Like, that's classic. Like, human beings are so malleable, we're so easily influenced.
That's that's exactly right. That's what people miss. Like, you know, teenage girls, they can convince themselves of lots of things because they're going through a hard time. Right. Well, you ready is hard not having boys like you. And now you had social media. They don't have a chance at looking like these face tuned celebrities or even their face tuned friends. Right. So they feel terrible about themselves.
Yeah. That is one of the things that Jonathan Haidt talked about when in terms of social media like the comparison of each other. I mean, and what you start talking about face tuned is perfect too. Um, the - I don't know if you're - there was which one was it? Khloe? The face one? OK. Khloe Kardassian took a photo and put it on Instagram and it's not her. I mean, it's just not her. I saw her face and and a friend of mine, she she said this to me. She's like, what the fuck is going on?
And she showed me that um while they had photo shopped her photo, they had accidentally removed part of her chain. So she had a chain on like a thin chain ... She had the pendant, but the the right side of the chain is missing 'cause they had this these wacky photo filters and they reshaped her face and it's like it's not her.
So if you're a kid and you look like Khloe, what she used to look like, 'cause it's kind of a little bit awkward ...
You think you're ugly.
Yeah. And then all of a sudden, she looks like someone who's an anime character, like the perfect woman, you know, in terms of like society's beauty standards, and that's not even really what she looks like. So if you're a kid and you're looking at yourself in the mirror and you're looking at this picture of her, you look, fuck, what do I have to do?
Right. What? How do I look like that? Why do I look like this? I hate myself.
That's exactly what happens to the girls in your class. Put face to in photos up. Yes. You stare, you sit there and you're like, I'm not as pretty. Oh my God. She's got 10 times the number of friends likes that I have or whatever.
I love that expression face tuned, I've never heard that before. That is - it's like auto tune for your voice, right?
She hides... That comparison thing is so strange. It's really weird that people do that. These filters that they use. And it's - it's very strange.
I mean, look at Lana Del Rey, right? She came out with an out target. She met with an audiobook last week. And you went to celebrate it on social media. She posted a picture. And the first comment on it is, you look fat. So young girls see that and they think they don't have a chance. This is one of the most streamed recording, our female recording Ana's ever. Right. Beautiful woman. You look fat as the first comment.
Well, that's a troll. You know? Right? She's not fat. Is Lana Del Ray... Did she get fat?
No, she's not fat but I'm just saying...
Did she get a little heavy?
I don't know. I haven't kept up on her weight.
Let me see what Lana Del Rey looks like. Let me see that picture.
I want to ... I mean, there's one thing, if she actually got large, that's just a mean person. If she didn't, that's a troll .
Right, but teenage girls don't evaluate it that way.
I understand that. So listen ...
You know what I mean?
They should not be online.
They should not be... They should not be on social media.
No, there's a lot of them that should not be on social media. I mean, it's not not even just teenage, like well into womanhood. I know women that, like, read things and they get they'll ruin their whole day. Like, it'll wake them up in the middle of the night. It's not good.
And it's these faceless, nameless people that are saying these mean things that aren't even accurate. But for whatever reason, they resonate.
Yeah, women have always been like really empathetic creatures. They, like, care about what their friends think . They care about what other people think.
You know, it's ...
Some of them. We're we're massive generalizations here about trans people, about doctors...
But but here's here's why I say that. Because the reason that's there's a reason that social contagion spreads among teenage girls specifically.
Because you don't see tons of boys going around becoming anorexic because their friends are. If a teenage boy is depressed, his friend says, Don, let's go play basketball or a videogame. He doesn't say, let's sit and talk about it. And because girls try to take on their friend's pain very naturally and meet their friends where they are and they care, they take on the pain of other people, especially their girlfriends, they are more likely to share and spread a peer contagion, like, like anorexia, like cutting, and like trans identification.
That's fastening. You're you're talking about these mental health disorders, like they're a contagion, like like they're actually contagious, like you can give it to your friends and your friends can take it on as well.
Right, well, we know this, right? Anorexics, they're always really careful when they put them together. They have to be on hospital wards because we know that it will cause it to spread. Anorexia will become more severe and they'll spread it if you put a bunch of anorexic girls together and you don't you don't take precautions to make sure that they're not just encouraging each other to lose more and more weight.
Well, that sort of phenomenon exists in men as well, but it exists like if if - like, a good aspect of it is if you have friends that are very ambitious and work really hard, you'll want to be ambitious and work really hard as well. And if you have friends that are losers and they want to drink and puh ... just waste their life, you tend to gravitate towards that, too, because you get reinforced by the behavior and the acceptance of your peers.
And men are more competitive for sure. And I think men are more outwardly competitive and their brut buddies doing, you know, I see it in my my kids. You know, if I say to one brother, your brother's doing this, all of a sudden I have the other one's attention.
What does Lana Del Rey look like? What do you got?
What's her Instagram?
[inaudible 00:32:10] Photo? It's been hard to see where
Do we need a new box?
There's her book, but ... Nothing on there, I mean...
Where's the where's the imuh...She doesn't even look a little fat.
That's outrageous. Which one did you see where they said she was fat?
I think it might have been that one. I don't know. The one on the audiobook. Yeah.
That's a video. Was it a video or was it a photograph?
It was a photo, I think. I just looked at it. Yeah. It was last week, I think. Or earlier this week, I think...
Anybody who said, OK, would you let me stop right there. Anybody said that's fat is a troll. You're ... That's just a guy, probably, who's an asshole.
Well, it was a I think it looked like it was a woman posting, actually, because I was curious about that, but ...
If I was going to be a troll, I'd pretend to be a woman and just be the meanest woman ever, and just go on these women's pages and make them feel bad.
I think there's a lot of people, men and women, that really enjoy hurting people's feelings online.
You know, if you look at that woman right there and say you look fat. Well, that ... Why not say you look like a giraffe?
'Cause both of them are equally inaccurate. She doesn't look fat at all.
Right, but teen girls aren't good at, like, assessing that. So, for instance, I talked to one de-transitioner, so she had gone on testosterone and regretted it, came back...
Yeah, de-transitioner, a young woman, Helena, a brilliant young woman. And I really, you know, learned a lot from her. One thing she said to me was, you know, everybody just cares about how perfect you look today and how feminine. And at the time I said to her I was interviewing her and I said, wait a second.
Hold on. What are you talking about? Like, I just saw a star is born with Lady Gaga. She's not perfect looking, but she's an awesomely talented human being, like a woman that every young, you know, actress should and singer should be looking up to. And she said to me, and I'll never forget that she said to me, Are you kidding? Do you see how they talk about her online?
And I realized I was only listening to her albums and seeing her in the movie. But Helena was looking at social media and she was seeing women, you know, even as amazing as Lady Gaga torn apart.
Yeah, again, this is the problem with social media that we kind of discussed in the green room, about the percentage of people that are really fuckin' stupid that are posting. You're getting a lot of people - See, if you just have people commenting on things without knowing who they are.
Like, if you're if you work in an office and you have a bunch of people in your office that you respect and they're your peers and they say, Abigail, I think this and you go, hmm, that's interesting, Mary, because I respect your opinion.
So I'm going to have to take that into consideration. But if just read some no- no face, no name. You don't know who the fuck it is, you know, blocked account and they they write something mean, you will take that into your brain the same way you'll take your friend Mary, who you respect and love. It's like it's a problem with human beings, the way we process information. If we don't have like if you know someone's a moron, they say something to you, you're like, well, Mike's a moron. Everyone knows Mike's a moron. It's clear. But when you just read something in text, your text looks just like some idiot's text. You're using the same font. You know, it comes off of an iPhone just like him.
And it's hard to tell. It's hard to differentiate. And when people are doing it specifically just to be mean, it can be very, very confusing.
And it just highlights the really poor quality of discourse that you get when you're, you know, reading comments and you're dealing with social media and YouTube comments and Twitter and all that stuff. Like it's just a really bad way to communicate with people. And most of the people that are saying shitty things would not say those shitty things if they're right in front of you.
That's exactly right. And though and I think one of the things that makes it even worse is because somebody makes a mean comment to you, OK, maybe it bothers you, maybe it doesn't. Right. But it's not in front of, I don't know, a thousand of your friends. Now it's in front of a thousand of your friends. That's humiliating.
Yes. Yes. Yeah.
Wow. You just amplified that.
Yes. Yeah. Well, we're not designed for this, we really aren't. Even someone like me. I mean, I have pretty thick skin, but I'm not designed for it. So I don't read it. I just don't read it. I post things and I run away.
You know, like some people can just sit in there and and try to soak up all the hate and turn people around. I've had I've heard people say, oh, they say mean things to me, but I say nice things back and they say, hey, I was only kidding.
I'm like, why waste your time? Like, what are you what are you doing? You're gonna proselytize, you're gonna fix people. What are you doing?
Like you're you're engaging in one of the worst forms of communication we have available to us.
Anonymous human beings that just post their opinions. Let their opinions be their opinions. I don't I don't have any power over people's opinions. Let them have their opinions.
It's hard not to. I mean, a person's like I think it's really hard. Like somebody is post posting about you on Facebook or Twitter or whatever.
Everybody's seeing that.
You just got called the name in front of thousand people.
You know, way more, depending on which, you know, forum it's on, whatever. It's, it's really hard to just ignore it.
Well, it's really hard and it's particularly hard if you're young and developing. You know, it's really hard if you're a 50 year old man. But if you're a 17 year old girl and you're in this awkward time in your life, it can be really devastating. But that's why they shouldn't be on it. It's fucking bad for them. It's bad for everybody.
I agree. But I tell I tell parents, if you can, you know, don't introduce social media and get them off it.
Well, the problem is their friends are on it.
You know, one of my daughters who's twelve, her friend has an Instagram page. She's like, I want an Instagram page, I'm like you are out of your mind. Like, you don't want that. You think you want that. You don't want that. Your friend doesn't even want that. Alright, let's check in with her in three years when she's going crazy. It is not good.
So we've we can now pinpoint, right, a lot of mental health issues, especially for teenage girls right to social media.
Yeah. And again, The Coddling of the American Mind is a fantastic book...
... that covers that. And, you know, it's not just girls. It's boys. It's humans. It's adults. It's grown women. It's grown men.
It's just it's a really bad way to communicate with each other, and it's a bad way to exchange ideas.
And now they're telling they're watching these, they're these influencers, which is another thing. You know, you have these trans influencers and they promise these girls that if they just go on t, everything will get better. And the problem...
Why do you think they do that?
OK, so why do they... A couple reasons. So one is testosterone has certain good effects. So it delivers a euphoria and it's-it suppresses anxiety and anxiety is one of their biggest problems.
So they go on it and they feel great and they can't wait to tell their friends. It makes their period go away and it redistributes fat. So now these girls feel like I just beat puberty. I feel amazing. I want to tell everybody how great I feel. And they are brave all of a sudden, they're braver and socially bolder. The problem is, of course, what they don't like to talk about online is all the really dangerous stuff that comes with testosterone, too.
Like it leads to heart - infertility. Like risk of cardiovascular attack. You know, a heart attack, a risk of heart attack goes way up. There's uh body hair, facial hair.
But don't they want that.
The body hair facial hair part?
For now, but it's permanent. You know, a lot of this ...
Body hair is permanent?
It can be.
So what - but what about when trans women? When a man transitions to a woman, don't they lose a lot of their body hair?
They lose some of it, but some of them are. I mean, everybody's different, but some of them are stuck with a five o'clock shadow for life.
How does a kid know whether they are someone who's being easily influenced and someone who is giving in to this anxiety, and you are a part of, the way you're describing ita contagion amongst your friends, vs. someone who's genuinely trans, like someone who genuinely is born in the wrong body.
So we have 100 year diagnostic history of gender dysphoria. We know what it is. It's not guesswork. We know that it has in this whole history it typically presents in early childhood, ages two to four is when we see it starting. And it was overwhelmingly boys, little boys who say, no, mommy, I'm not a boy. I'm a girl. Call me a girl. Only want to play with other girls. Only want to do, you know, play with girl toys.
And they sometimes they hate their sexual organ. I mean, sometimes, you know, it's a severe, persistent, insistent, consistent feeling. And then a lot of them would grow out of it and some of them wouldn't. And they would become what we used to call transsexuals. Now we're seeing an explosion of young women, you know, suddenly deciding they're trans with their friends and they are doing it in friend groups. They'll have a whole friend group of trans kids.
They are, you know, doing it after social media. Emergent transgender adults never did it because of social media. And it certainly never won them friends.
Mmm. Um, so what about women that were tran...? Like you say, predominantly it's it's boys who wanted to be girls. But what about girls who wanted to be boys?
So that existed, too. And that also typically began in early childhood. And most most of these kids if left alone would outgrow it. So di - gender dysphoria is something that, you know, most most kids, if they even if they experience the real thing, will outgrow and some won't.
Yeah, I was reading an article about gender dysphoria. They were talking about it... First of all, even saying gender dysphoria, I think is hate speech now. I don't think you're supposed to ...
It's in the DSM.
Is the whole DSM hate speech?
Yes. Everything. You're hate speech ... But do you know what I mean? I mean, like, everything's hate speech, because people are gone - they've gone so wacky. But they were talking about... There was a study done on men who experienced gender dysphoria at a young age and then transitioned to become gay and just be just became gay, just were gay. And they realized like this was just a part of their process, and they're happy as a gay man and they didn't transition.
So that's very typical. Most of these, most of these kids would emerge as homosexual adults.
That's the thing is ...Is this like, if we're cool with people being trans and we are obviously, we, I mean, especially adults. Why...? You know, whuh whuh, is it better?
Do we like this idea that if you just leave them alone, they become gay men?
Or would we, I mean ... How many of them would be trans if they were encouraged in that direction? How many of are they happier this way or that way? Like this is a very, this is a very human problem.
By human problem, I mean, there's not really a good answer. They're human problems are slippery problems where it's like you're develop - you like particularly you're talking about young people... They're... We're hijacking their development. You're you're deciding, OK, have you made a decision? You know what you're going to do? Forever? All right. We're gonna jump in now, and we're gonna stop your reproductive cycle.
We're going to jump in now and introduce hormones that were never in your body.
And we're gonna... Well, they're a little bit tiny, tiny amounts...
We're going to jack it up to the roof like fuckin' Hulk Hogan. And you're you're gonna be a different person now.
And I sh ... I hope you can make this decision at 17 that will affect the rest of your life.
I hope you're you're mentally capable of doing that.
And that's a tall order.
It's a tall order. And there's no medical oversight right now. There's no med... I mean, we have no idea what long-term testosterone use does to a female's body at 10 to 40 times what her body would normally have. OK. We don't know. We can talk about the risks, but we don't know. But it's not presented to people as a highly experimental medicine, which it is. It's not reviewed by an institutional review board. They they make it sound like it's something you can just sign a waiver for and no big deal.
Why is that? Why is there no review? Why... Why is there no oversight? Why is this so free and loose?
I mean, is it a sign? Is it a good sign that we're like more progressive now, more open minded? And but because of that, things have gotten a little slippery in terms of what we celebrate and what we should rationally step back and objectively analyze and say, hey, is this really the right way to handle this?
I think one of the things that happened was in 2012 W path, which is the transgender health, you know, organization worldwide organization changed to an informed consent model, saying that people should be able to get the drugs they want or, you know, claim to need on - based on their own recognizance. You sign a form, you're aware of the risk and that you get it. And the problem was maybe they felt that there was too much gatekeeping, as they call it, or too much questioning they felt.
And you know, that there were people who aren't getting the medical care they they needed. The problem was you hit 18 and the age of medical consent varies by state. In Oregon it's fifteen. It varies. And you hit that age, you can you can get it. You walk out the door with it.
In Oregon it's fifteen?
That's crazy. You're not even a fully formed person.
No. And you don't need your parent's approval.
Oh my god... We were talking before we got on the air um about uh children, like really young children transitioning. You were saying that most people who transition know when they're very young. That is a real uh ... That's a hot button topic for people: children and hormone blockers and children.
I uh ... What I keep going to is, if you are a woman and you you know you're a woman, why do you need to get these hormones injected into your body? Why... Why can you just be a woman? I'll call you a woman. Like, what are we doing with all these hormones? Like, why are we complete... Like, imagine you're a person who says I need to transition to be a woman, and I know that I need a chemical that I've never had in my body before, and if I get that chemical injected, then I'm going to be happy.
Right. So ...
And if I get surgery then I'm gonna be happy; this is what I'm supposed to be.
Right. So the big problem with this is that you're making all the decisions that normally a doctor would make ...
And you're doing it at fifteen.
Right. In any other area of medicine a doctor makes that. They say, hold on. I know you think you need, you know, whatever, an opioid, but just relax. Let's see what you're, you know. I mean, that's, you know, effectively what you know, what facilitated the opioid crisis, doctor's just handing over the prescription pad.
And we're seeing that right now with anybody who claims to have gender dysphoria. They get it. They self diagnose. They say, no, no, no. I know it's my problem. They don't have a mental health professional who says, well, wait a second. Hold on. You have very high anxiety, depression. You have a lot of other mental health stuff going on. Let's deal with that first. Any therapist who dares to say that might violate one of the 19 conversion therapy laws we now have 19 different states.
There's 19 conversion...
I think it's 19, yeah, which bans conversion - so-called conversion therapy even on gender identity, which means a therapist could lose our license if they say, hold on. I know you want to transition. I know you think your problem is gender dysphoria. Let's talk about some of your other problems.
Wow. So a therapist, if you're a 15 year old kid, you come to a therapist and you say, all my friends are going trans, and I think I'm trans, too, the doctor has to essentially go with you on this little path you're on.
The doctors feel that they have to. I mean, the American the number of association, American Medical Association, Endocrine Society, I mean, you name American Pediatric Society. You know, all these med medical professional organizations, most of them have adopted affirmative care, which means their job is to affirm the patient's self-diagnosis with regard to this one issue. I mean, they're they're, you know, it's turning doctors into I don't life coaches right. I mean, they're ...
How much time have we've been doing this for? How long is the time period when this really started to escalate?
The last decade we've seen it fly across the West. I mean, it's in Canada, UK, you know, Scandinavia. We're seeing numbers across the west. All of a sudden it's teenage girls. It's the very same girls who spread every other, you know, contemporary hysteria or every other hysteria.
Boy. It makes you feel like there's a lot of lawsuits coming.
I wouldn't be surprised. I mean, these these girls are getting these things so easily and they're 15 and they're 16, they're 17, they're 18.
How many did you interview when you were doing this book?
So I conducted almost 200 interviews. So how many teenage girls or specifically? I actually don't know. I interviewed a lot a lot of people and and a bunch of adolescent girls as well.
More than 10, more than 20?
Yeah, more than 10. But I don't know.
I have to have a, like, spreadsheets for this.
Um, fid you interview ones that were happy with the transition?
Yeah. Yeah. You know, still very young. But I you know, I interviewed influencers and I interviewed parents and I interviewed adolescent girls. And some of these girls have, you know, stayed with their transition and claimed to be happy. Maybe they are some of them. But the problem is, if you ask if you find out objective things about their lives.
Right. Are you still in school or did you drop out or did you cut off your family or did you not? Do you have friends? What's your social life like? What's your job? Do you have a regular job? Very often the picture is is a dark one. It's not a good one.
Isn't that just the case of a lot of people in general, though? I mean, especially people that have the kind of problems they have to begin with and they make this gigantic decision?
The question is, did did this decision of transitioning help or hurt?
And where would they be if they didn't? You were talking about them before saying they were already in a dark place. They're already awkward ...
... teenagers, the kind of girls who cut themselves, kind of girls who are prone to anorexia and witchcraft. This is, you're dealing with someone who doesn't have a rosy future already.
Right. But I think we used to call that angst teenage angst. I mean, they got past it. The problem is. Yeah. Yeah, you're right.
Not everyone. But now they're getting they're getting prescriptions. They're changing the whole course of their lives so easily with no medical oversight.
What kind of numbers are we talking about? Like, how meh, how many people are doing this?
OK. So the numbers are harder to track in the United States because we don't have centralized met medical care. And well, here, but here the numbers that I can tell you. OK, so gender dysphoria used to afflict point one percent of the population. So one in 10000 people. So probably no one you went to high school with. But today, we already know that two percent of high school students are identifying as transgender and two percent of high school students are talking about one point one million teenage, you know, high school kids in America,
And when did this happen?
And most of them are girls. Yeah.
Really? Most of them are girls.
Most of them are girls.
Well, I mean, the number we can just look at the number of gender surgeries and we see that in 2016, between 2016 and 2017, the number of gender surgeries for biological females quadrupled. So we know they are the biggest and fastest growing population.
Wow, toop... That's a stunning number, two percent. You go from oh point one percent ...
... of the whole population ...
... of the whole population ...
To two percent of high schoolers.
And the vast majority of them are teenage girls.
What what what is the majority? Like what're we talking about? 80 percent? Like, what is the number?
I don't know. But we have to look at it. Yeah. For every indication. I mean, we know that, you know, I can give you a bunch of other statistics. One of the reasons it's hard to know exactly how many aside from the fact that we don't have a centralized control of this, is because you don't need a a an actual diagnosis of gender dysphoria to get testosterone. So you just go in and get it. You don't need the diagnosis in England where where you have a centralized medical care and there you do need a diagnosis.
They know that the numbers for a teen for adolescent girls are up over 4000 percent.
So you knew all this stuff before you wrote the book. This is all the numbers that ...
Well no, it came out in the course of writing it. Yeah, some of it.
So that had to kind of affirm your idea that this was a real problem.
I mean, everywhere I looked, it seemed to be a real problem. It wasn't. And nobody wanted to talk about it, but it's real.
Well, it's because, like, even when we're talking about it, I'm like, up, here's a landmine, up, here's a landmine. Like everything we're saying, like if you talk at all about trans people, um, you run the risk of pissing people off and offending people and staying out, you know... You're you're you're you're going into an area where it's unless you are one hundred percent in support of their decision and their rights and you sss ... You, you celebrate them, you're going to get in real trouble.
Right. But that's why we have this problem. Because nobody will talk about it, because parents will call me and say, I I've been pro LGBTQ my whole life. I just don't think this is right for my daughter. I can't even talk to my friends about it. I'll get fired from my job if anybody finds this out. But my daughter's not... She's got a lot of problems. But gender dysphoria is not one of them. Like, I don't think this is right and I don't think it's going to cure her.
And if you have to work and you're at work all day, you know, how much time do you have to even convince your daughter your daughter's with her wacky friends eight hours a day...
And she's on the Internet. And the problem is her school, her school's are already filled out a form calling her Jimmy. Right. For a year, they don't even tell you.
... hoo. And for the people that don't think people are easily influenced, that's how cults start. Cults don't start because they make sense, cults start because people want to belong, you know. And the idea that there is not a difference between someone who's willing to join some crazy radical cult to belong vs. any other sort of social movement.
That let's ... That's a lot of what people do. I mean, people you're seeing it now with a lot of our society. There's there's paths that people go on to see other people doing it and they see a lot of people getting celebrated. And so they go down that path. And, you know, this is this really is a lot of the foundation of the social media influencer. I mean, one of the one of the reasons why they're doing that is because they see other people do it and they see they get this sort of positive reaction from it.
And then they wind up saying, oh, well, this is the path and I'm going to go on. To make the jump from that sort of thinking and behavior to changing your gender is where people hesitate. They like, is she right about this? Is this woman a bigot? Like who are you? Who are you? And why did you write this book? And what is the reaction been ... What's the negative reaction been from people who are trans?
So, you know, I get a lot of positive reaction, to be honest; parents from all over the country are writing to me and be like, thank you so much. No one will talk about this. Let's talk about transgender reaction. The best reaction I get from transgender people is that has nothing to do with me. And I would say I agree with you. This has nothing to do with a normal transgender person's experience. They didn't come up with this online.
But do some activists attack me? Yeah. You know, biological men who are trans activists believe that we should not be able to have a conversation about the mental health of teenage girls. And they're shutting it down.
Yeah. Why are we letting that happen? Like, who's letting that happen and what are the repercussions of them fighting against this? Is it what you were talking about before? Where these therapists, if they in any way suggest that this is not a good idea for the kid, they can lose their license?
Right. Everybody I mean, I get so many top doctors will contact me like we live in the Soviet Union. They will say, oh, my God, I can't talk about this. But I really you know, I have to let you know that what's going on here is crazy. And I don't agree with this diagnosis. And it's clearly socially influenced and, you know, all this stuff and you think, like, you can't give your medical opinion without getting fired.
That's not good.
Yeah. One ... This is dangerous, but one of the things that I see is when women or trans women, when a male transitions to being a woman and then enters into women's spaces, they do so with the aggressiveness of a male. And this is something that a lot of women have been very upset about, with particularly turfs, you know, trans exclusionary radical feminists. They have a real hard time with - ch... Biological males talking about feminist issues and shutting down discussion about whether or not trans people are women, whether or not they should be in these spaces, whether or not they should be in these conversations.
And they do so with a very aggressive ...
Yeah, very aggressive.
And I just wanna say, I've interviewed a lot of transgender adults. And let me tell you, they're not out there to make women uncomfortable. The ones I interviewed, I ...
They want to be happy...
They want to be happy. They want to be left alone. It's great. Like ...
... They're wonderful people. These activists are a little crazy. You know, people who will push into a a rest, you know, a locker room, insist on showering where you've got a bunch of... And this happened. I wrote about in it, you know, in in Palm Springs a girls, you know, waterpolo high school team showed up to shower in their locker room and there's a full man showering in the shower.
And the girls got scare, you know, got uncomfortable. And he announces he's a woman. He's entitled.
Yeah. And you can have a penis and be a woman, which is also ... OK. Like, you know, even going to make the commitment? Like, if you're going to be in a shower with a woman - Jesus Christ - like, it - saying you're a woman and having a penis and being in a shower with a bunch of women - I mean, we've got to come up with some sort of a way of protecting young girls from people who are doing things like that, where you shouldn't have to see a naked man in the shower if you're a biological female and, you know, you're 15 years old and you're you're you think you're showering with your team and a male comes in.
But this male says that they're a woman and you have to take them at their word. Well, you're a woman. Do we need trans bathrooms? I mean, what do we need? I mean, how does that work?
It's a good question. I mean, you can't even s... Nobody's standing up for these girls, right?
So few people are saying, hold on. Like, you can't... They are rewriting Kinetic in Conette in the state of Connecticut, OK, they... Now th... Biological boys are allowed in to outcompete girls. They are mediocre boy runners and they're winning the trophies. They are setting records in Connecticut. They are literally erasing tremendous girl athletes' records in the state of Connecticut.
Yes, and they don't have to do anything in terms of transition. They just have to say they identify as a woman.
Which is crazy. It's not like they have to be on estrogen therapy for multiple years...
Some of them are. But you know what? The effects of testosterone on the body during puberty on a male's body are profound. Right? I mean, I know you talk about this like fast twitch muscle fiber, you know, but muscle mass, bone density, they have bigger hearts, men, bigger lungs, but more oxygenated blood. The the, you know, differential is profound.
Yeah it is, it is profound, and it's interesting that if you discuss this, you're a bigot. It's really weird. And it's this denial of reality that it's it's not like you don't want someone to be happy, but for someone to say that it's fair for a biological male to compete against biological females, that's crazy. And when you have this conversation with people, I would say, OK, well, do you think men should be able to join women's teams? No. Well, then whuh...What are we doing?
Well, what are we doing? Should men be able to compete against women? No. OK. So biological males that identify as women should be able to compete against women. Is that why you're saying? Because they're still males. Like, when do you make the transition? Like, when is it? Do you... Do you have to ... And then will people will point to outliers where there's some women that have more testosterone, naturally and...
OK, but those are very rare, you know. And, you know, when one of those gets in your division and you're a woman and she happens to also be a woman and she has naturally more testosterone, well, I guess you're fucked, but that's just nature. I mean, that's also like if you're my size and you want to play basketball against LeBron James, you're fucked, too. You know, like competition is not necessarily all that fair when it comes to just human bodies.
Like, some people are just genetically gifted and some people are not. But we make a distinction for a reason. The biological distinction between males and females is because men are overwhelmingly stronger, faster, have larger hearts, more oxygen capacity, bigger bones... There's there's so many factors. Different shape of the hips.
Different. Yeah, there's a lot...
Look at Allyson Felix, right, the world's fastest woman, right, this amazing, uh U.S. Olympian. Right. So she ran the 400 meter and I think forty forty nine point two six seconds. Unbelievable. Unbelievable time. She has more Olympic gold medals than Usain Bolt. OK, amazing athlete. In 2018, three hundred boys in high school in America could beat her.
- That's nuts.
Yeah. It's unfortunate because, outside of athletic competition, I would like them to be recognized as a full woman.
I would like that. I would love it if everybody just treated them like they're a woman and respected them with their new name or whatever they want to do. But when you get involved in athletic competition ... Where I took a lot of heat was when it was about mixed martial arts, where there was a mixed martial arts fighter who transitioned, and there was just a story written about it the other day was - ridiculous story saying that the science protesting it is junk science, which is horse shit.
And this person was a male for 30 years, became a woman for two, started beating the fuck out of women without telling them that she had been a male, most of her life, and uh and people were so... That was where I really realized ... That's when I first started to realize that there's some crazy psychological connection to this. There's like, the the the arguments that people have, these progressive arguments, they're saying these things not necessarily because they've objectively, rationally dissected this problem and looked at it in terms of uh pros and cons and what's really happening; no they looked at it from an ideological standpoint, and a very rigid one. Like, if you want to be accepted by progressive people that as a woman, always a woman. Like I I - this was back when I used to talk to people on Twitter, but I had this one conversation with this woman and she said that she was always a woman. And I said, no, she was a man for 30 years. She goes, no, she was always a woman.
I said, even when she got a woman pregnant and had a baby? She was, yes, even then. I'm like, well, we're done, 'cause that doesn't make any sense. We're in la la land.
Right, but whatever your ideology, women are getting beaten to a pulp by Fallon Fox. Right? Well they were, but you know, I mean, look who's standing up for women?
That's the problem. Biological women get fucked because the idea is that trans women in this Olympics of oppression, trans limb women are they're deemed higher on the scale. They're more oppressed and more marginalized than biological women. So biological women get fucked over in this dis ... Because so few people are trans, this person can do this and everyone can celebrate, and if you're not competing against her, so what? Like, no, no one has a stake in the game, so they don't really they don't really care. And the women that fought her without knowing ... See, I'm in full support of people fighting her if they know that she used to be a man. If that's what you want to do, I'm in full support of people, skydiving, riding bulls, go... You want to jump motocross bikes and do flips, do whatever the fuck you want, but you should know what you're getting into. You know, if you show up to go on a pony ride and someone puts you on a bull, that, that seems, that's not good.
You should know that you're about to get on a bull. If you think you're going to fight a biological female, it turns out to be a man who was a man for 30 years and then transitioned to be a female, and has been on natural male hormones all throughout puberty, all through his life, and then becomes a she, now you're gonna fight her and they're not going to tell you? That's crazy.
Look at Martina Navratilova. She got canceled, right?
She lost her sponsorship for saying it's not fair for biological men to compete with women in sports.
Well, what sponsorship was it?
Well, who the fuck is Athlete Ally?
I dunno ... They're an LGBTQ ...
Right. She's ...
First of all, how do all those things get lumped together?
You know, uh ...
Well that's uh...yeah.
Douglas Murray has a great book about this, The Madness of Crowds, and I'm in the middle of it right now.
One of the things that he points out, he's like, generally the idea of lesbians and gay men being together is kind of ridiculous. They're so different.
Because gay men are ... Like lesbians think of gay men as being like Peter Pan, like they're never gonna grow up, they don't have to, and lesbians... He's like, it's like different things; they don't necessarily pal around together.
Yeah. I interviewed a lot of lesbians for the book who have really, like, taught me a lot about just how beaten down they are in the broader culture today because, you know, their groups get infiltrated. They have these underground social groups, now. I've heard this from many lesbians across the country. They have underground... And the reason they need these vetting processes for their social groups is trans activists will try to come in insisting they're lesbians.
Yeah, that and that's what I'm talking about. Men that become women, they they retain some of the characteristics that make men gross. And part of that is being aggressive and competitive and wanting to dominate spaces. And this is some of the things that a lot of these tourists have had a problem with them. This is why they became trans exclusionary radical feminists, because they felt like these biological males were entering into their spaces with that sort of male energy.
I mean, even the name terf, like, they don't call them ... Nobody calls themselves that. I mean, I guess they do now as a joke, but like that was a derisive term. It was like, any woman who stood up for women was a terf.
Yeah. It's it's it's so weird, you know, because you can't sit like... There's this thing where you supposed to say a trans woman is a woman. Can y.. But you're a trans woman. No. But you are, right? You're a trans woman. But you're a wo... Like there's ... There's a weird game we're playing.
Yeah yeah yeah, and it's new. I mean,
you know what what they used to call transsexuals in prior eras. They never said they were always. They don't lie about their biol-. Right. They're very open about the ones I have interviewed many and they're very open about their biology. They say, yeah, I grew up as a boy. I'm most comfortable presenting as a girl. They don't pretend that history didn't exist.
Well, this is all because of social media, and it's all because if you don't go if you don't toe that line, you will experience attacks. And if you read those attacks they'll hurt your feelings, and so then you adjust. And I've seen people do that. I've seen people say things that they really believe and then get attacked and then adjust and say something that is more to appease the masses than it is their actual thoughts on the matter.
And it's it's hard because they can get fired. You know, you can get in real trouble.
It's so funny. I think you're right about this, actually, becau ... I really, I really do, because I think social media has a more to do with suppressing speech than anything else. And in a sense, because, you know, it's like these parents will call me and they'll be like, you know, my daughter says she's a boy and it's getting worse and worse. The more I go along with it, it's getting worse. And I'll say to you know, I'll say, why don't you, you know, tell her whatever.
You know, they don't want to go along with it and take why don't you take away her binder? Why don't you you know what would happen if you did this? I'll ask, you know, and they'll they'll sort of say, I can't do that. And what they're afraid of is to some extent is aside from alienating their daughter, they're afraid of social media. Right. I mean, everybody's always watching.
They're afraid of the mob.
They're afraid of the mob.
Yeah. And also, you're not going to get a lot of support from other people that aren't being attacked by the mob. If you get attacked by the mob, here's what's interesting. Very few people will come to your aid, because they're worried about being attacked by the mob, too. They'll sit back and even if they love you, they'll hope you survive the attack, but they won't jump into the fray.
And sometimes I have to say, parents, listen, this has nothing to do with LGBTQ rights. OK?
If you see your daughter's in harm, if you think she's not doing well, you're a parent.
You don't have to make a policy statement. OK. You can still support every kind of civil rights issue about, you know, LGBTQ rights or whatever. This has nothing to do with it. You think your daughter's in harms way. You can protect her. That's your job as a parent.
Well, it's also we're denying the nuances of psychology that people are malleable and there's a lot going on there. There's a lot I mean, people are not binary. It's not one or a zero. You're this or that. You're happy or you're not. And this is going to fix it. We just need to inject you and slice off your boobs. It's not. That's not human. You know, we vary so wildly that I think for someone to look at a teenager and come to this conclusion that you, in fact, would be happier.
That should be an arduous process. Where you're presented with all sorts of opposing information, it's almost like you should be at a debate, like it should be, like there should be pros and cons presented. There should be, you know, uh... It should be something where you're looking at a life, like your future will be radically different if you take a path A versus path B.
Right. So that's how medicine is discussed at other types of medicine at medical conferences, right?
They have a new drug out for cholesterol. And there's a conference and everyone discuss the risks and benefits. And what are the harms and what is the percent chance that this could hurt? You know, everybody is open in discussing it. And whenever I talk to doctors who, you know, work around this issue, maybe they're an endocrinologist or whatever. They will tell me with that when they attend medical conferences and transgender mendo medicine comes up, it is a purely celebration festival. Nobody is discussing risks. Nobody's toking talking openly about them. They can't.
Yeah. It's so hard because I've met female to male trans people like we were talking about Buck Angel ...
before the show. It was great. I love him. He's a nice guy. He's really interesting to talk to. I had him on the podcast. And that makes sense. Like he always knew that he should have been a male. And he feels way better. And when you're around him, like you get it.
Totally, totally. And he doesn't - look - he he he he didn't do this to win friends.
No. Not at all.
He didn't do this because of social media immersion, right. No YouTube star have convinced Buck Angel. OK. He stands up to all them all the time.
Yeah. That is also the thing. And he uses a term, the term biological that they don't like.
You know, he uses uh biological female, biological male.
'Cause he lives in reality. He doesn't pretend that he was always biologically male. He's he's like, huh,
Have you, like, as you're examining this, have you gone back and forth on this? Have you had, like, uh, opinions that you abandoned or...
Yeah. How so?
I'll tell you one. The one that that I think I really struggled with or that surprised me big time was people always try to get me to say it's child abuse to put your kid on puberty blockers and whatnot. It's child abuse, the parents are committing child abuse. And I don't say that. And I don't say that for a reason, because I've interviewed the parents and once you interview parents of kids that, you know, parents who have transitioned their kids.
You start talking them, and you realize that they thought they were doing what was right for their kid. They were really scared. They didn't know, like, they're very concerned. I mean, they're they're worried and they've been encouraged by mental health, by mental health professionals who should have been looking out for the child, that if you don't do this, your child could kill them, could kill herself or himself, you know? And that's terrifying. And sometimes I'll bring up the risks with them and they won't have heard about them, I'll say.
But, you know, just just checking with you. You know what uh... What about the long term? You know, maybe you're foreclosing orgasm like your if your kid goes through all this and goes on the, you know, you know, that to testosterone and then goes, you know, gets the surgeries, you because they never went through normal puberty, they may never experience orgasm. What about that? And they'll never have heard of that. Or, you know, we're putting so many capacities at risk.
Well, there's a there's a real problem with the way people are willing to discuss things that they're not willing to in any way address the negative aspects of transitioning. And one of one of the things about hormone blockers that drove me mad was they were trying to say that you could put a child on hormone blockers, then if the child changed their mind, there would be no problem whatsoever. Well, they've reversed that.
They've reversed that. And the England in England, they reversed it.
We reversed it in America, too. They were very recently there was something that got released where they were saying, well, this is absolutely not true. Well, this is something that people have said over and over again
Over and over
Progressive people in particular.
Right. Right. It's totally neutral intervention. That's what they've said.
Yeah, let's...Hey, let me uh relieve you of any of the stress about this, because we know that there'll be no problem at all. You can transition right back. But you can't. That's not true. You do. It'll affect your development.
A hundred percent.
And and hormones shower the brain. And now just that, you know. And, you know, there's. Right. I've talked to a lot of experts, but I've also talked to parents who were never told about this.
And so I don't blame them.
Like, I just I just ...
But then if you're a parent, like, how do you know whether your kid is in this contagion, as you put it, or your kid is actually trans?
Like, how do you know? And how would anyone know how how would the person that's transitioning themselves, how would they know?
Right. So there's symptoms in the DSM that have evolved persistent, consistent and insistent severe discomfort. And a two year old and four year old doesn't keep his, you know, feelings to himself. If he hates being a boy, insists that he's really a girl, is punching his, you know, penis and whatever.
It's not something parents aren't gonna know.
OK but isn't that a generalization? Because people vary widely in the way they they deal with things that bother them.
Right. So I think that the DSM is a list of generalizations about different mental health disorders and different afflictions.
Right. But that, when you're talking about a boy, hating their penis and the way they react, they'll let you know. Not everybody lets you know when they're in agony or in pain or or ...
Kids. Preschool age kids are pretty in a typical family where there's not you know been abuse or mistrust or whatever, you know, kids pretty much announce, in my experience, announce, almost everything. I mean, they're really ope... I hate this. I that, whatever, they, you know, it's not the kind of thing a parent won't know.
Mm. But do you think that kids should be on hormone blockers?
I, I, I don't ... I have never... Look, I'm a journalist, so I explored,. I talk to everybody and I explore every side of every issue, and I, I think that ... hormone blockers are really significant interventions. They can be dangerous. We don't fully have a handle on the long term effects. But am I someone who believes they should be totally banned? I,I - You know, I have never said that. I've never taken that position because a lot of psychologists that I really respect haven't said that.
A lot of doctors that I respect haven't said that. There's no one they could help.
Could you imagine that those doctors and psychologists would be in fear of expressing that they don't think it's a good idea. The same way you were discussing therapists will secretly talk to you about the problems of them expressing themselves honestly.
Right.I mean, this is how I see it. Like, say there's one kid who can be helped by puberty blockers. Until I mean, I explored a lot of these issues with a lot of people, until, you know, psychologists I respect, people who've been very open on a lot of this stuff, until they tell me there's no children who could ever be helped by puberty blockers, I'm not someone who will come out in favor of a ban of banning of banning them.
No, I understand. But that's that begs the question, how would one know whether your kid is the kid that could be beneficial? That tht ... Could benefit from puberty blockers versus one who you really should just let become an adult and go through all the various changes that children go through.
Remember that most kids outgrow this. So ...
That's what I'm saying.
Right. So not doing anything, not doing a major intervention is probably, in many cases, a totally safe bet. In other words, you don't have to go in there and immediately... I mean, part of what's crazy about our age is we think the moment you're in... We... Our kids are in distress, we need to medicate them. They can never be upset. Right?
We are, you know, pushing this accommodation of every discomfort and every, right, everything our kids say.
And it's pretty safe to say that there's gonna be a lot of people listening to this that don't even want us talking about this because you're a stereotypical biological female, I'm a stereotypical biological male, and maybe a lot of people would say this is not even your space to be discussing.
Right. So I'm not an expert in psychology; I wrote about a peer contagion affecting teenage girls, and I can't talk about that either...
... in which I explore... I let the experts talk. You know, in the book. I mean, that's what I did. I put together, you know, studies and I mean, like that's what journalists do. We just put together the material based on who we interview and what they had to say and their expertise, and there's their research. And you know what? It's getting shut down all over the place. People are ...
I've had podcast hosts write to me and say, I'd love to have you on; it's too hot.
Yeah. They'll say to me, you know, basically, and what they don't say is, a bunch of trans activists are offended that you're talking about teenage girls, the mental health of teenage girls, not the activists. Right? Who are mostly biological males... This is teenage girls' health! Why can't we talk about it? I mean, I've had my publisher, they're trying to get my publisher to drop me. There's a huge campaign for that; I mean, it's like, you know. Yeah. You kn... I used this example before, but like abortion: some people say abortion is just a woman's issue; no one else can have an opinion about it. And other people feel, like people feel different ways of abortions; other people feel, wait a second, it's not just about a woman's health, it's also the life of this unborn child, and so, you know, people feel differently. Like, who's allowed to have an opinion on abortion?
But this issue is, that I'm talking about, is just about the health of teenage girls. That's it. So why can't we talk about what's going on with these teenage girls? Why can't we try to get them some help?
I agree with you. But we're in 2020, and people are going bonkers.
I know ...
And that's that's really that's really what this is, is that you have identified something that is... That's a real concern, when you're talking about the percentage, when you said two percent of all these kids are identifying as trans in high school as opposed to zero point one percent where it used to be - so it used to be one in 10000 -
- now it's two out of a hundred.
in in just in the high school population.
And it's like that's a lot.
And uh objectively, the way you're describing that particular time period in a child's development, it is fraught with peril.
Right? I mean, there's so much going on in a girl's life as she's transitioning from being a a kid to being a woman, and going through all the hormones, and all the society, and all the all the chaos of school, and social stuff, ...
It's the hardest... It's the hardest here ... period for any woman to go through. It's so hard. Puberty, right? Except now these girls are being taught in school and they're being encouraged online - you have an escape hatch.
Yeah. When you you've had some discussions - you were talking about a discussion that you had on a television show with other with trans people- how do they react to this?
Oh, so I haven't been on ...
The one with the ...
Oh oh oh. That... That... Oh, so there I was just talking about sports.
That was not ... I don't think there was actually ...
Didn't goes so well?
No. That was just sports and I didn't even know they were going to be on that ...
And you were on with a trans athlete who's ...
Two trans athletes.
And what did the ... What were their thoughts? They should be allowed to break world records?
I guess. Something like that. They should be able to ...
They should be able to compete with women?
Yeah. How did the host handle it?
Um, he ... Who is... I think he was a little nervous. I mean, you know, nobody wants fights, like it... We're having trouble just having no normal conversations today. It's crazy.
Except on your show.
Well, some other people out there, too. But yeah, well, because there is backlash.
And ... But ... Again, the ones who are getting fucked over are biological women, and I just think that's crazy. I just ... I don't understand why people are willing to kowtow to the mob like that.
And girls are noticing. Girls know that they have fallen in regard and fallen in status in the broader culture. They know it. They know that they can't speak up if they don't think it's fair that a that a mediocre boy athlete just beat them in a race and took the title.
They know that's not fair. They know they shouldn't have to walk... That... That nobody's protecting them from that, you know, full man in their shower, in the locker room. Nobody's speaking up on their behalf. They know it. They feel it. And so they they're they don't think women womanhood is such a great thing right now.
Well, some organizations are recognizing that it's an issue. Uh, power lifting: they're starting to ban biological males from competing in women's divisions of power lifting because they've literally blown the roof off what world records used to be.
Wow. I didn't know that.
I mean, it ... There is one who is winning these ... world records, and you looked at her and you're like, what in the fuck are you even talking about? That.. That, that is nonsense.
They can probably bench twice or something, right?
Well, it's ... A lot ...We're talking about squats and cleans and presses and Olympic lifts, which are particularly... I mean, it ... the ...These are really difficult to do anyway and to achieve the type of numbers that these trans women are achieving. It's... They're world record numbers.
Because they've never had a woman do that before because they they really weren't born women.
Right. So think about how many female athletes you're eliminating. You're not just taking the trophy; you're eliminating everyone. You're saying that Venus and Serena Williams never existed.
Exactly. Yeah. Yeah, it is a ... It's a very strange thing. And it's uh it's one of the byproducts of being progressive and open minded and caring and loving, like that we want these people to find their truth and be themselves and we want them to do that, but not at the expense of biological women. You know, it's it's it shouldn't be that way.
And we're talking about athletics. If you're talking about athletics, you're talking about physical human bodies. And they are different. They're different between men and women. And anybody who says they're not, let me introduce you to a few people, because I know a lot of men that are freaks. And if you tell me you know a woman that looks like that? Like, get the fuck out of here. All the... So all the ... Like, Yoel Romero, who is uh one of the top UF ss... UFC fighters, if that guy decided that he was going to be a woman and transition to being a woman, you only gave him two years or whatever, you would deal with the most spectacular woman athlete the world has ever known, by far, because he's a freak, 'cause he's a freak as a male, you know, and there's that that line, that spectrum, when you get into male physicality, when you get into strength, pure energy, the ability to lift things.
The the the difference between men and women is so vast, just grip strength, just the average male's grip strength in comparison to an elite female athlete's grip strength. Average males, much more strength, and just average guy who barely does anything.
Right. That's right. And and think about like where what the heroes for these young girls. I mean, I grew up in the era of, like, worshipping like Martina and Chris Evert in tennis - I played tennis - and you really look up to these women. I mean, they're so strong. They're so fast. And what if what if all of a sudden, not only did you never get to hear about Chris Evert because she was beaten long ago by a biological man, now you have a man who says he's a woman who's now... Well, how many girls are lining up to be just like him?
I dunno. Yeah. Umm... The Martina Navratilova thing is where it just shows you how fuckin' crazy everybody's gotten. To say that she's anti LBGD, like what?
She's literally the spokeswoman.
I mean, literally, like, she was she was out before anybody.
I mean, it's we're we're dealing with a really insane byproduct of these times where people are dealing with social media, organized groups of people, attack people for having divergent opinions, and this, you know, this need that people have to be loved and not have people attack them so they'll alter their stance on things in order to appease the mob, in order to, you know, align themselves with the the progressive group think. It's real weird.
Yeah, it's a big problem. And we're seeing whole populations... I mean, this is this is why this problem with teenage girls got out of hand.
Well, it's just, you know, the sports thing is one thing.
Um, this seems to be a bigger problem than a sports thing. I mean, when you're dealing with the sports thing, what is the numbers? It's not not that gr ... it's not a lot of people.
Right. It's not yet a lot.
It's enough that it's concerning. And if ...
... it was your child that got screwed over, if your kid was going for a basketball scholarship and all of a sudden a biological male was on her team... I don't know if you know the story about the 50 year old biological male who transitioned, went to high sch..., played college basketball, and then transitioned to being a woman and then went back to school as a woman and was in his 50s and playing uh women's college basketball. I think he was six five. He was enormous. I mean... See if you can find that story... 50 year old... He was more than 50, and then playing college basketball, competing.
Now, imagine if your daughter is playing college basketball, looking to get a scholarship. She gets gettin... She keeps gettin' stuffed by this gigantic former dude...
... who is now on her college basketball team at 50 years old.
Right, this is women's rights that are disappear... We're rolling them back. Right. I mean, that when Title Nine came in, right, that gave scholarships to young women who worked so hard, who were so talented. These are young women we should be so proud of. And their their achievements are being erased right now. And you're right, it's not a wide... It's not yet a widespread social problem, right? You figure...
Look at it.
L O L.
Like, come on. I understand that you want to be a woman. I get it. I'll tel... I'll I'll I'll change the name I call you. But listen, man... Or, ma'am..., you can't do this. You can't do ... This is not fair.
Yeah. And think about all the girls who don't bother going out for the team.
Right. They see that and they're like, fuck. Or a girl who would compete for that position.
And she can't get it.
Yeah. She'd ... they'd give up. I mean, they're ... That's just rational to give up.
... giant male body...
That, you know...
They're gonna get hurt. They don't wanna get hurt.
Exactly. Um... What ... When you say that you've experienced all this, all this uh ... What's the best way to describe it? Pressure on your publisher? People are angry at you? What ... Have you ever thought you shouldn't have done this, you should have written this book c... Has it ever been enough of a pain in the ass that you were like, I made a mistake; I shouldn't have entered into these waters?
Has that ever entered...? Yeah... I mean, of course, right? I mean, I think I you know, people like the book a lot. You know, thank God, they like the book. They're happy. You know, it's a good read. um, but do I like all the negative attention? No. I mean, I'm not I'm not a provocateur. Like, that's not my thing. I you know, I'm just a journalist.
And I looked into a mental health issue and it makes people really angry. And do I like that? No. But this is how I see it, ok? This is how I I I saw it as I was going through but I believe this, OK? What's in this book is the truth. It's a real story. It's a real phenomenon. I'm irrelevant. If I didn't write this book, eventually some other journalist would have. So all the anger at me is silly.
Read the book. Disagree with it. Maybe there's some... You know, maybe you don't think I got something right. Tell me. Fine. Or don't tell me. Write an article about it. But if I hadn't written it, somebody else would've.
Because it's it's what's going on. It describes a real phenomenon.
And I think these activists would prefer to keep scaring people to the point where nobody does read this.
Because they think being trans should never be questioned. Nothing about being transed ever should be questioned.
Right. Which is crazy because you know what? This has nothing to do with the activists. It doesn't. Like, teenage girls are in are in crisis. They really are. And their experience has nothing to do with, you know, what, you know, activists are going through. And we should be able to investigate it and see if they're getting the mental health they need. These these teenage girls. And that's all it does. And that's just shouldn't be controversial.
Yeah. And if this book reaches one parent that can reach one child and show them this book and explain to them that there's something going on that can influence you physically, mentally, psychologically, you could be very confused and you could think that this is the path towards happiness and cause yourself irreparable damage, and still not be happy.
I get calls every day from parents. So I got a call just this week. I get tons of calls, literally, everyday.
How do they get your number?
I got a call this week. So they'll ... I gi... leave my messages open on Twitter in case they need to get ... You know, there're great resources out there: Fourth Wave Now, parents of RGD Kids, there are there are great resources, but sometimes they don't know about them 'cause, you know, for ... All these resources need vetting processes now 'cause the activists attack them.
So they'll they'll call me. I got a call from a woman this week and she was sobbing, because parents usually cry when they're on the phone, because they're it's about their kid. And you know what she said to me? She said, I feel - this is a progressive woman in a progressive city in America, totally not religious, you know.... And she's sobbing. And she said to me, I I can't believe I get ... My daughter's started down this road and I can't believe I get the benefit because of other parents who went through this who were brave enough to talk. I am so grateful to them. Is there a way that I can do something for them?
And I just thought, wow.
Yeah. What an incredible woman! Like, what an amazing... Like, that's who I get calls from.
Yeah, and it seems like that's really the only way these people that are going through this with their children are ever going to get any light at the end of the tunnel is to sh... to see that some people have already done this and let ... to learn from the mistakes of the past and to learn from these the problems that these kids have encountered ... upon transitioning, and that this group think model, this contagion, as y... as you describe it, does happen to kids. It happens with cutting. It happens with even suicide pacts. It happens with a lot of weird stuff that ...
... kids tha... particularly kids that feel like they're outcasts and they're depressed. It's it's a real problem.
Yeah. There's a there's a great book on this. Uh, you know, there's a couple of bunch of really great books, but one of them... Lee Daniel Kravitz wrote this book, um, Strange Contagion, about these, um, suicides that went through a community in sou... Palo Alto, so all of a sudden like there are a bunch of suicides at one high school.
And what was happening is that kids were imitating each other. And then, you know, they get this idea, like you said, they're open to suggestion. They feel unhappy. And now there are other ... You know, they know several other kids who committed suicide. Maybe I should kill myself. I just failed chemistry or whatever. And it becomes a thing in their minds, that's always an option. And that's what transition has become. It's an out. It's the, one of the first...
I mean, I think about cutting. Right. So I'm a nineteen se... So I grew up a 1978 baby. So I'm 42. So cutting. I missed cutting. That didn't exist, OK? When I was when I was a teenager. But I thought when I heard about because I heard about it from younger just kids younger than me, I said, you know, I've come back from college when I hear about all this cutting. And I and I used to think like, wow, I'm glad I didn't know about that!
I was neurotic. I was high anxiety. Maybe I would have done that. I didn't. Nobody told me about cutting as like an option. But but kids who are looking for a way to manifest their distress, they look to the culture and they look to their friends.
Yeah. What could be done different in terms of some education or programs or some sort of psychological help in in groups of kids to let kids know in school, like we address all these different aspects of a child's development, like mathematics and English and history. But we spend very little time addressing the one thing that is probably more most important is how they interface with the world, psychology and what what's wrong, what's going on inside of them and knowing what's going on inside of them and and and giving them some tools to navigate life.
This isn't this is not something that gets taught in school, strangely, and this is one of the reasons why they go looking for it afterwards. People con... They're constantly looking for motivation and self-help people in books, and trying to find some tools.
So I think that's a brilliant idea. I mean, I never considered teaching kids about psychology. I never encountered psychology 'til I was in college, and I think that's an amazing idea. The problem is, is that these kids are getting indoctrinated instead of, you know, instead of exploring a topic, they're getting indoctrinated in gender ideology. California starts in kindergarten. This is a mandated part of the correct uh curriculum you can't opt out of.
What are they saying?
So, you know, it varies by class, obviously, but in you know, they you know, they explore... They first they have to introduce the gender stereotypes and then they explore genders in various cal, you know, classrooms. This goes on in California as part of the framework, there's a whole curriculum, and there are books they supply and they explore, you know, what... what is a girl .. You know, what is a girl body and what is you know, they explore the gender unicorn or the gender bred person and, and they teach them that, you know, your genitalia does not mean that you're necessarily a boy, you might be something else: you might be gender nonconforming, you might be gen... non binary. These kids all know these these terms. They know they have every option. And the problem with that is then they then they hit eleven and they start to develop and or, you know, they hit a hard time, their parents divorce, they move, whatever, things get hard, and these options leap to mind: Oh, my God, I heard about this; I might be a boy.
That seems crazy that they're teaching kids that that early. Oh, just ... uh ... And, and to teach 'em that, I mean, like how how comprehensive is this class? I mean, how much time do they spend doing this? Are the parents involved? Do the parents get to see what's being taught to them and discuss it with them?
Very often parents will ask for the curriculum and not get it. And there're all kinds of ways they supply it: there's digital libraries they provide in California to the teachers, and there's all kinds of, you know, you know, ways that this is taught. Sometimes it's taught with videos and they ... There is curriculum and it's supplied... The curricula are usually supplied by activist groups, and it's it's very confusing. Parents, you know, parents aren't allowed to opt out of this in California.
Yeah, because it's not part of the sexual education curriculum. That you're allowed to opt out of. It's part of the anti-bullying curriculum.
And you can't opt out of anti-bullying. Everybody has to, you know, treat each other well, so ...
It's also the word activism, it sounds like you're doing a good thing, you know, like all activism is under the same blanket, whether it's, you know, anti-racism activism or, you know, gender nonconformity, non binary, 50- different-pronoun activism. And, you know, it's a lot of it is indoctrination. It's indoctrination to progressive group think. And it's not necessarily what you would really think of when you think of activism. You think of the civil rights movement. You know, you think you think of activism, you think of positive things and changes that we want to take place. But when you're dealing with children and developing human beings and minds and you're dealing with an influential person who's standing in front of these people, who's older and wiser, supposedly, and they they try to bend these minds towards the ideology they support, things get real weird. And if you're a parent, and you're not aware that this is happening to your kid while your kid's at school... I have a a buddy of mine who found something like this out was happening in his school and then he got a hold of the paperwork and he was like, he was furious. He's like, this is crazy. Like, what did ... What are we doing to children? Has this been vetted? Is this is this something where we're all in agreement on uh on this sort of uh education process for children?
Right. So they're reading books like I Am Jazz in California to Kids. And that suggests that you might end. It tells kids that you might have a boy's brain in a girl's body. They are being taught this as if this is true, right? Now of course, there's no evidence that you could ever have a boy's brain in a girl's body. I mean, that doesn't make sense, right? But they're taught that alongside things that they're ... that are factual, that are biological.
But if someone is a trans person... So if you are a boy who feels like you should be a girl, wouldn't you think that that is how you would describe it? You have a girl's brain in a boy's body?
Oh, um I don't think so. I mean, there are there are some evidence that there are neurological differences. Um, you know, that that that, you know, is certainly worthy of study... I mean, that's open to various kinds of interpretation, and and and it's a new area that's being studied, and there may be differences in transgender people's brains, there there might be. I certainly would not say that that there aren't. But a boy's brain. I mean, every part, every cell in a boy's body has is stamped with an X Y chromosome, right? So the idea that somehow an X X chromosomed brain got stuck into his head is kind of silly, right? It's sort of more like tooth fairy stuff.
Yeah, it would be fascinating if it was true. I mean, imagine if you could run a scan like oh my god your brain's pink, look.
Now we know what's wrong.
It would be wonderful if it was that simple, like, oh, you have a cavity.
We can give you a filling.
Yeah, it's um ... I mean, it's such a hot but button subject. And when this gets discussed, any time it gets discussed on this podcast right and I'm assuming on any podcast, it just people explode and they get so angry about it. But where people are getting more and more sensible is when it comes to sports. I mean, that seems to be where the rubber hits the road. It really does, it seems to be where people are going, hey, um, this isn't seem right, you know. And particularly like the fighting one to me was like so egregious and so obvious. It's, I'm hopeful that this is a transitionary period for our culture and that we realize, like, yes, you should be kind. Yes, you should be progressive and open to all these different people that have all these different ways of being and existing in this world, but not at the expense of other people, and not in particular... Let's not pretend that that six five gentlemen who's 50 is the same as your 18 year old daughter who's in college, 'cause it's not. We're playing games. We're playing weird, ideological games.
Right. And I...
And we know we are.
And I think sports is... You're totally right. I mean, Americans are very proud of their female athletes. We have been for decades and decades. And now you're telling them that none of them would exist today, could exist, because, you know, some ... we'd let biological men take away their trophies? I mean, sports is about bodies! It's not about identification. Nobody asks you how do you identify before you run a race.
It's just about bodies.
It is. And it's it's real clear that they're very different, which is why we have men's divisions and women's divisions.
Um, what ...What is what is it like for teenage boys? Did you look into that at all? Are they ... Did they have similar sort of issues with transitioning?
Yeah. So teenage boys is a harder case because I think for a few reasons. Are there boys whose moms will call me and say, oh my God, this happened to my son? And it's not real.... It's not... It does not look like real gender dysphoria. He never had it.
It came all of a sudden because of some trauma or some crisis, or it was suggested to him by a therapist right after his dad died, or some story like that, okay? And I didn't focus on the boys, and I didn't do it for a really important reason. But but I think it's worthy of explanation um and exploration. I didn't focus on the boys because with the girls, it's clear. Because we have known for a hundred years that there's a thing called gender dysphoria, and it overwhelmingly afflicts males.
And now, out of nowhere, across America and across the West, the predominant demographic is not eve ... It it is teenage girls with no childhood history. We know that's not typical gender dysphoria. So then, the question is, what is it? Right?
But with boys it's more complicated, because there've always been these boys, these males who have had real gender dysphoria. So I think a lot more research has to be done in that area. And the problem is it's hard to do it, right? Lisa Littman, who's the one who did the study on the teenage girls, she's been trying to study de-transitioners. She's doing big s... great studies on de-transitioners, women who regret it, because ... well, all people who regret it, but a lot of them are now women.
And the reason, of course, they're now women is because they never had gender dysphoria, so they weren't cured by medical transition, so now they regret it, and they're called de-transitioners, right. And she's already had her study undermined because a bunch of people, trans activists on social media said, everyone come invalidate the study, essentially, and they all did. So they falsified her results, right, 'cause they ruined the results to store it... So they had to be scrapped, snd now she's redoing... she's trying to redo it.
How did they falsify results?
Well, they they took the survey. They, you know, but they skewed, they were able to skew the results, right? They they they and she saw on social media, they were directing people to take the study to mess up their results. So now we have a population, de-transitioners, that we need to study, we need to learn from, and you can't. Right? It's hard. And that's that's cancel culture right there. That's shutting down medical study that will help us understand more about, you know, gender transition and more about, you know, gender dysphoria, and and also this population of teenage girls, and it's hard to even study them.
Y'know, I was looking at a discussion about, there was a particular web site that was dealing with male to female transitioners who then went back to being male again.
And uh they were furious at this page and furious at these people for expressing their their story. And I was like I was looking at this and I was thinking to myself that it's so strange that you you're looking at when you're talking about someone who transitions, you're you're you're talking about a very small percentage of the population that is a male that feels they should be a female to begin with. And then you have this surgery and you have this chemical or hormonal intervention and you change your your body and you change who you are and then regret, and then coming back.
And they were they were so vehemently opposed to this web site. I'm like... But couldn't you imagine, like, f.. f.. f... Imagine a person who's gone through this change.
So, you know that you are very different than someone like Jamie who doesn't have this issue, right, who's just a man. You know that people are different. So why would you think that there's no way anybody could go through that and have regret?
'Cause people vary so much. But they were so in opposition to these people's stories, and they were so, they were saying that essentially this is these people were putting this Web site that was hate speech.
And this is uh promoting anti trans th... th... theee...feelings and thinking and...
Because their line is that de transitioners don't exist or they're so marginal, you shouldn't even discuss it.
Except that when somebody tr... a uh good a scientist in good faith tries to study it, they try to invalidate her results. So we're trying to figure out how big a problem is regret, right? And it's hard to know. I mean, she's redoing the study, but it's it's hard to know. And I what you just said is exactly right. People have different experiences.
OK. This does not invalidate your experience.
Exactly. Exactly. And that's the problem. And I guess they would point to, someone who's anti trans would point to that Web site and go see, these anecdotal stories of people that transition that had a horrible time of it and hated it and went back; this is everyone. And the other people are just in denial.
Right. Well, that's stupid.
Yeah, it is stupid, it is stupid. It it denies nuance.
And it also different, differentiate people have... We know that there are different causes of the same kind of symptoms. Right, I use the example in my book... I mean, you know, osteoarthritis and rheumatoi toid arthritis - apparently, one of the experts I talked to, Ray Blanchard, gave the example of -they both cause swollen fingers. OK, so you've got two types of people who say they're transgender. One who is genuinely suffering gender dysphoria and always has in childhood, and another who discovered it on the Internet with her friends. So now we're supposed to pretend those are the exact same conditions? And we're not supposed to look look at them or explore them or figure out what's the difference?
Now, when you present... Have you ever presented this discussion to someone who opposes you and how, or this argument to someone who opposes you, and how do they how do they treat that? Just what you just said right there, which is very, very concise.
Umm, I ... You know, I try. I've engaged with all kinds of people online, you know, and I always invite people to talk to me in a reasonable way. I can't think of, you know, a good, you know, response that I've...
Well. Well, let me think. OK, so sometimes people will say, and I get this and I actually think this is a good response to me... They'll say to me, but if you make it harder, if your book makes it harder, number one, people are going to misconstrue it. They're going to think this applies to everybody, which is a legitimate concern, right? And then somebody who's really gender dysphoric, who needs these surgeries, won't be able to get them. Right?
And also, they're going to think that everybody would ret, and no one's helped by transition, and some of these people might, you know, come to harm because of that. I think that's a legitimate response. Right? And it's it's not compelling to me because my attitude is, let's discuss it all.
Let's investigate this.
Let's talk to more experts. Let's get more science here and figure out what's going on.
And by the resistance for your, to your book, and the resistance to these conversations we realize that people are not looking at this objectively. This is not something that everyone's looking at, all sides of it. They're not. They are activists.
They have this agenda. And this agenda is very ideologically driven that anybody who even thinks they might be trans should be trans archer. And the more trans people, the better. And the more kids that transition, the better.
And then they say, but some are gender fluid. So the activists will say some kids are gender fluid. And you say, well, then why would you push it, you know, permanent hormonal intervention and surgeries on someone who might later decide that they were fine as a woman. Right. I mean, that you've just acknowledged with gender fluid... I mean, this thing is all over the place. I have surgeons... Surgeons will give this surgery, they'll remove healthy breasts for a woman who says she's non binary. OK? So she doesn't even say she's really a man. She says she's non binary now. Well, wait, I thought the whole point of the surgery was to help this woman because become who she really is, a man. But now you're saying that you'll give it to, you know, 16 year old girls who say they're non binary. The the expl... the medical explanation seems to be shifting.
And if we're supposed to accept people as they are, shouldn't non binary people just be themselves? Like, why are we introducing hormones into their body?
Why is that the best approach? This is what's so confusing. If someone feels they were born a woman, couldn't you j... Why can't you just be a woman? Like, why do you, if someone feels they're born binary or asexual or or whatever or gender fluid,
just be who you are.
I think in part because of social media, the...
and in part because of the the gender ideology in the schools, everybody needs their little identity, right? So we're dividing people up like insects, right? Everybody needs their special bucket, their special label.
Well that was one of the weirdest things about the Caitlyn Jenner thing when she transitioned and then had surgery. You know, there was an interview where she was saying, well, I finally did get the surgery. Not that I was wasn't completely a woman before the surgery. And I was thinking, well, why would you get the surgery then?
Well, did she get the bottom surgery?
The bottom surgery.
Do you know? That's what they call it.
Is that what they call it? Yes.
Oh, I didn't know that.
Yes! Yeah. She got the bottom surgery. But she was that was her argument was that she was completely woman all woman before that. We're in la la land.
Right. So that's religion.
I mean, they're not that's not scien... You can't say I was always a woman but then the surgery will make me a woman.
Right. The hormones made me a woman but I was always a woman. The surgery makes me a woman but I was always a woman. The, you know, quart of estrogen every couple of weeks.... I don't know... What, what, whatever we decide, you know, as a group... It's very it's very confusing. And then people say, why do you even care? Like, why is it something that you're obsessed with? Well, I care about people, and I care about weird shit. I care about things get ... When when things get weird. When I see teenage girls, and I have all daughters. When I see teenage girls, and I see this issue that you're talking about, where two percent two percent are succumbing to this. I know how awkward it is. I've seen it. I know how awkward it is for everybody growing up.
Growing up is fucking crazy.
I mean, you have no idea what the future holds. You don't know if you're gonna come out on the other end okay. You just don't know.
That's exactly right.
And adults have forgotten, they've started treating these kids like prophets. It's like, the moment they say they're trans, it's like, oh, everyone, stop what you're doing. Forget that she's 13 years old. Listen to the prophet. Whatever she says about herself must be correct.
That is a great way to put it. That is a great way to put it. Because, yeah, when I was 13, I was a fucking moron, you know? And I'm, thank God, I ne... never had an idea to change my gender when I was 13.
It's um ... It's ... I'm I'm hoping that over time, people realize you can be both open minded and progressive and kind and also aware of the pitfalls of a very real problem.
And that's what this seems to be, seems to be a very real problem, that, again, I gravitate towards things people shy away from. So people shying away from this, I'm like, why? Like, why are we shying away from this? Why is everyone so scared of this trans subject?
Why is everyone so sca... Well, it's because of social media. It's because of these activist mobs. They're not doing themselves any good and they're not doing the the whole idea of being a trans person any good, because they make people associate trans people with the types of mobs that attack Martina Navratilova, the type of mobs, the type of mobs that go after these studies that show de-transitioners and what what their their experience were and fuck up the study.
And you know what? Transgender adults reach out to me online all the time and say that. They say to me, you know, I'm embarrassed by this crazy activist group. I don't want people to say that ... think that I'm like that. I don't support, you know, their mobbing. And I just say that, you know, whenever I am interviewed, I say, listen, this is not, you know, the activists don't represent all transgender adults by a long shot, you know?
So where do you go from here? What's your next book gonna be about?
I dunno ... I think something a little less ... I dunno...
Yeah. Right. Exactly.
This is my favorite flower. Something, something real easy.
I mean, you ... What have you written about before this? Have you written books before this or is this your first book?
No, I just you know, I write for The Wall Street Journal most often and I write Opinion Journalism. This is my first book. And, you know, it's like one of those things. Like I once I got down the rabbit hole, I thought, wow, this is really true. And I got a ... It's nobody... I realized something, you know, nobody could write about. I had teachers telling me they couldn't speak up about what was going on in the classrooms.
I had therapists afraid, doctors afraid. And I realized if journalists aren't going to talk about this, who will?
Yeah. Well, I'm glad you did.
I really am. And I'm glad we got a chance to talk about this. And uh I hope people listen to this with an open mind and just listen to it. And this doesn't discount anyone who's trans. It really doesn't. This is not what we're talking about here. And if you are trans and genuinely trans and happy being trans, you should want people to understand that there's other things going on.
That it's, that we're not talking about you.
This is a this is a condition that young girls are facing as they become adults and going through these crazy hormonal transitions and social transitions and and it and it can damage them.
Thank you, Abigail. Thank you. It's called Irreversible Damage: the Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters. And it's available right now.
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