Growing Body Of Evidence Shows ‘Social Influence’ Is Causing Teens To Undergo Sex Changes

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by Laurel Duggan, The Daily Caller:

  • The number of young people identifying as transgender has soared in recent years, and females have come to make up the vast majority of patients seeking gender transitions, reversing a longstanding trend.
  • Some view this rapid demographic shift as evidence that peer influence is driving young people, females in particular, to transition. 
  • “Adolescents are very susceptible to peer influence, so to suggest there can be no influence on young people is preposterous and flies in the face of everything we know about teenagers,” Dr. Erica Anderson, a psychologist who works with transgender children, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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The recent surge in transgender identification is caused in part by peer influence, a growing body of evidence suggests, and some transgender advocates are acknowledging this issue.

Many activists argue that transgenderism has become more prevalent because growing social acceptance allows more transgender people, who would otherwise keep their gender identity a secret, to live openly. Critics of youth gender transitions, however, argue that the growing rate of transgender identification in adolescents, along with rapidly changing demographics of transgender people, are evidence that peer influence is driving young people to identify as transgender who otherwise wouldn’t.

Gender dysphoria, a deep sense of discomfort with one’s biological sex which may drive a person to become transgender, used to be observed primarily in males, according to Reuters. That trend has been fully reversed over the past 15 years; among adolescents seeking transgender medical interventions, biological females outnumber biological males by a factor of 2.5 to 7.1.

This drastic change in the transgender population was driven by peer influence, some medical professionals argue. Dr. Erica Anderson, a psychologist who works with transgender children, told the Daily Caller News Foundation that peer influence, particularly through social media as a result of teens’ social isolation, is at least partially to blame for soaring rates of gender identity issues among adolescent girls.

“I think the people who are on the far right who say it’s all social influence are wrong. But people on the far left who say there can be no social influence are also wrong,” Anderson, a psychologist who works with transgender children, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Adolescents are very susceptible to peer influence, so to suggest there can be no influence on young people is preposterous and flies in the face of everything we know about teenagers.”

A study published in the scientific journal Plos One surveyed 256 parents whose children experienced rapid onset of gender dysphoria. The vast majority (86.7%) of adolescents either started spending more time online or were in a friend group with at least one other transgender person prior to identifying as transgender, according to the study.

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