Kenny, Dianna (2019). IS GENDER DYSPHORIA SOCIALLY CONTAGIOUS
. In Pediatric and Adolescent Gender Dysphoria Working Group.
In this article, I explore the influence of social contagion on the disquieting upsurge in the number of children and young people whose parents are presenting to gender clinics around the world for advice regarding social transition, puberty blocking agents, cross sex hormones, and ultimately surgery in an attempt to change their gender. First, I examine the concept of social contagion and the mechanisms by which it influences behaviour and attitudes. Then I review three key adolescent behaviours that have been shown to be subject to social contagion. Finally, I demonstrate that the same principles of social contagion apply to the increase of young people who believe that they are transgender and are consequently seeking irreversible medical remedies to assuage their gender dysphoria. Finally, I explore the social contagion (i.e., clustering) of medical practice with respect to treatment of gender dysphoria, the precipitous legislation appearing in its support, and changes to policy and practice in education and sport, despite our collective failure to date to fully understand the phenomenon of gender dysphoria and its rapid, epidemic-like spread in the Western world.
Pediatric and Adolescent Gender Dysphoria Working Group