Silenced: Whole Friend Groups of Teen Girls Are Transitioning - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Silenced: Whole Friend Groups of Teen Girls Are Transitioning
Teen friends who identify as transgender (YouTube screenshot/Kovu Kingsrod)

Propagandists actively work to silence any speech at odds with their view that trans people’s identities are innate. This week, Amazon partook in the muzzling by silencing advertisements for a book that “explores the idea that trans-identification has become a peer contagion among teen girls.”

The book, by Wall Street Journal contributor Abigail Shrier, is titled Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters

It doesn’t matter to Amazon if the liberal agenda censors scholarship or exposes young girls to life-altering and dangerous medical treatments.

Amazon didn’t even pretend to reject the advertisement for a politically neutral reason. Instead, the company justified its refusal on the basis that the book may include content “that infers or claims to diagnose, treat, or question sexual orientation.”

Shrier’s book discusses a social theory that some trans activists really don’t want to see the light of day. Teen girls, the theory says, can decide they are transgender males as a result of interacting with other young girls who have transitioned through a phenomenon known as “peer contagion.” 

Peer contagion is defined as “the transmission or transfer of deviant behavior from one adolescent to another.” It has been scientifically linked to depression, eating disorders, and drug use. 

“Today,” the book’s description reads, “whole groups of female friends in colleges, high schools, and even middle schools across the country are coming out as ‘transgender.’ These are girls who had never experienced any discomfort in their biological sex until they heard a coming-out story from a speaker at a school assembly or discovered the internet community of trans ‘influencers.’”

The number of teen girls transitioning is increasing exponentially. In the UK, for instance, there has been a 4,400 percent increase in girls referred for transitioning treatment in the past decade.

The peculiarity of teen girls transitioning was noted by J. K. Rowling in her June 10 essay, in which she spoke out about her concerns regarding transgender activism’s influence on feminism. “I’m concerned,” said Rowling, “about the huge explosion in young women wishing to transition and also about the increasing numbers who seem to be detransitioning.”

In 2018, Brown University public-health researcher Lisa Littman published a study in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, Plos One, which raised the possibility of the peer contagion theory. Her study is based on 256 surveys completed by parents of children who developed gender dysphoria after puberty, a full 80 percent of whom were female. 

Of course, Brown soon removed from its website an article on the study, citing “community concerns” that the study “could be used to discredit efforts to support transgender youth and invalidate the perspectives of members of the transgender community.” As an aside, they also mentioned concerns about the methodology of the study.

Almost 90 percent of parents surveyed in Littman’s study said their child was the second, third, or fourth person in their friendship group to question their gender. 

Additionally, 21 percent of parents reported that their child came out as transgender around the same time that a friend came out as transgender.

Further, one-third of parents said more than half of their child’s friendship group was transgender-identified. Littman said this represented a rate of transgender-identification that is more than 70 times the expected prevalence for young adults. 

“Parents have described clusters of gender dysphoria in pre-existing friend groups with multiple or even all members of a friend group becoming gender dysphoric and transgender-identified in a pattern that seems statistically unlikely based on previous research,” she wrote.

LGBTQ activists justify this data on the basis that having friends who are transgender just makes a young person feel more comfortable coming out and being who they truly are. For instance, trans activist Julia Serano responded to Littman’s study by saying, “I think it’s important for us to recognize that the prevalence of trans people in the past was artificially reduced by the lack of visibility, and by gatekeepers who weren’t allowing people access to trans health.”

Based on Littman’s data, Serano’s justification leads to the conclusion that way more of us are transgender than we think. We just don’t know it yet, or so they say.

What Shrier calls the “trans epidemic” is dangerous to teen girls, she says, because it causes them to “disfigur[e] their bodies” with double mastectomies, phalloplasties, puberty-blockers, and testosterone. Worse, Shrier says, the default of the medical community is to medically affirm the teen girls’ new identity. Planned Parenthood, for instance, gives teens testosterone without any psychological examination, which can have serious effects on fertility. 

Additionally, chest binders, Shrier’s book says, can lead to “fractured or bruised ribs, punctured or collapsed lungs, shortness of breath, back pain, and deformation of the breast tissue.” 

But these dangers give Amazon no pause, as it advertises chest binders on its site when people search “transgender” or search for Shrier’s book. It also advertises on searches for Shrier’s book products like “Silicone Thong Man Transgender Crossing Shorts” and “pseudo-girls fake hidden concealed panties,” which are used to help people transition. 

The publisher of Shrier’s book, Regnery Publishing, has spoken out on the injustice of Amazon’s suppression of the book and elevation of products that help people transition.

“The cancel culture has made it clear,” Regnery tweeted, “that it despises diversity of opinion, and it will not tolerate science, data, facts, or anything that contradicts the approved narrative. If you’re not on board, you’ll have your head handed to you.”

Many companies today believe they must placate the loudest of radical liberals to stay in the good graces of the public. For example, PayPal banned websites critical of Islam from using its service, Bank of America ended business with companies running immigrant detention facilities, and Spotify announced it would censor content as determined by the SPLC and GLAAD. Marketing strategy, it seems, is now driven by the angriest voices. 

And it doesn’t matter to Amazon if the liberal agenda censors scholarship or exposes young girls to life-altering and dangerous medical treatments. Amazon will do anything to be perceived as good and acceptable liberals. It doesn’t hurt that transitioning sells more products on Amazon than a book that discourages it.

Ellie Gardey
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Ellie Gardey is Reporter and Associate Editor at The American Spectator. She is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, where she studied political science, philosophy, and journalism. Ellie has previously written for the Daily Caller, College Fix, and Irish Rover. She is originally from Michigan. Follow her on Twitter at @EllieGardey. Contact her at
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