Rapid-onset gender dysphoria may be similar to anorexia.

September 19, 2018

We are trying to protect our children from harm at the hands of a medical profession that has abandoned the tenets of science and evidence-based medicine in favor of untested treatment protocols dictated by political ideology.
We are trying to protect our children from harm at the hands of a medical profession that has abandoned the tenets of science and evidence-based medicine in favor of untested treatment protocols dictated by political ideology.

We, the Parents of ROGD Kids, owe Dr. Lisa Littman a debt of gratitude.  First, for giving us the words to describe what we were seeing in our own children, Rapid-Onset Gender Dysphoria (ROGD), then for  meticulously quantifying this phenomenon, and for presenting several intriguing hypotheses in her recently-published study, Rapid-onset gender dysphoria in adolescents and young adults: A study of parental reports.

Since the launch of our website, ParentsofROGDKids.com, just nine months ago, we have been contacted by over 600 desperate parents whose children suddenly decided they were transgender.  We are collaborating with Dr. Michael Bailey on a survey of these parents and have collected over 425 responses to date. Our results corroborate Dr. Littman’s findings.  We are currently compiling our results for publication.  Anecdotal evidence from over 250 personal stories further supports Dr. Littman’s findings. 

Our results support Dr. Littman’s findings.

Family after family describe almost identical circumstances surrounding their child’s new-found “transgender identity,” and the tragedy unfolding in their families is heartbreaking.  Children are being coached by internet strangers on how to ‘come out’ to their parents, how to lie to medical professionals to obtain puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones, and how to order them online.  Behind closed doors, therapists are assuring children they are transgender, and telling them that their parents are abusive if they do not support their transition.  Therapists often resort to emotional blackmail, threatening parents that their children will most likely commit suicide if they do not support their child’s transition.  Schools are allowing and even encouraging children to socially transition without their parents’ knowledge.  Doctors are prescribing hormones and surgeries which can sterilize, harm and disfigure their children against their parents’ wishes.  Clinics are connecting children to adult transgender “mentors,” who will coach them along the road to becoming a transgender teen or adult. Families are being torn apart, as our children are encouraged to break ties with their parents and join their “glitter families.”  Some of our parents’ stories can be found on our website.

 Dr. Littman has described an entirely new population of gender dysphoric individuals: adolescent and young adult females.

The significance of Dr. Littman’s findings cannot be overstated. Dr. Littman has identified a new population of gender dysphoric individuals that is distinctly different from what has been described in previous research about GD, which was overwhelmingly male.  This new population predominantly consists of teenage and young-adult females:

  • Who never showed any signs of gender dysphoria in childhood,
  • whose gender dysphoria came on suddenly and was immediately followed by demands for social and medical transition,
  • who have a history of emotional issues, Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, difficulties with socialization and/or physical or emotional trauma prior to the onset of their gender dysphoria,
  • who spend excessive amounts of time on the internet, and
  • who often have friends, either in person or online, who have suddenly decided to transition around the same time.

Rapid-onset gender dysphoria may be similar to anorexia.

Dr. Littman posits that ROGD may have some similarities to anorexia, and the characteristics that make female adolescents more susceptible to anorexia may be the same characteristics involved in ROGD.  

Her finding that transgender identification often occurred in cluster outbreaks among friend groups—at up to 70 times the expected prevalence rate—suggests the possibility that social and peer contagions may be at work in the development of ROGD in a manner similar to that observed in anorexic and other eating disordered populations.

Almost nothing is known about its causes or whether is will resolve on its own.

Because it is so new, this type of GD has never been properly researched.  Almost nothing is known about its causes, how it evolves as the patient matures, whether it will resolve on its own, or the most effective approach to treatment.

Today, this population comprises the largest and fastest-growing group of individuals being referred to gender clinics. Yet current guidelines recommend treating all gender dysphoric individuals the same way, with ‘affirming’ therapy incorporating social and eventual medical transition.  The evidence to support this treatment protocol is tenuous at best, even in well-studied populations of gender dysphoric patients.  There is NO evidence to support it for the rapid-onset population.

Dr. Littman’s work is a critical first step in establishing evidence-based, helpful support for rapid-onset gender dysphoric children and young adults.   We concur with Dr. Littman’s conclusion that she has identified a population that is desperately in need of further study, free of political or ideological considerations.

Call to Action

‘Affirmative therapy’ and social and medical transition of rapid-onset gender dysphoric kids may well be causing irreversible harm, including infertility, disfigurement and severe psychological trauma.

We urge medical regulatory bodies to fulfill their mandate and act swiftly to protect our children from grievous harm.  Impose an immediate moratorium on the social and medical transition of all ROGD children, adolescents and young adults pending further study into the etiology and treatment of ROGD.


About Parents of ROGD Kids

Parents of ROGD Kids was created in the fall of 2017 to support family members and other loved ones of children who suddenly, seemingly out of the blue, decided they were transgender.  We came together to support each other, as we could find no formal support from the medical or therapeutic community.  Our concerns around transitioning our children and our calls for caution are not welcome in most support groups run by hospitals and community services.  One such group in Canada even called the police on a mother who said she would not support her daughter’s medical transition. She has since been banned from the group.

Our parents are intelligent, well educated and open minded.  They include doctors, lawyers, researchers, therapists and teachers, among others.  They are highly supportive of their children’s sexual orientations, whether these children identify as gay, straight, lesbian, or bisexual. They care deeply for their children, and see that they are suffering.  They wish to support them and are seeking ways to help them overcome their issues, but they know there is no evidence to support transitioning as a solution to their problems.

Most doctors, therapists, hospitals and community support services will only allow one approach to dealing with our children’s gender dysphoria (GD), the “affirmative approach,” which simply affirms their newly-proclaimed gender and sets them on the path to social, medical and surgical transition, while ignoring or minimizing any potential underlying issues, and the serious medical and psychological risks caused by transition.

We are trying to protect our children from harm at the hands of a medical profession that has abandoned the tenets of science and evidence-based medicine in favor of untested treatment protocols dictated by political ideology.


For further inquiries, please contact

Janine McLean

Media Consultant

Parents of ROGD Kids

Email:  Janine@ParentsofROGDKids.com