Marcia Segelstein has covered family issues for over 25 years as a producer for CBS News and as a columnist. She has written for FoxNews.com, “First Things,” “World Magazine,” and “Touchstone.” She is a Senior Editor for “SALVO” magazine and author of the book Don’t Let the Culture Raise Your Kids, which will be released by Our Sunday Visitor this spring.
In a recent piece for The Wall Street Journal called “When Your Daughter Defies Biology,” author Abigail Shrier described the plight of mothers whose daughters have come home from college with newly-grown mustaches and recently removed breasts.
Shrier had been contacted by a mother whose daughter had some anxiety issues during her first semester at college. Along with some friends, her daughter “decided their angst had a fashionable cause: ‘gender dysphoria.’” Over the course of a year, she began a course of testosterone, shaved her head, and began to wear boys’ clothes.
Shrier went on to interview 18 parents in the same situation, desperate to save their daughters, but unable to find allies. “Nearly every force in society is aligned against these parents: Churches scramble to rewrite their liturgies for greater ‘inclusiveness.’ Therapists and psychiatrists undermine parental authority with immediate affirmation of teens’ self-diagnoses,” Shrier writes. “Campus counselors happily refer students to clinics that dispense hormones on the first visit.”
In fact, health plans at 86 colleges around the country, including most of the Ivy League schools, cover cross-sex hormones and surgery.
Gender dysphoria is believing yourself to be the opposite gender from your biological sex. What these young women suffer from is rapid onset gender dysphoria, i.e., when such feelings manifest themselves suddenly — within days or weeks — without having been present in early youth. Shrier refers to sudden onset gender dysphoria as a social contagion — one that, like anorexia and bulimia, overwhelmingly affects girls.
In an earlier piece for National Catholic Register called “Is Transgenderism in Teens Contagious?” I asked Dr. Michelle Cretella, executive director of the American College of Pediatricians whether ROGD in teens is contagious:
Yes. Regarding transgender identification, social contagion is unleashed on teens via the internet, mainstream and social media, messaging in schools, peer pressure, and sadly, from the medical elites who propagandize gender ideology as science.
For example, the American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement on the issue declares that all children, regardless of age, should be immediately affirmed in accordance with their self-proclaimed gender identity.
As I write in my forthcoming book, Don’t Let the Culture Raise Your Kids, the influence of social media on young people — when it comes to gender ideology and so many other issues — can’t be underestimated. Shrier lists Reddit, Tumbler, Instagram, and YouTube as places where young women can find affirmation that “transitioning” is the answer to all their problems.
At The American Conservative, Rod Dreher writes about a mother who went to speak to her seventh grade daughter’s guidance counselor when she started claiming to be a boy. The counselor advised her to “accept your son as he is.”
The College Fix website wrote about this issue and received several emails from moms who described their ordeals.
Here’s one mother’s tragic story:
Our daughter went off to the college of her dreams. She seemed to do well her first year away. During her second year at college, she experienced a mental health breakdown. We received sketchy details of her struggles from her and a couple of her friends. There was no outreach from her college – due to privacy concerns. Following much pleading on our part, she came home for a visit. We were met with a very different visage upon picking her up at the airport. Her face was covered in acne, she sprouted an obvious mustache, her entire appearance was disheveled...Her voice was somewhat deeper, I might note here. She seemed very disturbed – not at all her old self. What was she like before this? No, not a tomboy as a child. She was an ambitious student, an animal lover, she loved to spend time in the kitchen baking. As for gender, she was typical (whatever that means). For her high school prom, she had her hair and makeup professionally styled...When our daughter was visiting, we asked her what was wrong. I inquired about the acne and mustache – that is not natural, I said. She insisted that she had always had a mustache. Not true. Before we knew what had hit us, she returned to her college. We discovered that she had obtained testosterone in the student clinic. And, she refused all contact with her family. Her college was complicit in all of this.
Another mother tells her daughter’s story:
She left for college in the fall of 2016 as a National Merit Scholar, all AP classes, involved in countless activities including bands, orchestra, theater, dance, literary magazine editor, starting women’s studies club, part time job… She honestly was on top of the world with so much potential. She also happened to be gender conforming. She had a significant merit scholarship at a well-respected east coast university in a large city. Sometime the second semester sophomore year things went horribly wrong… She called us in a deep voice stating she was transgender and had changed her name. She was unable to even think clearly around this issue and was obviously horribly confused. Within a week she completely severed ties in an email to us. No one in her immediate or extended family can believe what has happened. Within a year she had a double mastectomy. Our family is absolutely devastated by all of this.
Another mother, responding to Dreher’s piece, asks for our prayers:
You can’t imagine what it’s like to have the entire educational/med/psych/media world fighting against your parental values and common sense… If you’re not having to deal with such a thing, thank your God for that blessing. Be aware of what’s being taught in your schools. And say a prayer for the rest of us.