An Honest Look At Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria

Ephrom Josine
13 min readNov 18, 2021

On 11/15/2021, a study was released that reported to debunk the concept of Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria first proposed in 2018 by researcher Lisa Littman. The study writes:

We did not find support within a clinical population for a new etiologic phenomenon of “ROGD” during adolescence. Among adolescents under age 16 seen in specialized gender clinics, associations between more recent gender knowledge and factors hypothesized to be involved in ROGD were either not statistically significant, or were in the opposite direction to Journal Pre-proof 6 what would be hypothesized. This putative phenomenon was posited based on survey data from a convenience sample of parents recruited from websites, and may represent the perceptions or experiences of those parents, rather than of adolescents, particularly those who may enter into clinical care. Similar analyses should be replicated using additional clinical and community data sources. Our finding of lower anxiety severity/impairment scores in adolescents with more recent gender knowledge suggests the potential for longstanding experiences of gender dysphoria (or their social complications) playing a role in development of anxiety, which could also be explored in future research

However, in between Littman first publishing her findings and this new data, the concept of Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria had already become well known in certain circles. Entire books — including the 2020 mega-hit Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Crazy Seducing Our Daughters — have been written promoting Littman’s claims.

The study in question is titled “Parent reports of adolescents and young adults perceived to show signs of a rapid onset of gender dysphoria” and was first published on 8/16/2018. The paper ends by noting three “emerging hypotheses” on an increased rate of gender dysphoria primarily among pubescent girls, those being:

  • Social influences can contribute to the development of gender dysphoria
  • Parental conflict might provide alternative explanations for selected findings
  • Maladaptive coping mechanisms may underlie the development of gender dysphoria for some AYAs

Of the three, the first one is the one most commonly talked about in this debate, although the second…

Ephrom Josine

Political Commentator; Follow My Twitter: @EphromJosine1