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Abigail Shrier

Wall Street Journal Opinion Columnist

Appeared at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the Equality Act, raising hypothetical questions about transgender women: “If a preschool has a policy that only female teachers may accompany little girls to the bathroom, and your daughter’s male teacher suddenly identifies as female, ought that teacher have a legal entitlement to accompany her? Does that strike anyone in this room as sensible or safe? Should a female abuse survivor at a domestic violence shelter be forced to sleep and undress next to a biological male?” Trans women have been accommodated at federally-funded shelters for the last eight years with no evidence of being a threat to cisgender residents. 70% of transgender shelter residents have reported physical violence, harassment, or forced removal because of their gender identity. 23% of transgender people experienced housing discrimination such as being evicted or denied a home because of their gender identity. Trans women are not “biologically male;” scientific research demonstrates that sex is not binary even without considering transition-related medical care.

—At the Senate hearing, raised an unproven claim about an assault in Washington state as a reason to reject the Equality Act. Shrier said: “Just last week, after the Washington Correctional Center for Women began housing prisoners according to gender identity, half a dozen men transferred to the women’s prison. One of the inmates raped a female in the women’s prison upon arrival. If you pass this bill, you can expect hundreds more victims like this one—and that has nothing to do with transgender people and everything to do with opportunistic self-identification by violent male felons.” The claim about inmate rape was made anonymously and has not been confirmed by the corrections department that it happened or is being investigated. Reporting shows 15 of nearly 5,000 transgender inmates are housed according to their gender identity. 35% of trans prisoners report being sexually assaulted, according to the Department of Justice

Repeatedly misrepresented transgender sports participation: “Should [a cisgender girl] lose her college scholarship to a male-bodied athlete who might never have qualified for the boys’ team?” Claimed: “I have probably interviewed more transgender Americans than any person in this room. And I can honestly say that, excepting political activists, most do not want to obliterate women’s rights and protective spaces. Most would never think of stealing women’s scholarships, by forcing young women into demoralizing contests with male bodies.” There have been no instances of a transgender athlete getting a scholarship, and trans athletes have been participating in sports for years with no evidence of dominating or demoralizing contests. A cisgender athlete who filed a lawsuit, with the help of the anti-LGBTQ legal group ADF, defeated one of the transgender athletes named in the lawsuit for the Connecticut state championship two days after filing the suit.

—Stated that trans youth are “inspired” to be trans based on what their friends are doing. There is no scientific evidence that this happens, and a researcher's report on the alleged phenomenon was pulled and republished with a correction reading in part: “Rapid-onset gender dysphoria (ROGD) is not a formal mental health diagnosis at this time. This report did not collect data from the adolescents and young adults (AYAs) or clinicians and therefore does not validate the phenomenon. Additional research that includes AYAs, along with consensus among experts in the field, will be needed to determine if what is described here as rapid-onset gender dysphoria (ROGD) will become a formal diagnosis. Furthermore, the use of the term, rapid-onset gender dysphoria should be used cautiously by clinicians and parents to describe youth who appear to fall into this category. The term should not be used in a way to imply that it explains the experiences of all gender dysphoric youth nor should it be used to stigmatize vulnerable individuals.” As researcher Dr. Jack Turban notes, “Unfortunately, the paper did not survey any of the youth themselves or their clinicians. The only thing the paper established is that some people online believe that youth rapidly become transgender as a result of watching trans-related content on Youtube and Reddit.”

Claims increased transgender identity among teens is an expression of undiagnosed mental health disturbance: “If we’re just reverting to normal now that there’s greater societal acceptance—right, say we’re just reverting to a normal base rate of transgender women—where are all the women in their 40s and 60s coming out as trans? They should be coming out. Now’s their time. Now’s their moment. We should see tons of women in their 40s and 60s and so on coming out as transgender. We’re not seeing that. We’re seeing the same population that gets involved in cutting, demonic possession, witchcraft, anorexia, bulimia, and convinces themselves there’s a problem.” In her column in the Wall Street Journal, discussing her book on the “transgender craze,” Shrier writes: “I think mature adults should have the freedom to undergo medical transition. But teenagers are another matter. Social contagions exist, and teen girls are particularly susceptible to them. The book takes a hard look at whether the sudden spike in transgender identification among teen girls is yet another social contagion to befall girls who, in another era, might have fallen prey to anorexia or bulimia.” Population data shows increased numbers of LGBT people in the youngest generation studied (Gen Z) and increasing in all categories in the acronym above all previous generations, and not just in transgender identity. There is no research showing that more trans boys come out than trans girls, despite Shrier’s claim of a “sudden spike in transgender identification among teen girls [identifying as boys].” In fact, the data showed the number of young LGBTQ people identifying as lesbian doubled compared to the previous generation, whereas the number of young LGBTQ people identifying as trans went up only by a few points, again disproving the false theory that teen girls are falling prey to a “spike” in gender transition. Gallup researchers: “The pronounced generational differences raise questions about whether higher LGBT identification in younger than older Americans reflects a true shift in sexual orientation, or if it merely reflects a greater willingness of younger people to identify as LGBT. To the extent it reflects older Americans not wanting to acknowledge an LGBT orientation, the Gallup estimates may underestimate the actual population prevalence of it.”

—Shrier’s book on what she calls the “transgender craze” was read and reviewed by medical researcher Dr. Jack Turban, who wrote: “The book's central (and false) premise is that there are massive numbers of transgender youth who are not truly transgender, but rather just confused, and that they are all being rushed into gender-affirming medical interventions and surgeries that they will later regret. As a physician and a researcher who has dedicated my career to taking care of and understanding transgender youth, I recognized the book as bizarre and full of misinformation. I assumed it wouldn't gain much traction. I was wrong.” Turban points out that “Shrier did not interview most of the transgender adolescents she wrote about… only interviewed their parents, who uniformly did not accept their children’s transgender identities. Many of them were estranged from their kids because the children were so hurt by their parents' rejection. To actually understand the psychology of these young people, one would need to talk to them, not simply rely on stories from parents with whom they do not speak.”

Claims she is being targeted to be “canceled.” Shrier has appeared at a high-profile Senate hearing, on top-rated podcasts, and she has a platform in The Wall Street Journal, where she continues misrepresenting transgender people, including a column that falsely claimed President Biden’s executive order supporting trans students was “the end of girls’ sports.” States that include trans girls have a higher rate of girls playing sports than states with bans. 

Described trans rights as a “war on women“ and misgendered transgender women as “biological males who self-identify as females,” falsely claiming trans women’s use of “women’s restrooms, locker rooms and protective facilities… would put women and girls at immediate physical risk.” There is no evidence that letting transgender people use public facilities that align with their gender identity increases safety risks, according to a study from the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law. 

The GLAAD Accountability Project catalogs anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and discriminatory actions of politicians, commentators, organization heads, religious leaders, and legal figures, who have used their platforms, influence and power to spread misinformation and harm LGBTQ people.

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