On the trail of the GID diagnosis, 2000: Into the heart of the homophobic beast

Nearly every day, there is a glowing media report about the latest 5-year-old who has been identified as transgender. But one of many examples:


This headlong rush to diagnose minors who are gender nonconforming as “transgender” children needing psychological and medical intervention is a relatively new phenomenon, picking up speed only in the last decade or so.

In searching the clinical and research literature for the origin and motives behind the diagnosis of GID, I came upon this paper by Nancy Bartlett et al, published in the journal Sex Roles, December 2000. This article (original behind a paywall, but a copy linked here), critiques the DSM IV and the diagnosis of GID as fundamentally flawed and homophobic. The paper is chock-full of citations to studies indicating that gender dysphoria in children is generally transient. I’ll let the authors speak for themselves with the below excerpts. Page numbers refer to the original (paywalled) version.

I’ll say it again (and again and again): The current medical and media message is: “trans until proven otherwise.” This should be seen as malpractice, because sending small children to “gender therapists” and supporting and amplifying their (most likely transient) conviction that they are the opposite sex puts them on the conveyer belt to later medically “transition”—a lifetime of drugs and surgeries.  How many of these young children being currently diagnosed, if left alone, would have grown up to be non-dysphoric gay and lesbian people? At the rate this is all going, we will never know.

Update: This blogger is likely one of those who would have been groomed to be a transboy instead of growing up to be a lesbian, had she been born later.


(pg 761)

There is a lack of empirical evidence to support the notion of distress caused directly by GID …Certainly, child distress does not seem to be a common reason for referral of children with GID. Rather, the basis for clinical referral is more often parents’ or teachers’ concern regarding the child’s “intense involvement in overt cross-gender play” or the parents’ desire to prevent homosexuality in their child.

 …It has been proposed that distress among at least some children with GID is simply a response to having their desired manner of behaving thwarted (Di Ceglie, 1995; Meyer & Dupkin, 1985; Stoller, 1975; Sugar, 1995; Zucker, 2000). In the literature there are numerous accounts to support such a supposition.

(p 770)

Regardless of the fact that homosexuality is not officially considered a disordered outcome, the prevention of homosexuality remains a significant reason for referral of children with GID. It would be naive to believe that prevention of homosexuality is not a motivating factor for at least some of the clinicians who work with children referred for gender-atypicality. Indeed, some researchers and clinicians in the area of GID in children are quite open about such a goal, writing books (e.g., Rekers, 1982, 1991) or belonging to organizations devoted to the prevention of homosexuality (e.g., L. Loeb: see http://www.narth.com/menus/advisors.html). Thus, although the issue of the risk associated with a homosexual outcome should be moot, it is not. It is crucial that researchers and clinicians in the area of GID in children recognize that the most likely outcome for children with GID, with or without treatment (Green, 1987), is homosexuality, and that homosexuality is a nondisordered outcome. Only a very few children with GID continue to have GID as adolescents or adults.

(p 773)

Retrospective data show that homosexual men and women remember higher rates of childhood cross-gender behavior than do their heterosexual counterparts (see Bailey & Zucker, 1995, for a review). Data from retrospective studies of gay men and lesbians tend to indicate similar childhood gender nonconforming experiences as do prospective studies (cf. Phillips & Over, 1992). Compared to their heterosexual counterparts, for example, more gay men and lesbians recall having enjoyed “cross-gender” activities, dressing like the other sex, and pretending to be the other sex (Bell, Weinberg, & Hammersmith, 1981).

( p775)

…Moreover, much empirical evidence points to GID in those children as nothing more than a conflict between the individual and society, given that the most likely psychosexual outcome, whether a child does or does not receive treatment for GID, is homosexuality. Several authors have noted that it is ironic that the DSM-IV has a category for a childhood psychopathology for which the most likely predicted outcome is homosexuality, which has not been formally considered a pathology for over a quarter of a century (Fagot, 1992; Green, 1994). Labelling children as gender-disturbed when their most likely psychosexual outcome is homosexual is of questionable value, when the DSM-IV does not include this outcome as disordered. It is troubling that in the current peer-reviewed literature, despite it not being officially considered a mental disorder, homosexuality continues to be labelled as a “sex-role disturbance,” a “severe sexual problem,” or even a “diagnosis” (e.g., Dahl, 1988; Rekers, 1986).

(p 773)

Ironically, it seems to have been generally accepted in the literature that children with GID are at high risk for adolescent or adult GID (see APA, 1987; Bradley & Zucker, 1990; Rekers, Bentler, Rosen, & Lovaas, 1977; Rosen, Rekers, & Bentler, 1978; Zucker, 1985; Zucker&Green, 1992). Indeed, this line of reasoning has provided much of the basis for endorsing treatment for children with GID, which is unsettling given that a relatively large body of empirical evidence points to GID in adolescence or adulthood as being an outcome for only a small percentage of children with GID.

(p 777)

The previous notion of sexual inversion, and more recently, of homosexuality as mental disorders should be a reminder to mental health professionals about psychiatry’s power to pathologize those who do not fit the social norm (Bem, 1993). With homosexuality as the most likely psychosexual outcome for a child with GID, APA’s Position Statement on Homosexuality is relevant. In 1993, the American Psychiatric Association’s Committee on Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Issues of the Council on National Affairs called on organizations and individuals to “do all that is possible to decrease the stigma related to homosexuality wherever and whenever it may occur” (p. 686). It seems as though the inclusion of GID in children as it appears in the DSM-IV does little in responding to this appeal. Although the focus of this paper was on GID in children, it raises a larger question about the concept of “pathology” in general. To what extent do other “disorders” represent conditions that simply violate societal norms?


17 thoughts on “On the trail of the GID diagnosis, 2000: Into the heart of the homophobic beast

      • I can’t get access the Facebook page–get “this content is currently unavailable.” I can’t even search for your Facebook page. Any tips?


      • Lupron Put My Body Into a State of Menopause


        //“In females, leuprolide (Lupron) reduces the amount of estrogen that the body makes,” according to WebMD. Loss of estrogen can weaken bones, for some osteoporosis happens when menopause begins. “In adults, leuprolide may weaken your bones and increase your risk for bone loss (osteoporosis) if used for a long time.” I was given two injections of Lupron after an abdominal myomectomy to remove three uterine fibroids.//

        //Lupron (leuprolide acetate) was originally developed for advanced prostate cancer patients. It is now commonly used to treat women with endometriosis, fibroids, and hormonal replacement therapy. Unfortunately, the side effects are startling. They can include migraines, severe joint pain, difficulty breathing, depression, bone pain, liver function abnormality, vision abnormality, and anxiety. Since 1999, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received more than 7,000 adverse drug reports about Lupron.
        With this drug already being in legal trouble and a U.S. Senator stating the harmful facts of Lupron, Lupron should be discontinued for distribution.//

        this is the same drug given to children labeled transgender, $388 per shot, shot given every 4 weeks from the onset of puberty till cross hormone treatment begins. that’s years of being on this stuff. some lawyers are going to get rich, but a bunch of kids are getting hurt and being used as guinea pigs. if i’m wrong, great, but the evidence doesn’t look so good.



      • //“Radical feminist theory was and is particularly revolutionary because it means a total transformation of male domination. So it means the removal of it at its most basic level. It means the total transformation of culture. It means for instance no respect for culture. And I’ve been writing recently about multiculturalism because my new book is on religion, called “Man’s Dominion: the Rise of Religion and the Eclipse of Women’s Rights” (which is coming out later this year). So I’ve been writing about how multiculturalism becomes multi-faithism and how there’s this requirement in multicultural society is to respect culture- which is of course completely impossible since all cultures are based upon the subordination of women and the creation of two different sexes and two different genders and the construction of oppression out of that. And that- if you walk in any street, just look at the way people are dressed , if you look at anything that’s going on on the television, the extraordinary length to which the expression of women’s subordination and men’s domination go is immediately clear to you and that’s in major cities of the western world that I’m talking about. So of course the radical feminist critique is about overthrowing that deep, deeply cultural construction of women’s subordination. Its perhaps clearest on an everyday level, in what women are required to wear. The showing of their bodies: the short skirts, the shaved legs, the high-heeled shoes. The extraordinary lengths to which they have to go to punish and be cruel to their own bodies and be degraded in public places.

        Now that’s very very clearly about male domination as far as I can see. But it cannot be recognized. It simply cannot be recognized. So that, there’s a tremendous forgetfulness of the construction of what is these days is called “gender”. Of course I would call it “sexual oppression” I think is that is probably a more reasonable way of looking at it. And its strongest manifestation of course takes place in what’s called “transgenderism” which is a practice in which persons who do not adhere to the correctly gendered practices that have been placed upon the biological sex are considered to have something called Gender Identity Disorder and they’re expected to cross over into the other sex. Not criticize the gendered system as it exists, because that’s unthinkable but to make some kind of “journey” by mutilating their bodies and taking dangerous drugs for the rest of their lives in order to supposedly represent the opposite sex.

        Now that shows to us how clearly, and to what an extraordinary depth the idea that there are two genders, with different behaviors, constructed from how different we are biologically has entered culture. Because of course,it doesn’t make sense. I mean, I don’t have a gender. I’ve no intention of having a gender. I don’t do masculinity which is the behavior of male dominance, and I don’t do femininity which is the behavior of female subordination, women’s subordination. I hope to engage in human behavior and I hope at some point in the future everybody will be able to do that too, but gender I definitely do not have. I am a conscientious objector to gender as I would be indeed to being drafted into the military – and I see these things as having some connections (laughs).

        So, the problem with transgenderism – which is obviously an expression of men’s sexual rights as well of course( it’s very much about the right to be sexually excited by female clothing, and subordination and so on). But it also comes out of the gendered system. And it means that in order to support transgenderism , gender has to be supported. So the subordination of women has to be supported in order for transgenderism to be supported. Transgender as a phenomenon is the clearest possible indication of the strength of the structures of the male domination going on right now. Of course we know that in Iran homosexuals are routinely transgendered because they’re not allowed to be homosexuals.

        I’ve been looking at the stuff on transgendered kids in the U.S. There are lots of organizations now to support transgendered kids and their families. There’s lots of clinics and therapists, who can identify “transgender kids”. And they’re being recognized as transgender from four or five years old even though the literature tells us, and they tell us themselves, that 70% of those recognized as transgendered will end up as homosexual in later life. So one of the things they are trying to do is eradicate homosexuality at it’s very possible origin, (or they’ll profer a connection necessarily between homosexuality and gender) but they’re maybe being bullied for having the wrong kind of behaviors and so on. So what’s happening in the states is that children are now to be identified in school, to be identified by their parents. This is what we – you know in the seventies we fought against the idea that there were “correct” forms of behavior, “correct” toys and so on for children. It wasn’t radical to do so, that was quite mild I thought. Now these children are being put on programs, where- and this is the big demand now- they have drugs to prevent them, hormones to prevent them from developing the body of their biological sex. So they’ve got to be on these hormones for about nine years – you can see how the medical profession loves this: the drugs, the medical expertise and so on, it’s a very big money maker for them. And very conservative that they even believe in gender. So these poor children are not going through puberty in the normal way, they’re not having the ordinary biological changes. Then by sixteen they’ll be put on the cross-gender hormones of the opposite sex which will make them sterile. So they’re actually being sterilized. It’s the sterilization of the “un-fit”. When it happened in the thirties and the Nazis did it , you know it’s now considered that was unacceptable to do it: it went on until the sixties, in America, the sterilization of the disabled , the unfit. It’s happening now. Those who do not conform to correct gender stereotypes are being sterilized and they’re being sterilized as children. At eighteen years old they’re expected to move on to surgery, so parts of their bodies are going to be lopped off. And then they’ll be on these drugs for the rest of their lives.

        Eventually I’m sure, within – because things are moving fast and there’s a lot of criticism of this particularly by young radical feminists now- within the next ten, twenty years it will come to be realized as a horrendous human rights violation. But for these children and young people who have been sterilized, this is a terrible, terrible cost. Because they’ve lost parts of their bodies, they’ve lost the ability to reproduce. It really is a human rights violation on a massive, massive scale.

        Now, because I criticize this, I am sort of “no platformed” pretty much, by lots of feminist , lesbian and gay organizations who will not allow me to speak. Even in my own city I was not allowed to be invited to speak at the Reclaim The Night because I was seen as “transphobic”. A major conference in Britain that invited me to speak this year is basically not going to happen because some others said that I was transphobic and shouldn’t speak and everything collapsed and so on. The kind of McCarthyism that’s going on around transgenderism now – if you criticize it , or if somebody who is your friend knows you and you’re known as a “transphobe”, they also are now getting told they cannot speak. So it’s spreading out, and it’s spreading out . The National Union of Students in Britain , their Lesbian and Gay Bisexual Transgender Conference , the agenda I’ve just been looking at actually has a resolution saying that Julie Bindel- who’s also a feminist critic of this practice in Britain and a journalist “is vile”. (laughs) That’s all it says: “Julie Bindel Is Vile”. This is a resolution of the National Union of Students Conference. And of course she is no-platformed, no students organizations may invite her to speak anywhere because she’s also critical of transgenderism.

        So really, gender is of course the sort of last bastion because it is the foundation of the subordination of women. And it’s being defended to the death in this extraordinarily grim way. Which means that any radical feminist critics must not be allowed to speak. A reading group that discussed my book and said online that they’ve done so has been told that they were transphobic and that they should not be allowed to discuss my book, so it is an attempt to eliminate, expatriate, from the public discussion and the public forum, any discussion, writing and so on that could possibly criticize gender. Because that’s what it’s about, really. It’s criticizing gender. And that’s the very foundation of feminism and we really have to hold onto that. We’ve got to claw back the ground now. And I’m very pleased to say that there are quite a lot of radical feminist blogs that are not only being very critical of transgenderism, but even dare I say it, laughing at it. Which is a very very naughty thing to do. But sometimes the oppressed and the subordinate have to laugh at the dominant ideology that oppress them.//


        Liked by 1 person

  1. So sad. “I hate those stupid girl things”. I have a son and I wouldn’t even let him talk that way. He never did. This little girl learned that from people around her. Internalized misogyny at 5. How horrifically misogynist must her family be?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m quite happy to have been born in the 80s before the bulk of this trans cult insanity began to take over the world. Had I been born a decade later there’s a good chance my ‘cross-gender’ *sick* behaviours and likes would have led to a ‘GID’ diagnosis and then my family (who were not at all pleased about me being lesbian) just might have straight-converted me by having me convinced I was really just male. It’s so infuriating to me every time I read about a young girl being ‘turned into a boy’ just because she happens to like what boys tend to like–or rather what tends to be pushed on boys regardless of their likes.

    The patriarchy has created rigidly defined ‘sexed’ toys for the awful reason of trying to keep girls interested in being pretty, maternal, domesticated, uneducated, and submissive. Perhaps they knew that this would also be a good way to ‘figure out the homos’ (by monitoring for ‘cross-gender play’ well before adulthood so that they could then work on converting them before they can destroy society!

    “Regardless of the fact that homosexuality is not officially considered a disordered outcome, the prevention of homosexuality remains a significant reason for referral of children with GID.” Yep.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Just another ho-hum day in trans-kid news: Stanford to open specialty clinic for “trans” kids, Washington Post and BBC tout transition narrative | 4thWaveNow

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