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Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria/Social Contagion

Last updated: January 2, 2023

ROGD, or Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria, is a term used against the transgender community, in particular our youth, to try and turn being transgender in to a whim and sometimes used as an attack to create the narrative that we have not always been transgender and it is a choice.

Often parents will buy into this theory as in their position, their child stating they are transgender came out of the blue and didn’t exist before. So when someone who wants to attack the transgender community tells them that this is a social movement and it was a “rapid” decision, an uneducated or unexperienced person might believe that. The reality is the child was struggling with it and holding it inside all their life for a variety of possible reasons including fear of rejection and learning about their feelings.

So in that thought, it looks like this:
Parent: This came on all of a sudden
Youth: I have known this in all my life but didn’t tell you because I feared rejection and have been anxious, depressed, and maybe suicidal while struggling with keeping this to myself.

Social Contagion is a new term that has taken hold. This appears to try and dig in deeper than ROGD and follows the same line of thought and adding that it is socially related that it “all of a sudden happens” by trying to say that our youth are deciding to be transgender because it is what their friends are doing.

What do the attacks try to accomplish? Being transgender is how we are born. If they can change the narrative to a conscious decision, then rights can be taken away or controlled. Multiple studies are in place that demonstrate that a person’s sense of gender identity is in place at birth and generally can be verbalized as early as 3 or 4, when communication skills develop sufficiently enough. The use of ROGD and Social Contagion are therefore only attempts to take that away as trying to remove rights for an inherent part of ourselves is difficult but if you can change the narrative to a choice, then laws are easier to justify. But the facts are in place and being transgender is an inherent component of who transgender people are.

Articles and Studies

August 3, 2022Jack L. Turban, MD, MHS; 
 Brett Dolotina, BS; 
 Dana King, ALM; 
 Alex S. Keuroghlian, MD, MPH
New Study Examines The “Social Contagion” Hypothesis Of Transgender And Gender Diverse Identities
November 15, 2021Greta R. Bauer, PhD, MPH 
Margaret L. Lawson, MD, MSc, FRCPC 
Daniel L. Metzger, MD, FAAP, FRCPC
Do Clinical Data from Transgender Adolescents Support the Phenomenon of “Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria”?
December 10, 2019Wren SandersSimilarity in transgender and cisgender children’s gender development
April 22, 2019Arjee Javellana RestarMethodological Critique of Littman’s (2018) Parental-Respondents Accounts of “Rapid-Onset Gender Dysphoria”
December 4, 2018Dr Florence AshleyThere Is No Evidence That Rapid-Onset Gender Dysphoria Exists