Not too long ago a mainstream newspaper in the Netherlands (Volkskrant) did some reporting about de-transitioning and the change in who was looking for gender-affirming treatment. It talked about how originally the majority had been AMAB and now the number of AFAB persons had risen. It also raised concerns about the mental health of these people.
At first the article sounded pretty reasonable and even-handed to me, and it took some reading for me to see just how much they were in fact mirroring anti-trans talking points.
Instead of doing my own write-up, I would like to share some resources by transgender authors who explain this way better than I ever could.
I’d like to start with Julia Serano, who wrote an excellent essay about the exact points used in the article:
Explaining Assigned Sex Ratio Shifts in Trans Children
and its companion essay:
All the Evidence Against Transgender Social Contagion
Reading this sent me down a bit of a rabbit hole with all the links behind the idea of “social contagion”.
The very short summary is that social contagion is straight out of the far-right’s playbooks, where the “pure” and innocent (often white women and children) are under threat of being contaminated by the degenerate ideas of the impure.
Serano does an excellent job of explaining this: Anti-Trans Grooming and Social Contagion Claims Explained
One of the sources she links to is truly chilling: How the far-right is turning feminists into fascists
Finally, something I haven’t finished reading yet but it shows very well how social contagion was already used in the 1930s, but in regard to homosexuality.
All the arguments will sound very familiar.
Homosexuality as Contagion: From The Well of Loneliness to the Boy Scouts
I read this a while ago, and it’s somewhat tangentially related. It shows how TERFS are actually at odds with most tenets of feminism and much more closely aligned with conservative patriarchy. Gender Critical = Gender Conservative | feministkilljoys
Finally John Oliver as always does an amazing job of exposing the absurdity: Transgender Rights II: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO) (YouTube)