As society continues to evolve – and some critics might argue 'devolve' – into a more progressive understanding of gender and sexuality, the stakes couldn't be higher. To the dismay of many parents, this societal tug-of-war over transgenderism is playing out on today's college campuses like never before – and is hitting young women particularly hard.
One mother, Katherine Cave, recently called attention to the issue, telling The College Fix, "I am writing to you on behalf of parents who have lost their kids at college to the transgender craze."
"Many liberal colleges have significant percentages of students suddenly identifying as transgender," Cave writes. "And as you may know, all it takes is a simple visit to an informed consent clinic where girls get testosterone injections to help them look like males."
One such case involved a 19-year-old girl named Pam who, according to her mother, "fits the typical description of a young woman affected by this craze – very bright, extreme social justice warrior, highly creative, socially awkward/ADHD/Asperger spectrum, OCD/obsessive interests."
"While she was not a super girly-girl, she had never any masculine interests (not one) and has all the stereotypical feminine interests and traits (cooking, knitting, babysitting little kids, etc)," Pam's mother explained. "She went from being a feminist/pro women's rights to hating white males to now wanting to become one and wanting to chemically and surgically mutilate her body."
In yet another example of 'transmania,' The Wall Street Journal's Abigail Shrier shares the story of an attorney whose daughter left for college a "girly-girl" only to return having undergone a shocking transformation.
"The young woman went off to college—which began, as it often does these days, with an invitation to state her name, sexual orientation and 'pronouns.' When her anxiety flared during her first semester, she and several of her friends decided their angst had a fashionable cause: 'gender dysphoria. "Within a year, the lawyer's daughter had begun a course of testosterone," Shrier recounts.
Shrier argues that the "real drug" that reeled in the young woman "was the promise of a new identity," noting that a "shaved head, boys' clothes and a new name formed the baptismal waters of a female-to-male rebirth."
Brown University public health researcher Lisa Littman labels this disturbing new phenomenon as "rapid onset gender dysphoria." Unlike gender dysphoria, a psychological disorder which takes hold in early childhood, Shirer describes ROGD as a "social contagion" that sets in during adolescence "afflicting teens who'd never exhibited any confusion about their sex."
The Fix reports that this "contagion" has blindsided an increasing number of mothers "who are shocked when their formerly feminine daughters suddenly come from home college with mustaches, acne, different demeanors — even their breasts removed."
Critics lay the blame on liberal ideology being peddled at college campuses across the country. According to The Wall Street Journal, 86 schools offer health plans that cover everything from cross-sex hormones to surgery.
Meanwhile, this new movement is also drawing some unlikely critics, ones who warn the implications of gender fluid ideology could carry far-reaching societal implications.
"I've always been fascinated, attracted to the subject of androgyny... but the more I explored it I realized that historically the movement towards androgyny occurs in late phases of culture as a civilization is starting to unravel," explained left-wing feminist Camille Paglia.
"And the people who live in such late phases of culture – whether it's the Hellenistic era, whether it's the Roman Empire – feel they're very sophisticated, very cosmopolitan. But from the perspective of historical distance, you can see it's a culture that no longer believes in itself."