Colson Center President John Stonestreet brings up an interesting piece of research by Dr. Lisa Littman, a professor in behavioral and social sciences at Brown University. Dr. Littman determined that the number of people who identify themselves as transgender has gone up drastically in recent years, especially in friend groups that have already experienced one member identify as transgender. It seems, based on her research, that this increase is more like a trend used to cope with other psychiatric disorders and less like something that is built into a person’s nature, even though this is often what transgender activists claim to be the case.
This research is not based on religious misunderstandings or biases. It is based on statistics; the increases in transgender identification display trend-like characteristics. Even so, Littman’s research has come under intense fire. Stonestreet points out that her sources have been compared to the KKK, and that Brown University “removed the press release about her research from its website.”
It is important to note that we must be careful when communicating with people who struggle with this issue. It may not be appropriate in conversation to bring up the fact that their problem may just be a trend they picked up to cope with their other problems. We must love and care for those who struggle, and help them to see that their identity is deeper than their gender preference.
Nonetheless, we need to be willing to listen when high-level research has something to say about the issue. This is a serious topic, and we need to learn how to handle it more appropriately. Dr. Littman’s case shows that many are more worried about pushing a particular agenda than they are about truth that may help people understand identity at a deeper level.
“We must support our own teens in understanding who they are. They must know that their identity lies not in the latest mixed-up gender ideology or in keeping up with their friends’ fashion choices, but only in the God who created us male and female.”