Four New Books Dealing with Transgenderism
November 16, 2023
by Andrè Van Mol, MD
Publications exposing transgender ideology and its capture of academics, medicine, the entertainment industry, government and the business sector are picking up steam. What we might term the breakout books, those that caught traction and burst onto the public square addressing and countering the whirlwind of transgenderism, included Ryan T. Anderson’s When Harry Became Sally (Encounter Books, 2018)—which was removed from Amazon, so it must have really hit the mark; Nancy Pearcey’s Love Thy Body: Answering Hard Questions about Life and Sexuality (Baker Books, 2019); and Abigail Shrier’s Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters (Regnery Publishing, 2021)
I’d like to give you a brief of four very new books tackling the subject. Full disclosure, I am quoted, cited or credited in all four; I was asked to lend a hand with some degree of editing for two of them; and three of the authors are friends of mine. No money changed hands, and I have no financial interest in any of the publications.
- Transgender Dilemma in the Young by Dr. Jeffrey E. Hansen (BookBaby, 2023)
Dr. Hansen has decades of experience as a child and adolescent psychologist dealing directly with gender dysphoric minors and young adults. His book is remarkable for its brevity, weighing in at only 80 pages (my main lecture notes on the subject are that long, but they lack his concise focus). It is written to be plainly understood by parents and professionals alike, and it is richly accented with tables, charts and other highlighting for clarity. After Dr. Hansen’s brief introduction, there are chapters on definitions, prevalence, etiology, standards of practice, problems in normal sexual development, outcomes research, legislation and pushback, resources and closing thoughts. Jeff is a strong Christian, but this book is not theological so as to reach a wider audience.
- Lost in Trans Nation: A Child Psychiatrist’s Guide Out of the Madness by Dr. Miriam Grossman (Skyhorse, 2023)
Child and adolescent psychiatrist Dr. Miriam Grossman should be well known to many in CMDA through her prior publications, which are commonly found on the shelves of concerned Christian parents, such as You’re Teaching My Child What? and Unprotected: A Campus Psychiatrist Reveals How Political Correctness in Her Profession Endangers Every Student. Lost in Trans Nation is a powerful toolkit and how-to book by a colleague doing a great deal to stem the tide of the trans-ideological assault on children and adults alike.
Dr. Grossman’s book is graced with a foreword by Dr. Jordan Peterson, who has also interviewed her. The chapters appropriately cover the bases: John Money’s Dangerous Idea, Psychiatry’s Dangerous Idea; followed by subsequent chapters on the dangerous ideas of educators, lawyers and surgeons; Whistleblower; Castro (forced) Consensus; Euphemisms; Mourning the Living; and several others to round out the subject. Dr. Grossman broadly covers the bases both historically and contemporarily. Of particular note and utility are the seven appendices: Biology 101; Key Scientific Papers; Dealing with Schools; Dealing with Child Protective Services; Finding a Therapist; Guide to Internet Accountability Tools; and Responses to International Parent Survey, offering parent-to-parent advice on ideology, schools, therapists, internet, social media and parenting. The appendices are authored by a variety of fitting scientists, psychiatrists, attorneys and other experts.
- Five Lies of Our Anti-Christian Age by Dr. Rosaria Butterfield (Crossway, 2023)
Dr. Butterfield is a former lesbian-identified professor of English, women’s studies and queer theory at Syracuse University; at least that was so before she really started making waves as a Christian. Her book is remarkable for engaging five fights in a single volume, any one of which Dr. Butterfield could expound upon in a full hardback. The five lies are: homosexuality is normal; being a spiritual person is kinder than being a biblical Christian; feminism is good for the world and the church; transgenderism is normal; and modesty is an outdated burden that serves male dominance and holds women back. When I read the table of contents, I smiled and wanted to take cover at the same time. Talk about courage! Keep in mind that Professor Butterfield was once fully able to marshal her academic weight to assert the positions she now so compassionately and convincingly opposes. She studied them, she believed them, she taught them and she lived them. This is no outsider rock throwing exercise; it is an inside job.
Dr. Butterfield asks and addresses provocative questions. Is transgenderism a mental illness or sin? Is it something one “‘navigates’ or repents of and heals from?” Are teens and children with usual problems of growing up being manipulated by social media into a social contagion? Dr. Butterfield shares the experiences of some of her friends who engaged transition. She goes on to tackle the subjects of pronouns, chosen names, brain sex, the capture of the education system and use of anti-bullying programs to indoctrinate the captive audience of minors, along with other facets of the issue. Primarily, however, this is a theologically focused presentation in which an entire chapter is committed to the sin of envy and its relevance here. There is another on the war of words and war against children. Particularly impressive is the detailed presentation on the discipline of contentment, its meaning and acquisition and its application here. Fearless and disciplined scholar that she is, Rosaria directly exposes popular false teachers, correcting both their erroneous premises and teaching. Dr. Butterfield does quite a lot with 63 pages.
- The Gender Revolution: A Biblical, Biological and Compassionate Response by Patricia Weerakoon, Robert Smith and Kamal Weerakoon (Matthias Media, 2023)
Patricia (academic and medically trained sex therapist), Robert (theologian and pastor whose PhD thesis was on transgender theory) and Kamal (PhD, and whose MS was on biblical views of sexuality) have assembled an impactful and timely volume.
The book contains eight chapters dealing with worldviews, identity, harmony and disharmony, biology (“Embodied and binary”), “Desire, orientation, romantic love and choice,” “Gendered behaviour and transgender ideology,” “The minefield of management,” and “How should we live?” An appendix contends with pronoun usage. Initially, they almost lost me on the “recommended resources” chapter, which includes several titles by authors I think have gone south and are leading Christians astray, not to mince words. To be clear, each time the book quotes said sources, the Weerakoon team gently, respectfully, ably and clearly rebut the concepts. I asked the authors if these recommendation inclusions were simply an expression of academic integrity. Indeed, they felt compelled to let people know that their own handling of the subject was not the only one to be encountered. Still, in my honest opinion, these books should not have been under “recommended” resources.
The Gender Revolution is impressive all around. There is a repeated interweaving of science, sociology, psychology, theology and Scripture brought to bear in compassionate and direct response to the transgender ideological onslaught in culture, law, academics, media and the church. This allows them to approach the transgender issue from most every angle the reader may encounter. The depth and breadth of this highly readable 200 pages is remarkable. Each chapter has a very helpful set of summary points as well. I found myself taking notes, lots of them. They address most every slogan, claim, demand and tag line of the transgender ideologues and advocates, and they do so in a manner both comprehensive and befitting believers in tone and content. There is much to recommend in this volume.