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Brown U. censors study that found gender dysphoria can be caused by ‘social and peer contagion’

School ‘sided with diversity and inclusion office’

Brown University claims to be committed to academic freedom–unless that freedom means questioning leftist orthodoxy.

The Washington Free Beacon reports that Brown officials censored a news article about a study done by one of its own researchers on “rapid-onset gender dysmorphia,” a phenomenon that happens “in the context of belonging to a peer group where one, multiple, or even all of the friends have become gender dysphoric and transgender-identified during the same timeframe,” according to the study.

The study was based on 256 parent-completed surveys and proposed that “friends and online sources” could be influencing “certain beliefs” about gender.

The study, done by Assistant Professor of the Practice of Behavioral and Social Sciences Lisa Littman, found that:

“Parents describe a process of immersion in social media, such as ‘binge-watching’ Youtube transition videos and excessive use of Tumblr, immediately preceding their child becoming gender dysphoric,” according to the study.

The findings raise “the possibility of social and peer contagion,” or teens influencing each other to promote certain emotions and behaviors. Peer contagion has been previously linked with influencing depression, eating disorders, and drug use.

The study’s author admitted that it was not conclusive and needed more research. But this wasn’t enough for Brown, which published a news article on the study and then took it down five days later.

The reason for taking it down? “Community members” claimed “the study’s results were anti-transgender,” the Free Beacon reports:

“The School of Public Health has heard from Brown community members expressing concerns that the conclusions of the study could be used to discredit efforts to support transgender youth and invalidate the perspectives of members of the transgender community,” said Bess Marcus, the dean of Brown’s School of Public Health in a statement on the controversy.

Marcus also acknowledged that “the school sided with the diversity and inclusion office over its behavioral study.”

Still, the university insisted that it is committed to “free inquiry and scholarly debate,” and added in the statement, “diversity and inclusion is central to our mission, and we pride ourselves on building a community that fully recognizes and affirms the full diversity of gender and sexual identity in its members.”

Read the article here, the study here, and the university’s statement here.

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