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Publisher to retract paper on ‘Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria’

Springer Nature's decision to retract the paper has been described as "precedent-setting". Credit: Getty

May 24, 2023 - 7:00am

A new paper on gender dysphoria is to be retracted from an academic journal by one of the world’s largest academic publishers, Springer Nature, which publishes Nature magazine and Scientific American. The paper — entitled “Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria: Parent Reports on 1655 Possible Cases,” was published on 29th March in Archives of Sexual Behaviour, and has been hosted online by the SpringerLink website since.

Researchers J. Michael Bailey and Suzanna Diaz were told by a Springer Nature employee that the decision to retract was based on a lack of “written informed consent” by participants in the survey about having their scores and data published. The two researchers now have until 26th May to agree or disagree with the retraction before it is finalised.

Speaking to UnHerd, Michael Bailey dismissed the idea that informed consent was a necessary prerequisite for such research. “How many surveys have you taken that did not ask you for informed consent? I would say ‘most’ in my experience,” he said.

In an earlier article for UnHerd, Bailey notes that he consulted with his IRB about gaining retrospective approval on the consent issue. He was told that retrospective approval could not be provided for already-collected data, but the policy allowed him to co-author publications using Diaz’s data. IRB approval is only required in certain institutions and Diaz, the researcher who launched the survey and collected the data, did not have to seek it. 

IRB expert Brian Gladue, Executive Vice President for Research and Innovation at the UNT Health Science Center, told UnHerd that Springer Nature’s justification for the retraction is “extremely flimsy”. “This is an extraordinary after-the-fact requirement that’s being used by someone other than the legitimate authority. The IRB said that written consent wasn’t required but then Springer Nature asked for it afterwards. Why not insist on it for all publications that involve survey data? This is not only unusual, but precedent-setting,” he said.

The research, which focuses on parents’ reports on gender-dysphoric adolescents and young adults whom the parents believe have Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria (ROGD), gained over 42,000 downloads before the decision to retract. ROGD is a theory that links the explosion in cases of gender dysphoria among young females to a socially contagious false belief that they are transgender. The paper found 1,655 cases of ROGD in which the parents said that these young people had a high proportion of pre-existing mental health problems, predating their gender dysphoria by four years on average. It also found that the best predictor of transition was consulting a gender specialist, where parents often felt pressured to transition their children.

Shortly after the article’s publication on 29th March and the controversy that followed it, criticisms of Bailey’s and Diaz’s research began to surface. On 19th April, the Listserv of the International Academy of Sex Research (IASR) shared a message that it was “consulting” with both the Archives of Sexual Behavior’s editor and their publisher Springer Nature about the “ethical questions” raised in the research. Then, on 10th May, a publisher’s note appeared on the paper alerting readers to “concerns” about its methodology. This resulted in the decision to retract the paper days later.

The article will remain live, available for download, but with a notice that it has been retracted from Friday. In the future, the journal can remove access if it chooses.

Springer Nature has been contacted for comment.


is UnHerd’s Newsroom editor.

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J Mo
J Mo
11 months ago

This article dovetails nicely with Mary’s one today about us moving into a post- democratic age. The opponents of this study have managed to quash it, in the belief that those of us who oppose trans activism and care about the harm it causes need studies to point to in order to counter the “studies” they wield constantly to “prove” the necessity of their course of action. Not so. We believe our lying eyes that 6 foot 4 Dave is not Davina, and listen to the first-hand accounts of traumatised detransitioners who were coerced into self mutilation as children. The academic literature is hopelessly corrupt and is used to launder bad ideas. Just as democratic institutions have been hollowed out, other societal institutions like (social) scientific discourse are losing legitimacy at a rapid rate. Rig the literature game all you want, TRAs; in the face of a popular backlash, it won’t matter one whit.

Last edited 11 months ago by J Mo
N Satori
N Satori
11 months ago
Reply to  J Mo

I’m still waiting for any sign of that ‘popular backlash’. There’s plenty of popular muttering and mumblings of discontent but little effective action. Everyone is too scared of being called a bigot.
While we wait for someone, somewhere to do something the Trannies will have achieved their goals and their activism will no longer be needed. On then to the next sexual deviation demanding ‘acceptance’ (and ultimately, celebration).

Last edited 11 months ago by N Satori
Allie McBeth
Allie McBeth
11 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

They are already pushing it, with ‘MAPs’

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
11 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

I think it is starting to happen. We had an incident in my city where a trans ‘woman’ was trying to spy on a 9 year old girl at a community centre. The centre staff – of course – refused to assist the child’s mother. The change is that there were protests outside the community centre about this – which you never would have seen a year ago. Antifa showed up to counter protest and it got lots of news. The best part was that the trans woman was (drum roll please) a convicted pedophile – which made ‘her’ supporters look even more stupid than usual. All of which to say is that I think trans excesses have finally galvanized a push back that will get larger as more people realize they aren’t alone on these issues.

Allie McBeth
Allie McBeth
11 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

They are already pushing it, with ‘MAPs’

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
11 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

I think it is starting to happen. We had an incident in my city where a trans ‘woman’ was trying to spy on a 9 year old girl at a community centre. The centre staff – of course – refused to assist the child’s mother. The change is that there were protests outside the community centre about this – which you never would have seen a year ago. Antifa showed up to counter protest and it got lots of news. The best part was that the trans woman was (drum roll please) a convicted pedophile – which made ‘her’ supporters look even more stupid than usual. All of which to say is that I think trans excesses have finally galvanized a push back that will get larger as more people realize they aren’t alone on these issues.

Martin Bebow
Martin Bebow
11 months ago
Reply to  J Mo

Academia is beholden to its students for its finances. No wonder that it supports their fads. But why the trans craze? It’s all a part of the arc created by the sexual Revolution. Louise Perry’s book ‘The Case Against the Sexual Revolution ‘ details what happened

N Satori
N Satori
11 months ago
Reply to  J Mo

I’m still waiting for any sign of that ‘popular backlash’. There’s plenty of popular muttering and mumblings of discontent but little effective action. Everyone is too scared of being called a bigot.
While we wait for someone, somewhere to do something the Trannies will have achieved their goals and their activism will no longer be needed. On then to the next sexual deviation demanding ‘acceptance’ (and ultimately, celebration).

Last edited 11 months ago by N Satori
Martin Bebow
Martin Bebow
11 months ago
Reply to  J Mo

Academia is beholden to its students for its finances. No wonder that it supports their fads. But why the trans craze? It’s all a part of the arc created by the sexual Revolution. Louise Perry’s book ‘The Case Against the Sexual Revolution ‘ details what happened

J Mo
J Mo
11 months ago

This article dovetails nicely with Mary’s one today about us moving into a post- democratic age. The opponents of this study have managed to quash it, in the belief that those of us who oppose trans activism and care about the harm it causes need studies to point to in order to counter the “studies” they wield constantly to “prove” the necessity of their course of action. Not so. We believe our lying eyes that 6 foot 4 Dave is not Davina, and listen to the first-hand accounts of traumatised detransitioners who were coerced into self mutilation as children. The academic literature is hopelessly corrupt and is used to launder bad ideas. Just as democratic institutions have been hollowed out, other societal institutions like (social) scientific discourse are losing legitimacy at a rapid rate. Rig the literature game all you want, TRAs; in the face of a popular backlash, it won’t matter one whit.

Last edited 11 months ago by J Mo
Robert Leigh
Robert Leigh
11 months ago

To quote from http://www.transgendertrend.com,
“In less than a decade there has been a 1,460% increase in referrals of boys and a staggering 5,337% increase in girls”.
Having this explained by “Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria” makes a lot of sense. Any decent being whose primary interest is in the welfare of boys and girls should welcome the idea of rescuing them from the trauma of changing their bodies.

Robert Leigh
Robert Leigh
11 months ago

To quote from http://www.transgendertrend.com,
“In less than a decade there has been a 1,460% increase in referrals of boys and a staggering 5,337% increase in girls”.
Having this explained by “Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria” makes a lot of sense. Any decent being whose primary interest is in the welfare of boys and girls should welcome the idea of rescuing them from the trauma of changing their bodies.

Ruth Dixon
Ruth Dixon
11 months ago

From the paper: “Ethical ApprovalThe first author and creator of the survey is not affiliated with any university or hospital. Thus, she did not seek approval from an IRB. After seeing a presentation of preliminary survey results by the first author, the second author suggested the data to be analyzed and submitted as an academic article (he was not involved in collecting the data). The second author consulted with his university’s IRB, who declined to certify the study because data were already collected. However, they advised that publishing the results was likely ethical provided data were deidentified. Editor’s note: After I reviewed the manuscript, I concluded that its publication is ethically appropriate, consistent with Springer policy.”
Springer should stand by its Editor’s decision.

Ruth Dixon
Ruth Dixon
11 months ago

From the paper: “Ethical ApprovalThe first author and creator of the survey is not affiliated with any university or hospital. Thus, she did not seek approval from an IRB. After seeing a presentation of preliminary survey results by the first author, the second author suggested the data to be analyzed and submitted as an academic article (he was not involved in collecting the data). The second author consulted with his university’s IRB, who declined to certify the study because data were already collected. However, they advised that publishing the results was likely ethical provided data were deidentified. Editor’s note: After I reviewed the manuscript, I concluded that its publication is ethically appropriate, consistent with Springer policy.”
Springer should stand by its Editor’s decision.

David McKee
David McKee
11 months ago

Springer Nature should not be allowed to sidle out of this by making no comment. The publisher should be made to account for itself.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
11 months ago
Reply to  David McKee

Whilst i agree the withdrawal of the research from publication is an abomination, i’m not sure that resorting to “compelled speech” is the way forward.
If Springer Nature declines to comment, it’ll tell us all we need to know.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
11 months ago
Reply to  David McKee

Whilst i agree the withdrawal of the research from publication is an abomination, i’m not sure that resorting to “compelled speech” is the way forward.
If Springer Nature declines to comment, it’ll tell us all we need to know.

David McKee
David McKee
11 months ago

Springer Nature should not be allowed to sidle out of this by making no comment. The publisher should be made to account for itself.

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
11 months ago

How long must we wait for an institutional leader willing to stand up to the trans bullies and tell them to pound sand?
Cancel your Scientific American subscriptions. Why would you subscribe to an allegedly “scientific” magazine that clearly puts truth below ideology.
Where this leads is Lysenkoism. The Soviets (who also cared more about ideology than truth) rewrote entire branches of genetics to fit with communist, blank-slate, ideology. The failed plant breeding programs of Lysenko were one of the reasons for the Soviet famine that resulted in Stalin seizing Ukraine’s grain.
It’s easy to think this will just blow over. It won’t. Not without a fight.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
11 months ago

Anyone who still subscribes to SA is fully captured by the woke ideology. It stopped being scientific years ago.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Seconded. It’s been years since ‘Scientific American’ was either scientific or American (in the true sense).
It reads like something published by the Southern Poverty Law Centre and XR, with the same agenda and assumptions. Nothing to do with an objective interest in science at all. In short, an ideologically captured publication, a con, a fraud.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Seconded. It’s been years since ‘Scientific American’ was either scientific or American (in the true sense).
It reads like something published by the Southern Poverty Law Centre and XR, with the same agenda and assumptions. Nothing to do with an objective interest in science at all. In short, an ideologically captured publication.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Testing testing.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Seconded. It’s been years since ‘Scientific American’ was either scientific or American (in the true sense).
It reads like something published by the Southern Poverty Law Centre and XR, with the same agenda and assumptions. Nothing to do with an objective interest in science at all. In short, an ideologically captured publication, a con, a fraud.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Seconded. It’s been years since ‘Scientific American’ was either scientific or American (in the true sense).
It reads like something published by the Southern Poverty Law Centre and XR, with the same agenda and assumptions. Nothing to do with an objective interest in science at all. In short, an ideologically captured publication.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Testing testing.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
11 months ago

Anyone who still subscribes to SA is fully captured by the woke ideology. It stopped being scientific years ago.

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
11 months ago

How long must we wait for an institutional leader willing to stand up to the trans bullies and tell them to pound sand?
Cancel your Scientific American subscriptions. Why would you subscribe to an allegedly “scientific” magazine that clearly puts truth below ideology.
Where this leads is Lysenkoism. The Soviets (who also cared more about ideology than truth) rewrote entire branches of genetics to fit with communist, blank-slate, ideology. The failed plant breeding programs of Lysenko were one of the reasons for the Soviet famine that resulted in Stalin seizing Ukraine’s grain.
It’s easy to think this will just blow over. It won’t. Not without a fight.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
11 months ago

Not so long ago we were being told to be very worried about an epidemic of anorexia. Whatever happened to that epidemic?
Turns out it’s no longer cool to be anorexic so teenage girls are becoming trans instead.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
11 months ago

Not so long ago we were being told to be very worried about an epidemic of anorexia. Whatever happened to that epidemic?
Turns out it’s no longer cool to be anorexic so teenage girls are becoming trans instead.

Ian Folkins
Ian Folkins
11 months ago

It would be interesting to know what fraction of Natures advertising budget is provided by Big Pharma.

Ian Folkins
Ian Folkins
11 months ago

It would be interesting to know what fraction of Natures advertising budget is provided by Big Pharma.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
11 months ago

This kind of censorship from our woke overlords is almost expected these days. Yet it shouldn’t require research or studies to persuade people that life altering medical interventions on children should be outlawed.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
11 months ago

This kind of censorship from our woke overlords is almost expected these days. Yet it shouldn’t require research or studies to persuade people that life altering medical interventions on children should be outlawed.

leculdesac suburbia
leculdesac suburbia
11 months ago

Of course, Lisa Littman coined the ROGD term and concept and had HER publication temporarily retracted while she herself lost her contract (w/ Brown I think?) and faced the usual assortment of rape and death threats.

In addition to the usual erasure we’re fighting, we now have conservatives, esp men, who’re discovering the insanity of the transextremists but don’t bother to do any research to realize that a movement’s been fighting this madness for at least 15 years. I literally heard from another conservative five days ago that “no feminists are questioning it. Where are THEY????!!!” He apologized after I explained it to him.

I’m grateful that the conservative movement (w/ media platforms) are finally speaking out against this but the attitude of, at best, “Ok ladies. I’ve got this now” is irritating, though TRA harms are so great that most of us will put this on the shelf to focus on literally saving lives w/ whatever allies we can find.

Allie McBeth
Allie McBeth
11 months ago

Who I wonder will be doing the raping? Surely not trans-women?

0 0
0 0
11 months ago

I mean, feminist theory created the problem in the first place, since gender social constructivism is the core tenet of “patriarchy theory” in order to allow feminist theory to deny the reality of biology in male and female preferences, behaviours, tendencies, social habits, mating and sexual habits, etc. Queer Theory/gender ideology just said “yep, sounds good.”

Allie McBeth
Allie McBeth
11 months ago

Who I wonder will be doing the raping? Surely not trans-women?

0 0
0 0
11 months ago

I mean, feminist theory created the problem in the first place, since gender social constructivism is the core tenet of “patriarchy theory” in order to allow feminist theory to deny the reality of biology in male and female preferences, behaviours, tendencies, social habits, mating and sexual habits, etc. Queer Theory/gender ideology just said “yep, sounds good.”

leculdesac suburbia
leculdesac suburbia
11 months ago

Of course, Lisa Littman coined the ROGD term and concept and had HER publication temporarily retracted while she herself lost her contract (w/ Brown I think?) and faced the usual assortment of rape and death threats.

In addition to the usual erasure we’re fighting, we now have conservatives, esp men, who’re discovering the insanity of the transextremists but don’t bother to do any research to realize that a movement’s been fighting this madness for at least 15 years. I literally heard from another conservative five days ago that “no feminists are questioning it. Where are THEY????!!!” He apologized after I explained it to him.

I’m grateful that the conservative movement (w/ media platforms) are finally speaking out against this but the attitude of, at best, “Ok ladies. I’ve got this now” is irritating, though TRA harms are so great that most of us will put this on the shelf to focus on literally saving lives w/ whatever allies we can find.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
11 months ago

I’ve heard that there is a new cool LGBTQ + holiday destination… the breakaway state of Transnistria and its capital Bender….

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
11 months ago

I’ve heard that there is a new cool LGBTQ + holiday destination… the breakaway state of Transnistria and its capital Bender….

Allie McBeth
Allie McBeth
11 months ago

This reminds me of the professor in the West Country who wanted to fo a Post-doc degree on people regretting transition. It was given the go-ahead, then retracted.

Allie McBeth
Allie McBeth
11 months ago

This reminds me of the professor in the West Country who wanted to fo a Post-doc degree on people regretting transition. It was given the go-ahead, then retracted.

Samantha Stevens
Samantha Stevens
11 months ago

I teach at a large public high school in New York and have for the past 25 years. The increase in trans students, girls especially, is incredible. An increase in vulgarity as well as a complete breakdown of social norms for dress and behavior has preceded this. I believe porn is a large part of the problem, if not the problem. Kids have access to porn at obscenely young ages through their devices, and it’s warping their views of themselves, sex, and reality. And I think they are watching really deviant stuff. I think girls are desperate to escape becoming the pornified objectified woman that seems their only option adulthood. Also, I really question many parents and their judgment.
I am not a proponent of book banning, but there are books that do not belong in schools, and we have parents rallying around them. Two that I think are completely inappropriate are Gender Queer and Let’s Talk About It – Sex and Teens. They are both graphic novels with pictures that can only described as pornography. And not normal things at all. Gender Queer features sex toys, sex acts, and a depiction of a scene from Plato’s Symposium of a nude man and BOY touching. It’s sick. Let’s Talk About It is a “reference guide” to sex for teens that has cartoon drawings of adult Trans bodies, butt plugs, threesomes, and recommends kids investigate their “kinks” and “fetishes” through porn and online communities. It has shockingly good ratings on Amazon.
What is happening to our world? I felt sick when I realized parents were demanding these books stay in school libraries. I am at a loss to understand what is happening in our world, and why people don’t want to protect even their own children.
ï»żhttps://www.amazon.com/Lets-Talk-About-Teens-Relationships/dp/1984893149/?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_w=T9d0V&content-id=amzn1.sym.bc5f3394-3b4c-4031-8ac0-18107ac75816&pf_rd_p=bc5f3394-3b4c-4031-8ac0-18107ac75816&pf_rd_r=R7KGF3Q3A0KASG4PTQ8H&pd_rd_wg=GwIMa&pd_rd_r=ecb05a5a-17ef-4644-b074-39e3e8d11120&ref_=pd_gw_ci_mcx_mr_hp_atf_m

Samantha Stevens
Samantha Stevens
11 months ago

I teach at a large public high school in New York and have for the past 25 years. The increase in trans students, girls especially, is incredible. An increase in vulgarity as well as a complete breakdown of social norms for dress and behavior has preceded this. I believe porn is a large part of the problem, if not the problem. Kids have access to porn at obscenely young ages through their devices, and it’s warping their views of themselves, sex, and reality. And I think they are watching really deviant stuff. I think girls are desperate to escape becoming the pornified objectified woman that seems their only option adulthood. Also, I really question many parents and their judgment.
I am not a proponent of book banning, but there are books that do not belong in schools, and we have parents rallying around them. Two that I think are completely inappropriate are Gender Queer and Let’s Talk About It – Sex and Teens. They are both graphic novels with pictures that can only described as pornography. And not normal things at all. Gender Queer features sex toys, sex acts, and a depiction of a scene from Plato’s Symposium of a nude man and BOY touching. It’s sick. Let’s Talk About It is a “reference guide” to sex for teens that has cartoon drawings of adult Trans bodies, butt plugs, threesomes, and recommends kids investigate their “kinks” and “fetishes” through porn and online communities. It has shockingly good ratings on Amazon.
What is happening to our world? I felt sick when I realized parents were demanding these books stay in school libraries. I am at a loss to understand what is happening in our world, and why people don’t want to protect even their own children.
ï»żhttps://www.amazon.com/Lets-Talk-About-Teens-Relationships/dp/1984893149/?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_w=T9d0V&content-id=amzn1.sym.bc5f3394-3b4c-4031-8ac0-18107ac75816&pf_rd_p=bc5f3394-3b4c-4031-8ac0-18107ac75816&pf_rd_r=R7KGF3Q3A0KASG4PTQ8H&pd_rd_wg=GwIMa&pd_rd_r=ecb05a5a-17ef-4644-b074-39e3e8d11120&ref_=pd_gw_ci_mcx_mr_hp_atf_m