Dec 19, 2020 • 1HR 0M

Episode 43: On Mental Health, Youth Gender Dysphoria, And Our Own (Arguable) Fallibility

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Journalists Katie Herzog and Jesse Singal scour the internet for its craziest, silliest, most sociopathic content, part of an obsessive and ill-conceived attempt to extract kernels of meaning and humanity from a landscape of endless raging dumpster fires.
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In a true sign that anything is possible in this crazy universe of ours, the hosts note that there were some errors in the previous episode and explain exactly what they were (to see them explained in written form, check out that episode's show notes). Then they discuss some mental-health-talk from Jesse that rubbed one reader the wrong way and continue on to the show's main event: a major court decision on youth gender dysphoria in England and an incredibly shoddy article in Foreign Policy about it.

(Corrections 10:10 pm 12/18/2020: In the course of correcting last week's episode, we managed to introduce not one but two new errors, and just uploaded a new version in which Jesse breaks in twice to explain them. First, Timnit Gebru's PhD is not in computer science, but rather in electrical engineering. This was just plain sloppiness on someone's part, possibly Jéssé's. Second, Gebru started at Google in 2018, not 2019. In this case, our excuse is that both The New York Times and Columbia Journalism Review wrote that she was hired "last year." This is false, and thank you to the Google employee who reached out to correct us and pointed us to a 2018 tweet in which Gebru talks about her early days at Google. Wired has this right.)

Show notes/Links:

Bell v Tavistock, the ruling at issue: https://www.judiciary.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Bell-v-Tavistock-Judgment.pdf 

A High Court Decision in Britain Puts Trans People Everywhere at Risk: https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/12/15/uk-transphobia-transgender-court-ruling-puberty-blockers/ 

Jesse's newsletter posts on key aspects of this controversy:

A Response To Foreign Policy's Deeply Misleading Article, "A High Court Decision in Britain Puts Trans People Everywhere at Risk": https://jessesingal.substack.com/p/a-response-to-foreign-policys-deeply 

No, desistance hasn't been debunked, and no, there's no evidence it's all that rare:

Part: 1 https://jessesingal.substack.com/p/how-science-vs-made-two-gender-dysphoria 

Part 2: https://jessesingal.substack.com/p/how-science-vs-accidentally-invented