Social influence

  • In one study, almost 9 in 10 young people questioning their gender seemed to be subject to social influence. Expand
    In one study, almost 9 in 10 young people questioning their gender appear seemed to be subject to social influence.

    86.7% of the young people in Lisa Littman’s 2018 study [1] belonged to a friend group where one or more friends came out as trans at the same time, and/or had an increase in their use of social media.

    Social contagion – the involuntary “catching” of behaviors and attitudes across connected individuals [2] – is a well-accepted phenomenon in psychological literature [3]. It is well-documented that adolescents — and females in particular — are prone to social contagion effects, from cutting [4] to eating disorders [5]. Social network analyses suggest that peer contagion underlies the influence of friendship on obesity, unhealthy body images, and expectations [6].

    REFERENCES

    [1] Littman, L. (2018). Rapid-onset gender dysphoria in adolescents and young adults: A study of parental reports. PLOS ONE, 13 (8). [Link]

    [2] Levy, D. A., & Nail, P. R. (1993). Contagion: A theoretical and empirical review and reconceptualization. Genetic, Social, and General Psychology Monographs 119 (2): 233-284. [Link]

    [3] Burgess, L.G., Riddell, P.M., Fancourt, A. & Murayama, K. (2018). The Influence of Social Contagion Within Education: A Motivational Perspective. Mind, Brain, and Education 12: 164-174. [Link]

    [4] Hermansson-Webb, E. B. (2014). ‘With Friends Like These…’: The Social Contagion of Non-Suicidal Self-Injury Amongst Adolescent Females. Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy: University of Otago. [Link]

    [5] Allison, S., Warin, M. & Bastiampillai, T. (2013). Anorexia nervosa and social contagion: Clinical implications. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 48 (2): 116-120. [Link]

    [6] Dishion, T. J., & Tipsord, J. M. (2011). Peer contagion in child and adolescent social and emotional development. Annual review of psychology 62: 189–214. [Link]

  • In one study, two thirds of trans-identifying young people had one or more friends who were also trans. Expand
    In one study, two thirds of trans-identifying young people had one or more friends who were also trans.

    Lisa Littman’s 2018 study [1] found that 66.8% of adolescents and young adults who identified as trans belonged to a friend group where at least one other person became gender dysphoric and came out as transgender.

    REFERENCES

    [1] Littman, L. (2018). Rapid-onset gender dysphoria in adolescents and young adults: A study of parental reports. PLOS ONE, 13 (8). [Link]

  • One study showed that, in 36.8% of trans-identifying young people’s friendship groups, the majority of members identified as trans. Expand
    One study showed that, in 36.8% of trans-identifying young people’s friendship groups, the majority of members identified as trans.

    Lisa Littman’s 2018 study [1] investigated the role of friendship groups in transgender identification, and found that the majority of the members in the friendship group became transgender-identified in 36.8% of cases – almost 2 in 5.

    REFERENCES

    [1] Littman, L. (2018). Rapid-onset gender dysphoria in adolescents and young adults: A study of parental reports. PLOS ONE, 13 (8). [Link]

  • One study found that, in almost two-thirds of cases, internet and social media usage seemed to go up just before a young person came out as trans. Expand
    One study found that, in almost two-thirds of cases, internet and social media usage seemed to go up just before a young person came out as trans.

    Lisa Littman’s 2018 study [1] found that 63.5% of adolescents and young adults who came out as trans seemed to exhibit an increase in their internet and social media usage before coming out.

    REFERENCES

    [1] Littman, L. (2018). Rapid-onset gender dysphoria in adolescents and young adults: A study of parental reports. PLOS ONE, 13 (8). [Link]

  • In one study of detransitioners, around half originally believed that transition would mean they were better treated. Expand
    In one study of detransitioners, around half originally believed that transition would mean they were better treated.

    In a study [1] of 100 detransitioners, 50.7% of females and 45.2% of males identified with the comment “I felt I would be treated better if I was perceived as the target gender”.

    REFERENCES

    [1] Littman, L. (2021). Individuals Treated for Gender Dysphoria with Medical and/or Surgical Transition Who Subsequently Detransitioned: A Survey of 100 Detransitioners. Arch Sex Behav. [Link]