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Publisher's Summary

Irreversible Damage is an exploration of a mystery: Why, in the last decade, has the diagnosis "gender dysphoria", transformed from a vanishingly rare affliction, applying almost exclusively to boys and men, to an epidemic among teenage girls?

Author Abigail Shrier presents shocking statistics and stories from real families to show that America and the West have become fertile ground for a "transgender craze" that has nothing to do with real gender dysphoria and everything to do with our cultural frailty. Teenage girls are taking courses of testosterone and disfiguring their bodies. Parents are undermined; experts are over-relied upon; dissenters in science and medicine are intimidated; free speech truckles under renewed attack; socialized medicine bears hidden consequences; and an intersectional era has arisen in which the desire to escape a dominant identity encourages individuals to take cover in victim groups.

Every person who has ever had a skeptical thought about the sudden rush toward a non-binary future but been afraid to express it - this book is for you. 

©2020 Abigail Shrier (P)2020 Blackstone Publishing

What listeners say about Irreversible Damage

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    5 out of 5 stars

Parents and Teachers - Please read

Final Message: Do whatever you can to keep your children close. As a teacher, a grade 8 teacher, I am seeing the message this book offers becoming more and more of a need. Fifteen years ago, this phenomenon was non existent in the population of teenage girls. This year, I have so many examples in the cohort I work for. Speaking out in my position is not easy, or better yet described as career limiting. This may be a story follow up. How is it that medical and educational professionals can be hamstrung if they take the stance suggested in this book? What has happened to freedom, truth, and reason? This book will leave you with questions about the next steps. These are valuable questions.

2 people found this helpful

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Check on your kids

This is an important read for parents of teens and tweens who have access to social media. Talk to your kids.

2 people found this helpful

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Illuminating and compassionate

It is hard to understand how desperately schools, Universities, politicians and our entire culture has failed these young women. Thank you for telling the story Abigail.

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Well written and well presented

A necessary and thoughtful conversation surrounding the transgender community, its effect and what it means to those involved. Highly suggest reading this regardless of your gender or identity.

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Must read

In this social media crazed world where common sense is abandoned for “wisdom” from online, self-proclaimed experts or even social influencers, this book needs to land in the hands of the masses. The masses who are not heard from or silenced by the social media bullies, KNOW the right thing. Get truly educated and put words and actions to what you know; and love your teenage daughters with a new understanding...and her friends.

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very insightful.

found this book to be a very educational view from one side of a two sided conversation. though some points aren't great, I feel there is enough scientific stats Brough up in this book to make for a compelling case.

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Very informative!

I will be relistening to this book! So much helpful information.
A breath of fresh air to be supported with a critical thinking voice of reason.
Highly recommend this book to anyone for a broader understanding.

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informative, refreshingly sobering

currently going through this with our daughter, this book has brought me some valuable insight into how to navigate this phase in her life!

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A must-read for anyone with children

Very informational, thought-provoking and at times, terrifying. This book explains the dark side of a culture that appears to be about acceptance but is deeply manipulative and dangerous to the health of young women.

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Did Some Reviewers Even Read This Book?

An interesting and insightful listen. This book was much less polarizing, and more accepting of gender dysphoria than I had been led to believe by some reviews I had read/heard online. Reminded of the "Satanic Panic" growing up, this book doesn't dismiss the validity of gender dysphoria in those suffering, but brings attention to a situation that my be more complex, and requiring a greater conversation about it's nuances.

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  • Daniel Cohen
  • 2020-07-01

Every parent with a trans daughter needs to read this book

I have a teen daughter who came out as trans when she was 13, with no previous indication of Dysphoria. And I’ve been totally confused about what to do, and fearful the consequences for her life and her body.

This book offers invaluable insight about what’s happening in our culture to generate these results. It’s invaluable to understanding how and why teen girls become trans. And it also lays out the brutal consequences of medically transitioning at a young age.

I wish I had this book two years ago when she first presented as trans, and changed the name her friends called her. I would have been far more prepared for what’s happened since.

However, since she’s not very far down the transition road, this book can help me and her mother mitigate much of the damage she could potentially do to herself. As well as forstall damage done to her familial relationships.

60 people found this helpful

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  • Bill
  • 2020-08-03

Some interesting points, but extremely biased

I came to this book as an open-minded, non-LGBTQ individual. A friend recommended it and asked for my opinion. So I had a listen. The overall thesis of the book is that transgenderism is a cultural and cult-like phenomenon, which is pressuring and influencing young girls to question and ultimately reject their femininity. Such a trend is exacerbated by doctors and therapists who are quick to affirm the feelings of dysphoria in these young girls and push them into life-changing treatments and surgeries. If there is any truth to this narrative, then I think it is an important and interesting subject area that merits critical discussion. It is indeed interesting that there is an increase in adolescent girls who claim to have dysphoria while seemingly showing no signs earlier in life. At times, the author does a reasonably good job of describing the difficulties of traversing such questions.

However, I have two main criticisms of the book.

One, we frankly do not know any or most of the relevant information about transgender demographics, mental health, and medical outcomes at the present moment. The author readily acknowledges this at times, yet still pushes her thesis as the only logical perspective, which I find misleading. For example, there are two statistics that the author continually references -- the fact that prevalence of transgenderism has skyrocketed in the recent past, and that often entire friend groups will "come out" as transgender together, despite the near-zero statistical likelihood of all of them being transgender based on the overall population. On its face, her argument that this is evidence of the trans identity as a cultural fad seems reasonable. However, it doesn't take a genius to think of alternative, equally likely explanations -- first, increases in transgender prevalence follows a well-understood trend in social identities as they become more accepted in society, such as homosexuality, or even left-handedness. Additionally, it is not hard to imagine that trans-identified individuals gravitate towards one another, and thus we would not expect each group of friends across the United States to have the same probability of transgenderism. The author's is a laughable argument, akin to claiming that each group of high school friends should have a near-perfect correlation with US-wide population demographics -- roughly half female, ~15% black, ~10% LGB, etc. If there are too many discrepancies, then someone must be faking! The author apparently thinks these alternative explanations are so unlikely to not even be worth a mention, but of course it is entirely likely that a young girl will go through the difficulties of *years* of medical treatments and discrimination just because she wants to fit in.

Two -- while the hypothesis that there is a cultural component of transgenderism does have some validity, the author uses this as a jumping-off point to make more transphobic and generally hurtful claims about transgenderism which have nothing to do with the main narrative of the book. For example, the author makes a point to say that she accepts dysphoria and transgenderism of some individuals, but at other points in the book claims that she doesn't believe gender can be distinct from biological sex (Ch 6, "not the ethereal concept, gender, for which there is no scientific evidence").

In the end, time will tell who is right about these things. We need more data on the percentage of people who end up desisting or detransitioning, long-term studies of people's mental health before and after transitioning, and so on. Until then, we are just speculating. I would prefer to lean in favor of trusting these people to have control over their bodies and decisions, but that's just me. It's also important to understand the societal effects that this book will have on culture and public policy. I would stress to others thinking of reading this book to take these things into account.

56 people found this helpful

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  • CL Engineer
  • 2020-08-15

Honest and informative at just the right time.


Very helpful to this single dad of a biological daughter who has self diagnosed, as described. It is absolutely perplexing to me that Dr's, teachers ,counselors, etc.. accept her self diagnosis literally without question. They don't know that she has doubts that she is too afraid to express. That, although she didn't fit in with her cliquish pack animal peers, she never struggled before her sophomore year when she joined the GSA club at her school. She joined after a traumatic break with her mother, finding acceptance within this group of very troubled - though not trouble-makers - resulted in her 1st hospitalization for suicidal ideation. The counselors and school seem to have landed on GD as the source of her depression, completely ignoring what I have been increasingly learning was years of severe mental and emotional abuse by her mother. Sadly, in the absence of physical bruises a father has little chance in the current system.
Everything that I have found to be questionable but could not put into words is expressed here in clear terms. The one thing I wish the author would discuss more fully is how impossible it is for a boy to know what it is to be a girl, and vice versa. In my research done hastily after my daughter "came out" - something I have since learned was carefully orchestrated with help from the internet - I came across the story of a man who, when he was about 9, told his mother that he thought he might be a girl. He was the 4th child in the family with 3 older sisters, a quiet and reserved father and a mother who held things together. He called it a very feminine environment. As they drove along together, firmly but gently and without turning she simply said to him, no my dear, you are all boy. You could not possibly know what it is to be a girl. He stated that her simple, authoritative response settled the matter in his mind and it never troubled him again. A little simplistic maybe, but also very instructive to me. It affirmed to me that, although some day I may have to accept something for my daughter that seems like dread right now, today is not that day. Right now I need to be an anchor to reality for my 17 yr old kid. I just wish I wasn't the only fixed point in her life.

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  • Amy Linenfelser
  • 2020-07-05

Wake up and listen!!!

Ms Shrier has been brave, forthright, fair, insightful and caring in writing a book about an epidemic running roughshod over our young girls... especially those with Autism. Everyone needs to listen and be aware of what she is telling the world. The medical community has been bullied into believing and implementing dangerous procedures, surgeries is the way to go when a child says they have gender dysphoria. Ms Shrier shows why that doesn’t work( and it doesn’t), how activists are infiltrating social media, and offers ideas of how to help your daughter escape the contagion between friends, and schools! Share with anyone who has a daughter. This is REAL!

38 people found this helpful

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  • Kimbertron
  • 2020-07-05

Insightful

A respectful and caring investigation of this craze and the potential devastating consequences. I appreciate that the author was brave enough to write this.

32 people found this helpful

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  • mndstjohn
  • 2020-08-15

A necessary book

Not everyone is going to agree with the premise of this book.

That said, these stories still need to be told.

26 people found this helpful

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  • Daniel
  • 2020-07-17

Disturbing

I really hope this book could be written off as right wing propaganda but unfortunately it doesn’t seem like it so far. I was quite horrified by the stories and they moved me deeply.

Also, the book is fascinating and well performed.

24 people found this helpful

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  • Lysol Pionex
  • 2020-07-10

Speaking Out With Compassion

It was gripping the entire way through, and opened my eyes to things. Highly recommended!

24 people found this helpful

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  • Tamara Hilton
  • 2020-07-26

heartwrenching

Timely. I bought this book because my step daughter has friends going through this and she is in the online community. I see her post stuff that I challenge her directly on
I bought two hard copies as well, one for her friend who's already taken a boy's name at 13.
the other for her birth mother so that we can have a united front on the matter.
I am horrified at this weird craze that can only lead to self destruction.
Thank you, Abigail for writing this book. it is tremendously important to save our beautiful young women

22 people found this helpful

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  • John H. Davis
  • 2020-07-16

Highly recommend

This was a well written book with well done research. I had no idea there were so many girls out there that want to change their identity by changing their sex. She interviewed people from both sides to determine why this is happening.

22 people found this helpful