Comedian and HBO host Bill Maher believes “social contagion” is playing a role in the surge of children who identify as transgender.
Maher was discussing the transgender Nashville mass shooter with Tablet Magazine columnist James Kirchick and Republican Virginia Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears when the subject of people detransitioning from transgender procedures came up. (RELATED: ‘Bill, You Gotta Read More’: Winsome Sears Confronts Bill Maher Over School Drag Queens, Gender Transitions)
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“To be fair, probably most, I think the studies show, most of the people who do it say they are glad they did it,” Maher said.
“I think most who do it, you know I’ve talked to parents about this, a lot of times you just know that kid is not gay, you know, there was just, the factory installed equipment didn’t match, ok, that’s a real thing, it happens, it’s rare but it happens. But, and you’re talking about, there are other ones now, because it is also somewhat trendy, I know people hate to hear that but it’s obviously true, there is an element of social contagion, or else it wouldn’t be so prevalent in here [California] and not in Indiana, it wouldn’t be regional” Maher continued.
Maher appeared to be referring to the social contagion theory advanced by critics of child gender transitions who argue the rapid increase in teenage girls seeking “gender-affirming” care is being caused by peer pressure, not higher levels of social acceptance.
“So there are advanced democracies in Europe that have been doing this a lot longer with children, pediatric transgender medicine, they’re now dialing back,” Kirchick said.
Sweden, Finland, Norway, France and the United Kingdom are among the European countries that have taken steps to restrict child gender transitions after initially embracing medical interventions such as cross-sex surgeries and puberty blockers.