The Volokh Conspiracy

Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent


Oct. 30 Talk at UCLA by Jesse Singal, "Toward a Saner, More Humane Discussion of the Youth Gender Medicine Debate"


It's hosted by the UCLA "campus community" of Heterodox Academy; here's the blurb:

Monday, October 30th, 5:00 – 6:30 pm

School of Law, Room 1357

The use of puberty blockers, gender-affirming sex hormones, and (more rarely) surgery to address gender dysphoria in minors has become the focus of intense controversy in recent years. Citing inadequate knowledge about the efficacy and long-term health effects of such medical interventions, several European countries have adopted a more cautious stance towards such treatments, without banning them. Meanwhile, several US states have enacted draconian restrictions on gender-affirming care, which, alongside the sometimes dehumanizing language deployed against trans and gender nonconforming people, has only further polarized the public discussion of youth gender medicine.

In this highly charged context, where space for civil discussion of a complex and fraught issue may seem to be shrinking, the UCLA chapter of Heterodox Academy has invited Jesse Singal to campus to speak on the subject. Singal's extensive reporting on youth gender medicine, while not shying away from controversy, has shown that it is possible to address a heatedly contested public issue in a nuanced manner that recognizes the complexities of the issue and respects the diversity of perspectives affected by it. His talk will cover the basics of the research into youth gender medicine, the heated debate going on among gender clinicians themselves, and prior examples of the politicization of scientific debates that have had dire consequences for vulnerable people.

Jesse Singal is the author of the 2021 book The Quick Fix: Why Fad Psychology Can't Cure Our Social Ills as well as the cohost of the podcast Blocked and Reported and the author of the newsletter Singal-Minded. His 2018 cover story in The Atlantic was one of the first major American journalistic accounts of the debate over the affirmative approach to youth gender transition and medicine.

If you plan to attend, please RSVP to to guarantee a seat and reserve food. Seats will be held for registered participants until 4:55 pm.

I much wish I could be there, but I'll be in Massachusetts for an Oct. 31 lunchtime talk at Bridgewater State University. If you're in L.A., though, check it out; I expect Singal to be a very engaging and knowledgeable speaker, at least judging by his & Katie Herzog's  excellent Blocked and Reported podcast (I'm a paying subscriber).