ACTION: Demand Brown University Stop Repressing Academic Research and Publication

The Issue

Brown University recently removed a news article announcing a detailed study of parental reports of “Rapid-onset Gender Dysphoria” in adolescents and young adults, citing concern over research methods. The peer-reviewed study was published by a faculty member, an Assistant Professor of the Practice of Behavioral and Social Sciences. In addition to removing press support for this research, Brown has announced plans to implement guidelines and define the direction of future work to ensure the University research “fully recognizes and affirms the full diversity of gender and sexual identity in its members.” A former Dean of Harvard agrees this is damaging to academic freedom.

What You Can Do

Email major left-leaning media outlets and tell them to report on this stifling of knowledge and academic freedom. Copy Brown University (script below).

Email Script

Dear Left-leaning Media Outlets,

I am asking you to report on the current precedent-setting suppression of academic freedom and scientific inquiry by Brown University.

PLOS ONE, a multidisciplinary science research journal recently published the article, “Rapid-onset gender dysphoria in adolescents and young adults: A study of parental reports” by Brown University Associate Professor Dr. Lisa Littman. Because the study features reports which do not comply with current social dictates for the unquestioning affirmation of child and youth identities, a small number of “research concerns” were raised in comments to the article by unverified members of the general public, despite the fact that Littman carefully articulated her methodology.

This was not unexpected.  Activists who support the ‘affirmation model’ of unquestioning lifetime medicalization and surgical modification of children and teens are quick to attack any information on alternative treatments  or social acceptance of non-conformance to sex role stereotypes.

It is surprising, however, that Brown University, has effectively hidden Dr. Littman’s article and, further, in response to student complaints, Brown has committed to preventing open, unbiased research into the social and medical effects of “transgender self-identification” and body dysphoria. Brown University is an Ivy League college, one of the Colonial Colleges, quite literally an INSTITUTION of Higher Learning.  This doesn’t represent just an infringement on academic freedom for their faculty, it represents the suppression of public knowledge. Brown’s actions will ensure the objectives of vested interests will be the only voice available for shaping and forming  public policy. A former Dean of Harvard agrees.

This grievous abuse of power and stifling of academic freedom and scientific inquiry must be reported and condemned in the strongest language possible.

Sincerely,
[YOUR NAME]

Targets

Copy and paste this email list in the “to” field:

guardian.readers@theguardian.com, USinfo@theguardian.com, mcgrory@globe.com, readers@washpost.com, acooper@sfchronicle.com,  dbaquet@nytimes.com, cosmo.mail@hearst.co.uk, evening@cbsnews.com, NBCNewsMediaRelations@nbcuni.com, readers@washpost.com, Rachel@msnbc.com, betsy.reed@theintercept.com, submissions@truthdig.com, info@truthout.org, counterpunch@counterpunch.org, queries@cjr.org, letters@harpers.org, hrwpress@hrw.org, scoop@motherjones.com, mail@newleftreview.org, comments@newstatesman.co.uk, support@salon.com, slateoffice@slate.com, newsdesk@independent.co.uk, Stephanie.ebbert@globe.com, editorialsubmissions@nymag.com, comments@nymag.com, outreach@democracynow.org, stories@democracynow.org, nermeen@democracynow.org, mike@democracynow.org, producers@democracynow.org, amy@democracynow.org, metro@sfchronicle.com, Charlotte.greensit@theintercept.com, jeffrey_goldberg@theatlantic.com, swati@theatlantic.com, sgaiser@sfexaminer.com, swilliams@abqjournal.com, dharris@azcapitaltimes.com, webteam@postandcourier.com

Copy Brown University:  brian_clark@brown.edu, Kate_Ellis@brown.edu

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