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The Science Of Being Transgender

The Science Of Being Transgender

Update: 2018-12-1346


Recently we’ve been hearing a lot about transgender identity. That made us wonder… what makes us the gender that we are? And what should you do if your kid doesn’t fit the mold? To find out, we talked with endocrinologist Dr. Joshua Safer, psychologist Dr. Laura Edwards-Leeper, and psychologist Dr. Colt Keo-Meier.

Check out the transcript right here.

UPDATE 3/29/19 : An earlier version of this episode misinterpreted a study regarding the question of how many children who visited a gender identity clinic grow up to be trans. The episode has been updated accordingly.  We've explained the change in detail in the transcript, which you can find here.

UPDATE 1/17/19: An earlier version of this episode implied that all people who are intersex are born with indeterminate genitalia. This is incorrect and the episode has been updated.
Selected references:, produced in partnership with Cole Haan.

This episode was produced by Odelia Rubin and Meryl Horn along with Wendy Zukerman and Rose Rimler. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell. Editorial assistance by Rebecca Kling. Fact checking by Michelle Harris, Meryl Horn and Rose Rimler. Mix and sound design by Emma Munger. Music by Emma Munger and Bobby Lord.   
A huge thanks to all the researchers we got in touch with for this episode - including Dr. Jack Turban, Professor Anne Fausto- Sterling, assistant professor Samantha Busa, Associate Professor Susan Stryker, Dr. Katrina Karkazis, Professor Neill Epperson, Paula Neira, Professor Michelle Forcier, and Professor Joan Roughgarden. And thanks to all the trans folks who shared their stories with us. Thank you! Also thanks to the Zukerman Family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.  
Comments (8)


I legitimately thought I'd learn something here, I thought I'd start listening to this podcast n made this my first episode but I started listening and just heard utter non-science. as a scientist I'm disappointed at the poor quality discussion this episode brought. I switched off half way n unsubscribed.

Feb 10th

Mitch Bishop

Vishous This is how you know your bias overruled your reason. Instead of listening to the information and trying to learn, you let your bias keep you from it.

Jul 5th


Vishous Good! No one needs a close minded idiot who doesn't want to learn anything anyways.

Feb 16th

Ryan Fagan


Jan 2nd

D Smith

I like science. I like healthy debate. I like discussion. unfortunately this has turned into something other than science. would love to see actual sides presented instead of cherry picking arguments. calling bunk on claims because one person says it isn't happening isn't unbiased science. revisit this when an actual scientific discussion can happen. I too can gather echo chamber fanatics and present a side as the truth..... off to search for actual science discussions. Too bad. I was enjoying this channel for the most part.

Dec 21st

Jason Gregory

This is science. Gender, as with most things, is largely biological. This is fact snow flakes no matter what your fictional sky god books or the arrogant ignoramus Shapiro says.

Dec 20th

karsa orlong

Kevin Moore how shallow can a person be to cover a majority of people with one scathing incorrect statement. there's men women then conservatives.

Mar 5th

Colby Gettling

This is not Science VS. Anymore. This is where my journey ends, mate.

Dec 19th
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The Science Of Being Transgender

The Science Of Being Transgender