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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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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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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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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.

45 people found this helpful

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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

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  • Dunfermline woman
  • 07-05-20

An excellent book

I’m a UK GP concerned by the huge increase in teenage girls wanting to transition, often to escape feminine stereotypes and the male gaze. This book is well researched and comprehensive.

30 people found this helpful

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  • Colin
  • 07-10-20

The most important book of 2020

This is an insightful delve into the trans movement that is sweeping the West. Abigail Shrier uses poignant case studies to illustrate the impact this trend is having on teenage girls. She interviews older transsexuals like Buck Angel who is horrified at the medicalising of teens. She also interviews detransitioners and the parents of young trans men, grappling to understand what is happening to their daughters.

The ideology of gender identity is being pushed into schools at a rate no one was prepared for. At the same time, the medical profession is woefully letting down its patients using affirmation only therapy & encouraging young women into double mastectomies at just 18 years old.

This book must be urgently read by every parent, every school governing body, the NHS, and all corporates who are funneling money into trans youth charities.

The author is courageous in bringing this issue to light. She is no doubt endangering herself by doing so, against an angry mob trying to keep this secret in. She is a hero and this book will go down in history as a turning point in the trans movement. It can't come soon enough.

21 people found this helpful

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  • joseph osborne
  • 11-09-20

Don't believe the negative press.

I read a lot of reviews about this book prior to listening. Most of which were extremely negative and seemed to label the author a bigot and one review which compared this to 'Mein Kampf'. All the accusations of hate and bigotry toward this book couldn't be further from the truth. It is a compassionate book that simply talks about the wider concerns of parents over their children and highlights how activist culture seems to be set up to pressure young people into decisions they are not in a particularly fit state to make. It also highlights how people are misled into thinking all these medical measures to help people to transition are reversible when the reality is they are not. The discussion over the lack of pushback from psychiatrists to claims one is trans are interesting too. It is right this book discusses the fact that maybe affirmation is not the best course of action for treating GD. most mainstream writing seem to ignore the fact that many experts on GD have spoken out against affirmation as a blanket treatment.

All in all, a very thoughtful book. Even if you disagree with the authors points, you shouldn't believe the nonsense that accuses this of being some treatise of hate. It really isn't. Highly recommend this to anyone wanting to learn more on the subject. I would like to see more from those who criticise the book actually discussing the arguments presented rather than attacking the author.

11 people found this helpful

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  • saoirsconn96
  • 07-21-20

Insightful and informative

The interviews in this book highlight the true extent of trans ideology and the damage it is inflicting on youth today. Everyone should read this book, it is brilliant.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Dave
  • 10-05-20

this is 100% accurate to what my experience is.

My child is going through this at the moment and its agonisingly painful for me as a father to witness my beautiful little girl being influenced over night by social media while it turns her into a man.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Ellpeas
  • 11-12-20

Essential reading (listening) for anyone raising a daughter

I very much enjoyed this audio book: it was long and I think I would have struggled if I’d tried to read it but being able to listen to it an hour at a time felt less overwhelming. It covers an enormous, difficult subject (several subjects) but (I feel) it’s imperative to know about these issues in order that I can help support and guide my daughter as she grows up.

5 people found this helpful

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  • forest rain mountain blossom
  • 07-29-20

Our Daughter's are being duped.

This book describes the world our teen Daughters inhabit, forced to accept their Female friends as Homosexual Boys, watch their Friends sell Testosterone as a feel good product, binding an exciting journey. When our Daughter's reject their friends stories of pure ecstasy their lives/looks/knowledge of Science are shred apart by an online of army of trans allies, the Girls transing are being duped as well as duping others.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Naz
  • 07-21-20

Incredible

This is a must read for those who think the current narrative is troubling and for those who think the woke movement is about rights issues.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Orin
  • 10-31-20

full of things that need saying

this is a worthwhile and informative read. the writer does not have an agenda beyond the telling of the facts and lifting the lid on a toxic situation hurting young people every day

4 people found this helpful

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  • Sam LC
  • 08-26-20

Compassionate and fair

This is a really important exploration of a recent explosion of girls identifying as transgender. The author is very kind and respectful when talking about the issues she explores and includes the voices of transgender teenagers and adults. This issues needs more research not less - so this group of children can be offered the right help/treatment for them and their parents can have confidence in it.

4 people found this helpful

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  • JW Armstrong
  • 08-01-20

The madness claiming young woman finally laid bare

With stunning research and vivid language the author has exposed the truth of this latest appalling movement that seeks to rob young women of their natural destiny & their rightful identity. A must read for every parent.

3 people found this helpful

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  • B-Chin-B
  • 07-25-20

Needed and required conversation... finally

It is a struggle to find any objective information and finally an objective commentary on an ideology born from well intentioned activists. However it may have gone too far and our most loved and cherished offspring are in the thick of a civil rights and government sanctioned abuse of there minds and bodies. I hold onto hope. Thank you for this book, we all should read it. We should value our daughters right to be unencumbered by a manipulating identity ideology. I wish to write so much more! This made me tear up on every page. I really really hope for a good outcome for everyone.

2 people found this helpful

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  • David
  • 07-24-20

A necessary read for a troubled generation

With plenty of real word stories and thought provoking analysis Shrier pushes a more insightful understanding of the dangers of allowing teens to form their identity online. The insight and discussion is littered with practical advice and hope for the future of our daughters.

2 people found this helpful

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  • P. Hall
  • 07-15-20

Irresponsible Suppression Of an Excellent Book

As Ms Shrier has noted in a few interviews that I have heard, Amazon have inexplicably decided not to advertise this book, thereby depriving it of even marginal promotion on their website. As such an enormous literary distributor, this will likely have an enormous impact on sales - which is very unfortunate as this is an incredibly well-written account of the struggle of many young Western individuals and their families about an issue which will soon affect us all in some way.

I found this book to be extremely easy to listen to, even though the subject matter really is not at many points. The author was able to write about a difficult subject in a straightforward yet honest and open-minded manner, which I imagine was difficult. I disagree that this is a book all parents should read. I think we should ALL read it.
Brava Abigail Shrier!

I cannot recommend this book enough.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amanda
  • 07-24-20

For Those Concerned About The Wellbeing of Girls

Abigail Shreier’s book highlights the peril of being a troubled teenage girl in contemporary western countries where a lifetime of medical treatment and attempting to pass socially as a man or a “non binary” person (whatever that is) is being promoted as a solution to the inherent problems of being female. I hope that those in position to change this situation so that unhappy girls get effective help that allows them the possibility of a healthy future will read this book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • David Giles
  • 05-26-21

A very rational and important warning

Shrier exposes a widespread, irresponsibly cavalier approach to assessing and treating gender dysphoria in youths.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-13-21

Almost a 5 star

really did enjoy, and is a much needed pendulum swing to temper PC culture madness. Whilst listening however, I was also watching peoples criticisms of the book. Although this would have been difficult to achieve a deeper incorporation of understanding the oppositions views would have made it a 5 star. I personally find her views compelling, but there is a little too much talking past each other in this. But perhaps, that could be a follow up book.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-29-21

A must-read!!

The most important book published in 2020. A must read for all, not just if you or someone in their life IDs as a trans man, and not just if you have a teenage girl. But esp if you do!! Thoroughly researched, well written and narrated.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-11-21

You need to talk to your daughter

Makes me glad I wasn't born into this generation.
I would have been a de-transition static if I had been born in the last 2 decades.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-22-21

MUST READ

Bible, Quran, Torah & any religious should be replaced by this book. Love you Abigail