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Publisher's Summary

The transgender movement has hit breakneck speed. In the space of a year, it’s gone from something that most Americans had never heard of to a cause claiming the mantle of civil rights.  

But can a boy truly be “trapped” in a girl’s body? Can modern medicine really “reassign” sex? Is sex something “assigned” in the first place? What’s the loving response to a friend or child experiencing a gender-identity conflict? What should our law say on these issues?  

When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment provides thoughtful answers to all of these questions. Drawing on the best insights from biology, psychology, and philosophy, Ryan T. Anderson offers a balanced approach to the policy issues, a nuanced vision of human embodiment, and a sober and honest survey of the human costs of getting human nature wrong.  

He reveals a grim contrast between the media’s sunny depiction and the often sad realities of gender-identity struggles. He introduces listeners to people who tried to “transition” but found themselves no better off. Especially troubling is the suffering felt by adults who were encouraged to transition as children but later came to regret it.  

And there is a reason that many do regret it. As Anderson shows, the most helpful therapies focus not on achieving the impossible - changing bodies to conform to thoughts and feelings - but on helping people accept and even embrace the truth about their bodies and reality. This discussion will be of particular interest to parents who fear how an ideological school counselor might try to steer their child. The best evidence shows that the vast majority of children naturally grow out of any gender-conflicted phase. But no one knows how new school policies might affect children indoctrinated to believe that they really are trapped in the “wrong” body.  

©2018 Ryan T. Anderson (P)2018 Black Hills Audiobooks, LLC

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  • T.
  • Dublin
  • 06-04-18

Anti Trans*

The author not even for a second acknowledges that there might be the possibility for transgenderism. In one part he agrees that there is a fundamental brain difference between sexes and then puts all transgenders either into the group of autogynephiliacs or into homosexuals. And then says that all transgenders suffer from some traumas. This book describes from my point of view, a minor group of "transexuals" which de-transitioned, but definitely not the majority and definitely not my experience with transsexuals and transgender people.
Still, I recommend this book, just to have a second opinion, but do not make up your mind just based on this book.
I am from EU so I am not judging the policies in US, but in EU there are countries with far more liberal laws, then described in this book.

13 of 19 people found this review helpful

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This Book is an Act of Love by Ryan Anderson

An important and timely study of a fascinating but in some ways disturbing cultural development in post-truth America. Among the books many virtues is its rational analysis of the claims made by transgender advocates--mind you, not necessarily transgender people--about the human person, sex, gender, the mind, and personal identity. Anderson debunks the common myth that deferring to a person's sincerely professed sense of self is ALWAYS the morally and scientifically correct course of action. Especially when it comes to kids, evidence that gender transition is the best or only course of action is simply not there. On the contrary, what little we know--and we truly know very little--strongly suggests that caution is required. But given the high stakes of the issue (advocates claiming that merely to question their claims is to encourage kids' suicides), the media attention, the culture war framing, and the intervention of civil rights officials, caution and circumspection are sorely missing.

So far as I can tell, there are many denunciations of Anderson as a bigot and symbolic book burnings by trans advocates. What there is not, is a sustained, rational and sincere effort by Anderson's critics to engage his arguments. Not that that matters in America of 2018, where the buzzwords of identity politics ("inclusive," "diversity," "lived experience") trump both clear thinking and civic disagreement. One can only hope that there are at least some open minded people out there who are genuinely interested in hearing the arguments and the evidence before making up there minds as to whether it is a good idea for schools, psychiatrists and the state to urge five year old children to use puberty blocking drugs. Personally, I am as supportive of adult transgender rights like nondiscrimination in employment and housing as I am sickened by the abuse of children at the hands of gender ideologues. Progressives, who live constantly under the fear of the judgment of History, should think long and hard about how History will judge those who are complicit in this crime.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Charitable, logical and full of evidence

Excellent book on this controversial subject. Comprehensive and a must read for all who want to be informed.

Anderson does it agaij

4 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Great Book Based On Scientific and Anecdotal Evidence

When Harry Became Sally is absolutely worth the read (or listen) for anyone who is open minded enough to listen to viewpoints that don’t align with the popular narrative in culture today regarding the transgender issue. It takes to task the most important issue of the topic, which is the treatment of children who identify as transgender.

5 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Alex D.
  • 08-30-18

Right Wing Nasty

Not for a moment am I saying the change in law got everything correct in the treatment of Transgender people in the US. However even though the author tries to hide it he is certainly someone who hates their existence. That said in hiding it he keeps his brow as moderate as the KKK and try’s to get us to see he is a reasonable human being who doesn’t want to exclude them, just have their own water fountains and parts of buses. Not to show themselves in public such as swimming pools or if they are children at school in the changing rooms, toilets, games hall. Now I’m a reasonable person and know everything wasn’t quite right with the new legislation, but this book ignores it he good parts and concentrated on a few parts that could do with some change and builds it into an impossible task because it’s so bad. It also clears people who were to implement this at grassroots of mischief making though problems only happened and were reported in a few places, mainly administered by Republicans. Plus a lot of these problem were caused by people who are not transgender/transsexual, but the sexually crazed/deprived jumping at the chance of access to areas they couldn’t get before. People well known to the Right wing of American politics. Over all this was a interesting listen, and actually got my emotions stirring which actually doesn’t happen that often to me reading or listening to a book. So wroth a listen whether or not your from the Trans Community, it lets you know what right wing government think of you if you don’t fall into their ‘normal’. It’s not nice.

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  • Mrs G.
  • 05-31-18

Not the unbiased reference book expected

This is written by a clearly American Conservative Christian bent and is not a true examination of the issues.
While it contains many verifiable facts it ignores much of the available unbiased science in the same way trans activists do when it does not suit their agenda.

Anderson missed an opportunity to enlighten rather than simply criticise.

1 of 4 people found this review helpful