Episode 42

42 - ROGD and the Struggle to Grow Up

Published on: 24th September, 2021

Many children with ROGD seem reluctant to grow up. Sometimes this is related to the difficulties of an early puberty or the hyper-sexualization of children. Other times the gap between the Disneyfied wonder of childhood and the grim hard reality of adulthood feels unsurmountable. Sasha and Stella delve into the psychology of the fear of growing up and how elements of both transition and transgender activist dogma may further infantilize and stunt development.


Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals, by Oliver Burkeman: Amazon.com/Four-Thousand-Weeks-Management-Mortals/dp/0374159122

“Trans Kids May Reject Family, Not the Other Way Around” Transgendertrend.com/trans-kids-reject-family-not-other-way-around/


Transparency podcast (episode with Mars Fernandez):



Rees M. “The age of menarche” ORGYN. 1995;(4):2-4. PMID: 12319855. Pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12319855/


Extended Notes:

  • People with rapid gender dysphoria are having a hard time with the process of growing up.
  • Children see the stress of growing up and they want so desperately to opt out of it.
  • If you want to get into a good college, you need all these “extra” activities, which means no one really has true hobbies anymore.
  • People love to stay in the fantasy world of YouTube, where many subgenres are acting younger than they are.
  • So much of this “drama” is fueled on the internet. Why do you get some of the biggest criticisms from people with a cartoon avatar on their profile?
  • Children are stuck between innocent Disney and hypersexualization. Where do you really go from here?
  • Stella has noticed that a lot of people who have gender issues also tend to have gone through puberty earlier than their peers.
  • Getting a period at seven years old is very traumatizing.
  • What fears do boys have about growing up?
  • When children have unlimited access to content, their imagination tends to dwindle, as well.
  • Do kids play seven minutes in heaven anymore? These innocent fun games were a vital part of being comfortable with your body.
  • Everything is so screen-based now. Human interaction is very low.
  • Adulthood seems really intimidating to a kid who has never had to interact with people. Going into a crowded room gives them anxiety.
  • Young, young girls are seeing a lot more porn than you might think.
  • When teenagers want to transition and get top surgery, it's a very difficult and vulnerable state to be in. They have to rely on mom and dad to take care of them once again.
  • A child has not thought things fully the way an adult parent has. The adult has gone through all the painful scenarios their child can go through.
  • You don’t have to dwell on certain things, but it’s important to face it, at the very least.
  • If you have an estranged relationship with your child, what do you do?
  • Doctors don’t always want you to know the truth about your body and the types of medical consequences there are when transitioning. There’s a whole movement that prevents the sharing of this knowledge.
  • When you ask transitioning girls who they’d like to look like, they never describe their father. They describe a “magazine model” or a K-pop star.
  • Kids want to rush into the medical option because they often think, “I’m an adult, you can't tell me what to do.” It's an extreme way to gain control.
  • If you have a kid in this situation, it might mean that they don’t feel capable in other areas of their life.

This podcast is partially sponsored by ReIME, Rethink Identity Medicine Ethics:


Learn more about our show: Linktr.ee/WiderLensPod

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About the Podcast

Gender: A Wider Lens Podcast
Two therapists explore the expanding concept of "gender" from a psychological depth perspective.
Gender dysphoria has become a minefield for public discussion, with many afraid to express their views or question the narrative. Our mission is to examine this important and complex topic from a range of perspectives, but always through a psychological lens. By openly considering and examining gender identity, transition, and the transgender umbrella, we hope to give all interested parties permission to engage these fascinating topics with less fear and more honesty. Interviews and discussions will involve clinicians, medical professionals, academics, transgender people, parents, detransitioners and other interesting individuals whose lives have been touched by the concept of gender.

Conversations between two practicing therapists give listeners an opportunity to contemplate gender from a depth perspective not currently taken up in most of today’s accessible debates. As a result of their work with gender dysphoric therapy clients as well as their personal divergent experiences with gender, Stella and Sasha hold a refreshing and informed perspective.

Is gender identity a facilitation of development and expression of creativity, or can it be a defense against painful existential realities of living in a human body? What can we discover about masculinity, femininity, identity, gender performance, and sexuality when we peer beneath the surface and dive into a deeper psychological exploration? What is the relationship between body, mind, identity, culture, and psyche?

This podcast engages listeners in an intimate and fascinating behind-the-scenes inquiry about a topic as taboo as it is salient today.

Thank you to our sponsors:
Genspect - an international organization which offers an alternative to WPATH. Providing a range of education, resources and supports to anyone impacted by gender distress, Genspect unites many different organizations globally, and gives voice to 1,000s of previously untold stories. For more info, visit genspect.org.

GETA - an association of therapists who believe that individuals experiencing gender related concerns ought to be treated using a whole person approach. GETA connects like minded clinicians, provides educational resources and trainings, and helps people with gender dysphoria find support. For more info, visit genderexploratory.com.
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About your hosts

Stella O'Malley

Profile picture for Stella O'Malley
Stella O’Malley is a psychotherapist and author who works in private practice in Ireland. Her work focuses on parenting, family dynamics and working with teenagers.

Much of Stella’s counselling and writing focuses on mental health and the importance of well-being and she is a regular contributor to the media. She is also the resident psychotherapist for the current TV series, Raised by the Village, a family programme that helps troubled teenagers reconnect with themselves and their families.

Stella's first book, Cotton Wool Kids, was released in 2015 while Bully-Proof Kids: Practical tools to help kids grow up confident, resilient and strong was released in 2017. Stella’s latest book Fragile, was released in 2019 and focuses on overcoming anxiety and stress.

Stella was the presenter of the documentary Trans - Kids: It’s Time To Talk broadcast on Channel 4 in November 2018 and she contributed a chapter to the 2019 book, Inventing Transgender Children and Young People.

The Jungian analyst, Lisa Marchiano, and Stella launched Secrets of the Motherworld in September 2019, offering thoughtful exploration of the most intimate aspects of motherhood in a bid to help mothers feel less alone.

Stella is a Clinical Advisor for the Society for Evidence-based Gender Medicine and a founding member of the International Association of Therapists for Desisters and Detransitioners. She is also the lead facilitator for the Gender Dysphoria Support Network.

Stella holds a B.A. in Counselling and Psychotherapy and a M.A. in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

Sasha Ayad

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Sasha Ayad is a Licensed Professional Counselor who works in private practice, and has treated adolescents for over 10 years. Her work focuses on teens and young adults struggling with issues of gender dysphoria and gender identity.

She became interested in the sharp rise in teenagers who declare a trans identity for the first time during adolescence. She discovered, through working with hundreds of families, that many teens were developing gender dysphoria only after adopting a transgender identity. She questions the practice of medical transition for children and teenagers, and her clinical work focuses on developmentally appropriate, least-invasive-first talk therapy.

Sasha is also a founding member and Clinical Advisor in the Society for Evidence-based Gender Medicine and a founding member of the International Association of Therapists for Desisters and Detransitioners.

Sasha’s previous work experience includes:
- School counselor for middle and high school students at a charter school for underserved communities

- Behavioral therapy with children on the autism spectrum

- Individual and group counseling for women and children impacted by domestic abuse and sexual violence

- Developed and ran the first counseling program at a large state supported living facility for adults with intellectual disability

Sasha holds a B.S. in Psychology and an M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology.