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Galileo’s Middle Finger: anti-transgender book

Galileo’s Middle Finger is a 2015 book by anti-trangender activist Alice Dreger. Dreger uses the book to launder anti-trans extremism into mainstream media, like promoting the disease “autogynephilia.”

The book is notable for Dreger’s additional laundering of the “Danny Ryan” academic hoax.

The center section is Dreger’s defense of J. Michael Bailey and Kenneth Zucker, originally printed in Archives of Sexual Behavior, a journal they both edit. Zucker was fired from CAMH the year the book came out.

I’ll have more to say on this in the future. Below are two earlier responses.


Galileo’s Middle Finger: Heretics, Activists, and One Scholar’s Search for Justice 

The book describes Dreger’s personal involvement in several controversies:

  • Pathologizing people with differences of sex development (which Dreger calls “disorders”)
  • Supporting J. Michael Bailey’s 2003 book The Man Who Would Be Queen
  • Supporting Randy Thornhill and Craig T. Palmer’s 2000 book A Natural History of Rape
  • Criticizing Patrick Tierney’s 2000 book Darkness in El Dorado, an exposé of anthropologist Napoleon Chagnon
  • Criticizing pediatrician Maria New and use of prenatal dexamethasone for reducing genital virilization in fetuses with congenital adrenal hyperplasia


Editors (March 8, 2016). Who Are the 2016 Lambda Literary Awards Finalists? Out

Tannehill, Brynn (March 25, 2016). Lambda Literary Foundation Snuffs Out Anti-Trans Scandal. The Advocate


Wikipedia (