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David Buss vs. transgender people

David Buss is an American evolutionary psychologist whose life’s work is dedicated to maintaining and reinforcing a sex binary.

Buss is a frequent supporter of anti-trans psychologist J. Michael Bailey. Of all the people in the investigation to date, Buss has the most overlapping interests and experiences with Bailey:


David Michael Buss was born April 14, 1953.

Buss earned a doctorate in the notoriously anti-trans psychology department at University of California, Berkeley in 1981.

Buss was married to Cynthia Louise “Cindy” Refhues (1958-2012) in 1981. 

The Man Who Would Be Queen

He was cited in promotional materials for Bailey’s book.

“Bailey is one of a rare breed of writers who manages to combine first-rate science with deep psychological understanding, resulting in great breadth of vision. He takes us on an unforgettable journey into the minds and lives of feminine men. Bailey skillfully interweaves vivid case studies with cutting-edge scientific findings, placing both in a deep historical context from the sexual playground of ancient Greece to the dilemmas of gender in the modern world. Refreshingly candid, remarkably free of ideology, this book is destined to become a modern classic in the field. But readers should be prepared to have some cherished assumptions about human nature shattered.”

– David M. Buss, author of The Evolution of Desire: Strategies of Human Mating and Evolutionary Psychology: The New Science of the Mind

Sexuality and Its Disorders

College textbooks on psychology and human sexuality are consistently among the most transphobic knowledge produced in academia. A 2017 textbook by Mike Abrams lays out Buss’s views.


A reader reports:

“Every Spring semester since 2016, Dr. Buss has co-taught PSY 306: Introduction to Human Sexuality, a seminar class, with Dr. Cindy Meston. The class is taught in a live-streaming, online format. There’s a little studio on-campus. The professors show up 15 minutes before class time, then sit in the studio to give their lecture in front of some cameras and a small live studio audience of 20 of their students. That lecture gets broadcast live to a much larger number of students – typically between 250 – 700 students each semester. So, 1000s of students have seen this class. Each semester, there is a lecture on Gender Dysphoria. I’ve attached a .txt file of the transcript. Here’s a particularly concerning section from that class (as spoken by Dr. Meston):

I think what’s happening is that people are more aware of the disorder. Absolutely, people like Jazz Jennings. This is the little girl that was on the 20/20 video you watched. She is now a huge voice for the transgendered community. She’s set up a foundation. She’s done a lot of good will for the transgender community. She has put out many videos giving advice and education. She’s had a reality show.

There was actually the first transgendered doll launched a few years ago in her image. So people like this, people like, and a few years ago, the very first transgendered Playmate appeared.

So what’s happening is there’s a lot more talk about transgender, a lot of famous people have come forward to talk about their struggle with gender dysphoria, and so this has been, has had a remarkable good impact, I believe, in the sense that, when it’s so much more visible and so much more talked about, people become educated.

They learn about the disorder, and when you learn about a disorder then you’re less afraid of it. And not always, sadly,
but a lot of the time, people become more accepting, and you know, we see now, compared to even a decade ago, that there are policy changes made with regard to transgendered individuals in, for example, washrooms.

So that’s something that never would have occurred even, you know, a decade ago. So this awareness has clearly made many people more comfortable in coming forward and talking about their problem, and seeking help, which is a good thing.

Now, I want to mention, just on the other hand, why sometimes social media may not be in one’s best interest. So what is happening is that, among young people, teenagers, early 20s, there’s this rise in the prevalence rates of gender dysphoric individuals. That’s really unusual and it doesn’t seem to fit the pattern of what we know clinically, and have known for many, many years about individuals who have gender dysphoria.

So, for example, adults, who are diagnosed with gender dysphoria, they almost always have been either diagnosed as having childhood gender identity dysphoria, or gender dysphoria I should say, and if not diagnosed as a child, they showed signs as a child. Their tales are that they have struggled with this most of their lives, or there has been some pattern very early on that there were signs of gender dysphoria. This group that has emerged in young people presents a very different picture.

They present, often, as suddenly realizing they’re gender dysphoric, and so some researchers are concerned by this, and clinicians, and have talked about this disorder, which has been given the name rapid-onset gender dysphoria. And rapid-onset gender dysphoria is exactly as it sounds, the development of gender dysphoria begins suddenly, during or after puberty, in adolescents or a young adult, who would not have met the criteria in childhood.

So this is not a typical etiology because, as I just described, the typical etiology is that they would’ve met the criteria in childhood. And so this has led to a debate or a discussion in the research and clinical community as to the possible role of social media and online content in possibly leading a group of young adults to self-diagnosing themselves incorrectly as having gender dysphoria.

Now, we know that, oftentimes, depression, or anxiety, or autism, individuals along the autism spectrum, some of you may have heard the term, Asperger’s. This term is no longer used in the DSM, it’s now just considered part of the autism spectrum, but it refers to individuals who struggle somewhat with social aspects of their lives.

And sometimes, what may be happening is individuals who are experiencing some type of mental disorder, they google on the internet, or they do some research online to figure out what’s wrong with them, and there’s so much information out there now on transgendered individuals, that they may be incorrectly identifying as a transgendered individual as opposed to some other underlying mental disorder.


[Obituary] (January 20, 2012). Cindy Rehfues. Austin American-Statesman

Abrams, Mike (2017). Sexuality and Its Disorders: Development, Cases, and Treatment. SAGE


University of Texas Psychology (

Wikipedia (