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Sabine Hossenfelder vs. transgender people

Sabine Hossenfelder is a German author and YouTuber. Hossenfelder has occasionally attempted to summarize issues around gender including sex-segregated competitive sports and trans healthcare for minors, with varying levels of success.


Sabine Hossenfelder was born September 18, 1976 inĀ Frankfurt am Main,Ā West Germany. Hossenfelder attended Goethe University Frankfurt, earning an undergraduate degree in mathematicsĀ in 1997 and a doctorate in physics in 2004. Hossenfelder has researched and taught at theĀ GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research,Ā University of Arizona,Ā University of California, theĀ Perimeter Institute, theĀ Nordic Institute for Theoretical PhysicsĀ in Sweden, and theĀ Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies.

Hossenfelder began working as a popular science writer in 2006. Hossenfelder’s first Youtube video was in 2011.

Hossenfelder married Stefan Scherer in 2006. They have twins born in 2010.

Views on trans and gender diverse people

Hossenfelder views trans youth as a scientific debate rather than a debate about science and its historic misuses.

Hossenfelder uncritically uses many disease models created by behavior scientists to describe sex and gender minorities. Diseases were once widely accepted among scientists to describe gay and lesbian people, until they were forced to stop by activists. It is still socially acceptable among people like Hossenfelder to describe trans, intersex, and gender diverse people using disorders, diseases, and metaphors of impairment and disability.

Among the contested diseases and terms Hossenfelder uses are:

  • disorders of sex development
  • rapid-onset gender dysphoria
  • “gender dysphoria”
  • “gender dysphoria in children”
  • “social contagion”
  • comorbidities: trans people have other mental disorders
  • gender affirming care
  • “trapped in the wrong body”
  • “cutting off parts of the anatomy”
  • “some people are making a lot of money with this”
  • discusses puberty blockers risks, no discussion of benefits
  • “there are at present no high-quality studies that conclusively demonstrate these treatments are beneficial”
  • the shift in gender ratio among trans youth
  • “we don’t understand the long-term consequences”


Videos include clickbait “just asking questions” titles:

“Trans athletes in women’s sports: Is this fair?” (2022)

  • This video looks at the field of sex science the way others use sports to make claims about race science. It does at least step back and take a big-picture look. Hossenfelder and I both believe that there is no long-term future for sex-segregated competitive sports.

“Is being trans a social fad among teenagers?” (2023)

  • This video is too caught up in a lot of unscientific assumptions about trans people being disordered and diseased.


Rebecca Watson (May 4, 2023). Physicist Sabine Hossenfelder Screws up on Trans Kids’ Care. YouTube

Thurston, Ethel (May 13, 2023). Debunking Pseudoscience Attacking Trans Youth | RE: Sabine Hossenfelder. EssenceOfThought

Thurston, Ethel (May 20, 2023). Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria Is A Nazi Relic | RE: Sabine Hossenfelder & Trans Youth. EssenceOfThought


Hossenfelder, Sabine (June 13, 2022). Reviewing the science in the trans-athlete debate: Taking hormones levels playing field more for trans men than for trans women.

Young, Cathy (June 13, 2022). Do Ohio Republicans Really Want to Use Genital Exams to Ban Trans Athletes? The Bulwark

Watson, Rebecca (May 5, 2023). Physicist Sabine Hossenfelder Screws up on Trans Kidsā€™ Care. Skepchick


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