Amazon says it stopped selling a transgender-critical book because of its framing of “LGBTQ+ identity as a mental illness.”
In a letter issued to several Republican senators on Thursday and first reported by the Wall Street Journal, a senior Amazon official explained why the company recently de-listed a book critical of transgender ideology.
On Feb. 21, scholar Ryan Anderson had said that he was made aware that his book When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment was no longer available for sale on Amazon.com. The book, which was sold on Amazon for three years, is still not available nearly three weeks later.
While Amazon initially said the book violated its “content” policy, a senior Amazon official clarified on Thursday that the company has “chosen not to sell books that frame LGBTQ+ identity as a mental illness.”
Anderson, president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center (EPPC), authored the book which was published in 2018 and was listed for sale on Amazon.com at the time. The book is a scholarly critique of the transgender movement, investigating the biological, psychological, and philosophical areas of the debate over gender ideology.
Anderson tweeted on Thursday that Amazon is trying to close off parts of the transgender debate.
“Everyone agrees that gender dysphoria is a serious condition that causes great suffering. There is a debate, however, which Amazon is seeking to shut down, about how best to treat patients who experience gender dysphoria,” he said.
He responded to claims that his framing of gender dysphoria as a “mental illness” was offensive. Anderson has previously said that he never called people identifying as transgender “mentally ill.” He has also noted that the American Psychological Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders lists gender dysphoria as a mental disorder.
A publication on the APA’s website notes that “gender non-conformity is not in itself a mental disorder,” but lists gender dysphoria as a disorder, noting that the “dysphoria is from the distress caused by the body and mind not aligning and/or societal marginalization of gender-variant people.”
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