Ezra Seymour Gosney was a very rich man on a mission. He owned one of the largest lemon groves in California and became a director of banks and corporations.

In the 1920s, Gosney began to spend his money to promote eugenics, claimed to be a science on the breeding of race. He financed a biologist Paul Popenoe to promote California’s compulsory sterilization program, touted by those called progressives as a way to reduce mental illness and social threats. In 1929, the two men wrote and published a book that claimed that sterilization was scientific, harmless and legal. Gosney established the Human Betterment Foundation, said to have inspired everybody from the superrich to Hitler.

Persuading children

Today, there is another sterilization program being developed in Europe and the United States. It is called transgender, an industry that promises to change males to females and vice versa. The industry is based on persuading children that they are the wrong sex, which could be corrected through life-altering drugs and surgery. The marketing campaign has been conducted through the social media, where pre-adolescents find “coaches” to take them through a process that many later regret but are unable to reverse.

In 2020, Abgail Shrier, a frequent contributor to the Wall Street Journal, wrote and published Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters. The book reported on the transgender industry’s focus on adolescent girls, many of whom face such issues as anorexia, bulimia and multiple personality disorder. These girls, mostly white, are told by everybody from their peers to teachers that they have a disease called gender dysphoria and should consider a sex change regardless of the objections of their parents.

“Therapists affirm and encourage minors down this path, and even pediatricians do,” Shrier said.

Trans celebrities

The transgender issue first emerged around 2010, presented as the right to define gender regardless of your sex. Young people were susceptible to the assurances that their body can be one sex and their mind another, a condition that would produce great dissonance. The term gender dysphoria was introduced and served as the basis for the right of sex change regardless of evidence or age. Over the last few years, adolescent girls have been the main audience for transgender identification.

The community acquired legitimacy largely from trans celebrities, including Caitlyn Jenner, who changed from the Olympic gold medal winner Bruce in 2016. Laverne Cox was the first successful transgender actress. Elliot Page had been an Oscar-nominated actress named Ellen Page until she decided to change her sex. In 2020, she wrote that politicians who do not support the transgender community “have blood on their hands.”

Potential of $200 billion

Not coincidentally, the transgender issue has spawned a rapidly growing industry. In December 2020, Forbes reported that the sex change market has a potential to reach $200 billion. Entrepreneurs such as Robby Katherine Anthony developed an app to accommodate the transgender community and particularly its new recruits.

Hospitals have established wings for gender altering surgery. The pharmaceutical companies have been supplying what have been called gender blockers, actually sterilization drugs, to adolescents. Why? Because the profits are astronomical. In Europe, for example, sex change operations can cost $20,000 and are expected to rise rapidly. In the United States alone, about 9,000 such operations are performed annually.

“Sex reassignment surgery market size was worth more than USD 623 million in 2022 and is projected to register over 11.5% CAGR [compound annual growth rate] between 2023 and 2032,” a market report by Grand View Research said in January 2023. “Growing prevalence of gender dysphoria and awareness regarding sex change surgeries will influence market expansion.”

The Mount Sinai Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery, located in New York City, is regarded as one of the most active facilities in the transgender market. It plans to train young physicians in what it terms “gender-affirming surgery and gender-affirming psychiatric care.” The strategy of the hospital focuses on children.

“The short of it is to make gender-affirming care as accessible as we can,” Joshua Safer, executive director of the center, said. “But also, we know that we are dealing with young people where we want to be conservative in making sure that we are understanding them and that they are understanding the impact of certain treatment choices.”

The pushback

There has been pushback to the transgender industry. Several states, including Alabama, Arizona and Arkansas and Florida, have sought to ban sex change operations to minors. Hospitals in other northern states have been threatened with bombings by what appears to be irate parents.

The battle also pits the administration of President Joe Biden against the states and federal courts. In June, Biden issued an executive order that expanded access to transgender treatment. Already, several leading providers, including Aetna and Unicare, offer insurance for such sex-changing procedures as salpingo-oophorectomy, hysterectomy, orchiectomy or ovariectomy.

The U.S. government has withheld a five-year $5.7 million study on the long-term effects of sex change operations and puberty blockers on youngsters. The report, financed by the National Institutes of Health and which included 280 teenagers, was to have been concluded in 2020. In July 2022, the Food and Drug Administration asserted that puberty blockers pose such risks as brain swelling and vision loss.

Gosney’s star began to fade decades after his death in 1942. The link between eugenics with Nazi Germany and the campaign to stamp out minorities became repulsive in California. In January 2021, the California Institute of Technology, which had received Gosney’s assets, removed his name from the board of trustees and everywhere else on campus.

But so far, the luster of the transgender industry has not faded. The industry uses the powerful to censor or threaten those who oppose or even question the ethics of exploiting minors for mutilation and sterilization. Scientists, authors and academics have been blocked from social media outlets — their jobs threatened.

“They flip-flop based on whatever furthers their ideology,” said Colin Wright, an evolutionary biologist and academic advisor for the Society for Evidence-based Gender Medicine. “It’s complete pseudoscience, anyway you look at it. I get messages from parents every day. And they’re horrified about what’s going on. I think a lot more harm has to get done until we get there [to a reversal].”