Gender: A Wider Lens
Gender: A Wider Lens
TOP 5 of 2022 Countdown: #4 EP 88 - Gender: Philosophy, Institutions, and Policy with Leor Sapir

TOP 5 of 2022 Countdown: #4 EP 88 - Gender: Philosophy, Institutions, and Policy with Leor Sapir

This episode is being rereleased as part of our Top 5 Episodes of 2022 Countdown! 

If you’ve ever asked yourself: how is this happening? How are so many institutions completely captured by contemporary gender beliefs? How are medical bodies, educational institutions, and courts operating in ways that seem crazy? Well, then you really need to listen to this insightful and clarifying discussion with Leor Sapir.

Leor is a fellow at the Manhattan Institute. A driven researcher with a Ph.D. in Political Science from Boston College, Dr. Sapir previously completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Program on Constitutional Government at Harvard University. His academic work, including his dissertation on the Obama Administration’s Title IX regulations, has investigated how America’s political culture and constitutional government shape public policy on matters of civil rights.

Similarly, at the Manhattan Institute, Dr. Sapir will apply his knowledge of political theory and American government to policy issues, homing in, particularly on issues of gender identity and transgenderism. His inaugural essay in the Winter 2022 issue of City Journal explores a series of recent court rulings surrounding transgenderism, demonstrating how bad ideas translate from fringe academic theory into law and policy. Previous web pieces for City Journal have explored evolving athletic guidelines and media coverage surrounding transgender issues. He discussed these pieces in a recent episode of City Journal’s 10 Blocks podcast.

Leor asserts the collapse of liberal optimism has brought about mindless apathy and subsequently, a kind of soft despotism. Leor makes the razor-sharp observation that being non-judgemental is our new civic religion. We talk about institutional capture, whether courts are the best place to decipher complex social issues, and what the impending malpractice lawsuits will mean for gender medicine. We also discuss the difference between the U.S. system and systems in progressive European countries, where a reversal of affirmation medicine seems to be taking place. We get into so much here: political philosophy, the virtue of tolerance vs. apathy, and what’s at stake when members of a society begin to lose their sense of engagement and responsibility to one another and to truth itself.

Links & Resources: 

  • Ensuring Comprehensive Care and Support for Transgender and Gender-Diverse Children and Adolescents — 2018 what Leor calls the Rafferty, Fact-Free Paper 

Extended Notes

  • The Obama letter introduced to schools seemed to come out of left field.

  • As soon as Leor dipped his toe into the U.S. Government’s take on youth gender dysphoria, he was engulfed by all aspects of it.

  • Leor shares the model of how American politics works.

  • Leor explains why U.S. courts are not great at resolving social and medical debates and how they can distort issues.

  • Reforming the AAP may be the key to gender-related policy reversal.

  • Are some pediatricians treating based on their empathy and not good judgment?

  • In the U.S., it is a common practice to despair and not get to the root cause of issues.

  • Do psychologists see their role as alleviating subjective distress at the moment as Leor says?

  • Living without judgment is impossible for a human.

  • Leor does not like the term gender ideology.

  • Leor philosophizes about what happens when apathy is paramount in society.

  • One understanding of gender ideology is gender is not who we are, it is something we do.

  • Stella believes slogans and catchy phrases about childhood pediatric medical transition would embolden the campaign.

  • Teenage girls registering as non-binary don’t want to be considered a two-dimensional stereotype.

  • Equity and equality are not just different, they are the opposite.

  • Leor says we need to have language that recaptures common sense and sanity regarding gender ideology issues.

  • Body-affirming care helps kids in distress feel comfortable in their bodies.

This podcast is sponsored by ReIME and Genspect. Visit and to learn more.

For more about our show:

Gender: A Wider Lens
Gender: A Wider Lens
In this podcast, now in its fourth year, therapists Stella O'Malley and Sasha Ayad take a deep dive into the psychological and cultural forces impacting the social changes around "gender." Through interviews with researchers, doctors, therapists, parents, detransitioners, and others, Sasha and Stella's podcast is a "must listen" for anyone trying to navigate the current gender landscape. With their sharp analytical minds and deep compassionate hearts, Stella and Sasha have also become known throughout many parent networks as lighthouses in the midst of some very stormy seas. Previous guests include Helen Joyce, Jesse Singal, Leor Sapir, Kathleen Stock, Jamie Reed, Peter Boghossian and more.