Leor Sapir

This content was last updated Nov. 15, 2023, 10:52 p.m. UTC

Leor Sapir is an Israeli academic and fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, an American conservative think tank. He is best known for publishing articles in the Institute’s public policy magazine City Life, and for contributing to amicus briefs filed by his colleague at the Institute, Ilya Shapiro, in anti-transgender court cases.

That Democrats, including the Biden admin, continue to preach the transition-or-suicide narrative shows either profound naïveté or a cynical desire to put politics above science and health … Let's be very clear about this: those who use the transition-or-suicide narrative to advocate for pediatric medical transition are likely causing more suicide, not less, and they are doing so regardless of their noble intentions.

Sapir on Twitter/X, 7 July 2022

Education and Work

Sapir earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Arts at the University of Haifa in 2010. He received his Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science from Boston College in 2019.

Between 2018 and 2020, Sapir was a visiting lecturer at Salve Regina University and Wellesley College. He was a PhD candidate at Boston College until 2020, when he began a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University.

In 2020, Sapir published his dissertation, an argument against the Obama-era expansion of Title IX civil rights to include a prohibition of discrimination against gender identity.

Manhattan Institute

In February of 2022, Sapir joined the Manhattan Institute as an adjunct fellow, and was raised to a full fellowship in May of that year. As a fellow, Sapir published a paper suggesting that medical transition is dangerous and experimental.

Sapir has been published at the Manhattan Institute’s public policy magazine, City Journal, since before his adjunct fellowship began. In January of 2022, he published an article decrying the inclusion of transgender competitors in women’s sports. By May of 2023, he published more than thirty articles in City Journal about transgender people and their healthcare, primarily advocating against the gender-affirming care model.

Sapir has contributed to amicus briefs filed in support of anti-transgender court cases, alongside his Manhattan Institute colleague Ilya Shapiro.

One brief was filed on behalf of the plaintiffs in Foote v. Ludlow School Committee, a case in which parents of students at Ludlow alleged that the school had violated their rights by affirming their children’s transgender identity without notifying them first. The case was dismissed in December 2022, but may be appealed.

Another was filed on behalf of the plaintiffs in Littlejohn v. School Board of Leon County, a similar case in Florida which was also dismissed. Shapiro and Sapir used a brief almost identical to the one that was filed in Foote v. Ludlow School Committee.

Sapir’s primary argument in both briefs is that the majority of transgender youth “desist,” or stop identifying as transgender, before reaching adulthood. A study by Princeton University’s Trans Youth Project showed that only 2.5% of their 300 cases had desisted in a five year timespan.

Further resources:

Contact The Trans Data Library

Contact Us


[('DefinedTerm', 'women’s sports'), ('Place', 'Israel'), ('DefinedTerm', 'publishing'), ('DefinedTerm', 'desistance'), ('DefinedTerm', 'conservative'), ('DefinedTerm', 'amicus briefs'), ('DefinedTerm', 'transgender athletes'), ('Place', 'United States'), ('DefinedTerm', 'gender-affirming care'), ('Organization', 'Manhattan Institute for Policy Research'), ('DefinedTerm', 'Title IX')]