Lisa Marchiano

This content was last updated Nov. 14, 2023, 11:34 p.m. UTC

Lisa Marchiano is an American psychotherapist, author, and one of the co-hosts of podcast This Jungian Life. She is a self-described “Jungian analyst,” and early proponent of the fringe theory of Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria (ROGD), the suggestion that young people express gender dysphoria and identify as transgender because of social contagion, i.e., influence from social media and their peers.

Marchiano is co-founder and member of numerous anti-transgender organizations such as Pediatric and Adolescent Gender Dysphoria Working Group (PAGDWG), Society for Evidence-Based Gender Medicine (SEGM), and Alliance for Therapeutic Choice and Scientific Integrity (ATCSI). She has also been published in libertarian magazine Quillette that focuses on culture war issues, as well as Aero, an online magazine that bills itself as non-partisan and frequently publishes contrarian opinions.

Currently, we appear to be experiencing a significant psychic epidemic that is manifesting as children and young people coming to believe that they are the opposite sex, and in some cases taking drastic measures to change their bodies. I am particularly concerned about the number of teens and tweens suddenly coming out as transgender without a prior history of discomfort with their sex.

Marchiano, 06 October 2017

Education and Work

Marchiano studied for her Bachelor of Arts degree in History at Brown University between 1984 and 1988, then received her Master of Social Work degree from New York University in 1998.

Between 1998 and 2002, Marchiano worked as a sexual trauma specialist and readjustment counselor in a Veterans Affairs facility, and as a domestic violence social worker for Philadelphia not-for-profit organization Main Line Health.

According to her linkedIn Marchiano has worked as a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) and Jungian analyst in Philadelphia since 2000.

Marchiano has authored multiple books, including Motherhood: Facing and Finding Yourself, The Vital Spark: Reclaim Your Outlaw Energies and Find Your Feminine Fire, and When Kids Say They’re Trans: A Guide for Parents.

Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria

On 27 October, 2016, Marchiano published an entry titled Guidance for Parents of Teens with Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria on her own blog, The Jung Soul. It is one of the earliest known uses of the term “Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria.” Marchiano claims ROGD is caused by “social contagion,” in which adolescents identify as transgender and express a desire to transition primarily due to the influence of their peer groups and social media websites like Tumblr.

ROGD theory has been promoted by many highly visible anti-transgender figures, despite evidence undermining its validity as a mental health diagnosis. In 2018, Lisa Littman published a survey of parents in PLOS ONE on ROGD theory using polls about transgender youth posted to anti-transgender websites including Marchiano’s own website Youth Trans Critical Professionals (YTCP). 

Anti-transgender Activism and Writing

Marchiano has published multiple anti-transgender articles in magazines such as Quillette and Aero and maintained YTCP until 2018. She also has connections to other anti-transgender groups and activists, such as 4thWaveNow. Marchiano is the author of the book When Kids Say They’re Trans: A Guide for Parents specifically for un-affirming parents of trans or questioning children.

Marchiano is cofounder of the Gender Exploratory Therapy Association (GETA), an organization devoted to normalizing subjecting trans youth to conversion therapy. She is a member of PAGDWG and SEGM, adviser to Genspect, director of the Institute for Comprehensive Gender Dysphoria Research (ICGDR) and director of Rethink Identity Medicine Ethics (ReIME), and the cofounder of Wider Lens Consulting

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