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Jennifer Lahl On Her Newest Film, ‘The Lost Boys: Searching for Manhood’

Wesley J. Smith
Jennifer Lahl
Audio File (80.07M)

We are in the midst of a transgender moral panic. Where only recently, very few people sought what used to be called a sex change, today the numbers of people seeking to “transition” to the other gender—particularly among children and teenagers—is becoming a flood.

Much of the American medical establishment and the Biden administration claim that immediately yielding to children’s feelings that they are not the sex they were born is medically necessary, life-saving care. But is the science really settled? Recently, the United Kingdom, France, Norway, and other European countries hit the brakes on immediate gender affirmation in children—to the point that the UK shuttered its largest gender clinic for children as unsafe for patients. Even the World Health Organization—under political pressure, to be sure—just admitted that “the evidence base for children and adolescents is limited and variable regarding the longer-term outcomes of gender affirming care for children and adolescents.”

The UK’s National Health Service concluded that instead of encouraging transition, “the clinical approach has to be mindful of the risks of an inappropriate gender transition and the difficulties that children may experience in returning to their original gender role.” Such “returns” are known as “de-transitioning,” a phenomenon that receives far too little attention, and when it does, too often sparks bitter denunciation of detransitioners among radical gender ideologues. 

My guest today has dedicated herself to raising the public profile of this important issue. Jennifer Lahl has directed, co-written, and co-produced three important documentaries on the subject. The first, Trans Mission: What’s the Rush to Reassign Gender? explored the medical ethics of administering puberty blocking and cross-sex hormone in children. That film was quickly followed with the release of The Detransition Diaries: Saving our Sisters, which told the stories of three young women who transitioned to living life as if they were men—only to realize that they are, indeed, women. And. completing the trilogy, the just released, The Lost Boys: Searching for Manhood, in which five young men describe their experiences with gender dysphoria and their ultimate pursuit to find peace in their natural masculine bodies.

Among her many accomplishments, Lahl is a documentarian and founder of The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network. Her writings have appeared in various publications including Cambridge University Press, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Dallas Morning News, and the American Journal of Bioethics. As a field expert, she is routinely interviewed on radio and television including ABC, CBS, PBS, and NPR. She is also called upon to speak alongside lawmakers and members of the scientific community on various issues of bioethical concern.

Board of Directors – The Center for Bioethics & Culture Network (

The Lost Boys: Searching for Manhood (

The Detransition Diaries: Saving Our Sisters – The Center for Bioethics & Culture Network (

The Detransition Diaries: Saving Our Sisters – The Center for Bioethics & Culture Network (

Venus Rising Podcast:

WHO Admits Evidence Supporting ‘Gender-Affirming Care’ in Children Is ‘Limited and Variable’ | National Review

Wesley J. Smith

Chair and Senior Fellow, Center on Human Exceptionalism
Wesley J. Smith is Chair and Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism. Wesley is a contributor to National Review and is the author of 14 books, in recent years focusing on human dignity, liberty, and equality. Wesley has been recognized as one of America’s premier public intellectuals on bioethics by National Journal and has been honored by the Human Life Foundation as a “Great Defender of Life” for his work against suicide and euthanasia. Wesley’s most recent book is Culture of Death: The Age of “Do Harm” Medicine, a warning about the dangers to patients of the modern bioethics movement.