May 23, 2024

Most gender-confused children grow out of it, landmark 15-year study concludes – as critics say it shows being trans is usually just a phase for kids

EXCL: Most kids grow out of desire to change sex, study suggests

Researchers from The Netherlands found one-fifth of children who are unhappy with their gender grow out of the feeling by the time they become adults, according to a 15-year study.

  • 11 percent of adolescents reported being unhappy with their gender 
  • 19 percent who reported unhappiness as kids no longer expressed it as adults

The majority of gender-confused children grow out of that feeling by the time they are fully grown adults, according to a long-term study.

Researchers in the Netherlands tracked more than 2,700 children from age 11 to their mid-twenties, asking them every three years of feelings about their gender.

Results showed at the start of the research, around one-in-10 children (11 percent) expressed ‘gender non-contentedness‘ to varying degrees.

But by age 25, just one-in-25 (4 percent) said they ‘often’ or ‘sometimes’ were discontent with their gender.

The researchers concluded: ‘The results of the current study might help adolescents to realize that it is normal to have some doubts about one’s identity and one’s gender identity during this age period and that this is also relatively common.’

It comes amid a massive boom in transgender children receiving drugs to change their gender in the US – as critics say doctors and parents are not challenging young people enough.

Patrick Brown, a fellow at the conservative Ethics and Public Policy Center who was not involved in the research, told ‘This study provides even more reason to be skeptical towards aggressive steps to facilitate gender transition in childhood and adolescence. 

‘The fact that rates of satisfaction are lower even just a few years later suggests that for the vast majority of people, prudence and caution, rather than a rush towards permanent surgeries or hormone therapies, will be the best approach for teenagers struggling to make sense of the world and their place in it. 

‘As such, policies that prohibit gender transition for minors make a great deal of sense.’

The study is one of the longest into the issue of gender in children – but the researchers point out it has some limitations.

For one, it looked at a mixture of children from the general population and kids who were receiving mental health care – though not specifically for anything related to their gender.

Therefore it does not necessarily reflect the attitudes of children clinically diagnosed with gender dysphoria.

The researchers, from the University of Groningen, analyzed the data of 2,770 people who were part of the Tracking Adolescent’s Individual Lives Survey. 

Dr Jay Richards, director of the Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Life, Religion, and Family, told ‘We’ve known for over a decade that most kids who experience distress with their sexed bodies resolve those feelings after they pass through natural puberty. 

‘Indeed, we can infer from the DSM 5 [2013] and other sources that as many as 88 percent of gender-dysphoric girls and as many as 98 percent of gender-dysphoric boys in previous generations desisted if allowed to go through natural puberty. 

‘These two facts make it clear why “gender-affirming care” on minors is such an outrage. It leads, in the end, to sterilization and in many cases to a complete loss of natural sexual function. 

‘There is no good evidence that this helps minors long term. Moreover, it medicalizes what could very well be temporary psychological symptoms.

‘History will judge this medicalized “gender-affirming care” on minors as we now judge eugenics and lobotomies.’

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