Two Out of Three Kids Will No Longer Identify as Transgender by Adulthood, Massive Study Finds

11 April 2024

4.3 MINS

The research, which tracked almost 3,000 adolescents, found that most who identified as transgender eventually embraced their biological sex.

The vast majority of children who experience gender dysphoria will embrace their biological sex by adulthood, according to a sweeping national study that monitored children for 15 years.

Roughly two out of every three children who identify as transgender will embrace their birth sex by their mid-20s, the study found. People most likely to continue to identify as transgender have low self-esteem and other mental health challenges, researchers found.

A study of children in the Netherlands tracked 2,772 adolescents from the age of 11 to 26, asking them to rate their mental and physical health every three years for 15 years. The Youth and Adult Self-Report (YSR) asked participants to assess how much they agree with the statement, “I wish to be of the opposite sex.” A team of researchers then pored over the data from the Tracking Adolescent’s Individual Lives Survey (TRAILS) to measure “gender non-contentedness.”

The vast majority (78%) of people never felt any feelings of gender dysphoria, researchers noted. “In early adolescence, 11% of participants reported gender non-contentedness,” wrote researchers in the study, published in February in the peer-reviewed Archives of Sexual Behaviour. “The prevalence decreased with age and was 4% at the last follow-up (around age 26)” — a desistance rate of 64%.

Transgender Identity ‘Decreases with Age’

Researchers also found that adolescents were 950% more likely to feel better about their sex than to feel worse: 19% of participants felt decreased “gender non-contentedness,” as compared with only 2% whose feelings deepened over time. Participants whose gender confusion worsened over the years “more often were female,” researchers noted.

Feeling more severe gender dysphoria as an adult is also “associated with a lower [overall] self-worth, more behavioural and emotional problems, and a non-heterosexual sexual” preference.

“Gender non-contentedness, while being relatively common during early adolescence, in general decreases with age and appears to be associated with a poorer self-concept and mental health throughout development,” they concluded.

Experts felt vindicated by the latest research. “This new study simply confirms what has been known for over a decade,” Jay Richards, Ph.D., told The Washington Stand. In 2013, the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) “noted that most kids who experience distress with their sexed bodies resolve those feelings after they pass through natural puberty,” Richards — who serves as director of the Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Life, Religion, and Family at the Heritage Foundation — told TWS.

The Dutch study acknowledges it did not break new ground. Although few studies follow the same cohort for such a long period of time, the analysts admitted their findings fell in line with the best available literature. “The few longitudinal studies that have been conducted in a clinical setting found low persistence rates of early childhood gender dysphoric feelings into adolescence and adulthood,” wrote the researchers, linking to studies from 2016 and 2021. The latter found, “Boys clinic-referred for gender identity concerns in childhood had a high rate of desistance.”

Yet this and other studies reveal that “minors who are put on puberty blockers for the purposes of ‘gender affirmation’ are extremely likely to go on to take cross-hormones” such as estrogen and testosterone, Richards told TWS. Studies show up to 93% of children who begin on puberty blockers will go on to receive cross-sex hormone injections. Experts say the transgender industry’s early medical intervention actually deepens and prolongs feelings of gender dysphoria that would otherwise go away on their own. “This is what makes ‘gender-affirming’ (that is, sex-denying) medical interventions on minors such a medical atrocity. These interventions fast track troubled kids onto a path to sterilisation and lifelong medical problems,” explained Richards.

The harm goes beyond lost fertility. “There is no research into long-term harms, but some evidence suggests decreased IQ and brittle bones. Permanent sterility is guaranteed for minors who go through full hormonal “transition.” Sexual dysfunction appears to be extremely common as well,” wrote Leor Sapir, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute, at The Hill. So-called “gender-affirming hormonal treatment” (GAHT) causes “permanent physical changes including excruciating genital growthvaginal atrophy and tearing and much higher risk for cancer and cardiovascular disease.”

The Question of Transgender Regret

The authors of the new study said they hope their findings will “help adolescents to realise 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 should “provide some perspective to clinicians primarily seeing individuals with intense gender dysphoric feelings.”

This study, and others like it, prove that “children need time, not gender-‘affirming’ medical mutilation,” said Sarah Parshall Perry of the Heritage Foundation.

A growing number of young people subjected to transgender ideology at paediatric gender clinics say they wish they had known how common, and fleeting, feelings of transgenderism can be. “Young people, particularly young women, are very susceptible to social contagion. They are the most susceptible demographic,” Prisha Mosley, a detransitioner who now works with the Independent Women’s Forum, told Laura Ingraham Thursday evening. “And as for the 1% who continues to feel that way, they deserve ethical and data-based mental health care.”

She noted how easily she received transgender injections and procedures, as compared to treatment for her bona fide mental health issues. “I had actually been seeking mental health care and services for trauma and other mental illnesses that were diagnosed prior to my gender dysphoria diagnosis for several years. But as soon as I heard about gender ideology online and expressed to my doctors that I felt I was born in the wrong body, I was immediately fast-tracked,” Mosley told Ingraham on Fox News. She said it took her “almost 10 years after getting my diagnosis for Borderline Personality Disorder to find a dialectical behavioural therapist to treat it, but it was less than two years to go from hormones to a double mastectomy and transition.”

Mosley urged parents to guard their children against the predatory transgender industry, cautioning them to be cognisant of “the way people are manipulating and breaking down language” on the issue of gender. “And then do your best to prepare your children for that. Maybe tell them that there are tricky people out there who will twist language and manipulate them, because unfortunately, it’s true.”

“Sometimes these predators — these people — they’ll wear pins that say, ‘You’re safe with me,’ and all of that, but that can oftentimes be a signal that you’re not safe,” warned Mosley.

“This new Dutch study reminds us that children are being subjected to experimental medical interventions to treat what, in most cases, is a temporary psychological state,” Richards told TWS. “This is a grotesque perversion of the medical maxim to ‘first, do no harm.’”


Republished with thanks to The Washington Stand. Image courtesy of Unsplash.

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