Transgender Children: Children who come out as young transgender people tend to retain their identities for several years, studies show

Children who identify as transgender from a young age tend to maintain that identity for at least several years, a study published Wednesday suggests.

The study enrolled 317 adolescents who were 3 to 12 years old at the time of study recruitment. Five years later, at the end of the study, 94% were transgender and nearly two-thirds were using either anti-puberty drugs or sex hormones for medical conversion.

Most of the children in the study came from high-income white families who supported their transitions. On average, children began identifying as transgender around the age of 6.

It is not known if similar results are found among youth from less privileged backgrounds or among those who identify as transgender in their teens. The study was published online in Pediatrics.

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Politicians trying to ban or criminalize medical treatment for transgender youth have cited evidence that many children are changing their minds, or “retransitioning.”

Some doctors say that transgender drugs or surgery should therefore not be offered until affected children reach adulthood, but rigorous research into the numbers is lacking. The pediatric study is one of the largest looking at the issue, although not all children had started treatment and none had transgender surgery.

The study is “incredibly timely … and much needed,” said Coleen Williams, a psychologist who works with Boston Children’s Hospital’s Gender Multispecialty Service, a clinic that treats transgender children.

“If you do this work with trans kiddos and their families in the trenches every day, here’s what we see,” said Williams, who was not involved with the study. “A majority of transgender youth and children making social transition continue to live in their confirmed gender.”

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Families were recruited to participate in the study from trans child social media groups, camps, conferences and word of mouth in about 40 states.

Kristina Olson, a Princeton University psychologist who led the study, said some of the children returned briefly during the study, but by the end most reverted to a transgender identity.

“It suggests that our model of thinking about people as they’re either X or Y, they’re either cisgender or transgender … is kind of an antiquated way of thinking about gender,” Olson said.

She noted that “nonbinary” was not a common term when the study began in 2013, and the children studied used male or female pronouns. That could change as the researchers follow her through her teenage years. At the end of the study, the adolescents were on average about 12 years old.

The Society for Evidence-Based Gender Medicine, a nonprofit group of health professionals concerned about medical transition risks for minors, said other evidence shows that large numbers of children survive through puberty or into adulthood from transgender identities grows out. Some researchers point to errors in this data.

dr William Malone, an adviser to the group, said the new study appears to reinforce concerns “that early social gender transition could cement a young person’s transgender identity and put minors on the path to eventual medicalization, with all the associated risks.” and uncertainties.”

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https://abc13.com/transgender-children-trans-kids-study-lgbtq/11820715/ Transgender Children: Children who come out as young transgender people tend to retain their identities for several years, studies show

Dais Johnston

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