Monday, November 7, 2022

Young Trans Children...

Know Who They Are

A new study shows that gender-nonconforming kids who go on to transition already have a strong sense of their true identity—one that differs from their assigned gender.

My Note:  This is a well done piece from 2019.  The psychologist that ran the study that begin in 2013 followed  85 gender-nonconforming participants, ages 3 to 12 and  kept in touch with the families over the years. They, she learned that some of those children eventually transitioned.were different to those who did not,  Much of the study runs counter to the junk science the thet transgender opponents are using. 

Do read the whole article and see my *footnote on 
Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo and hs ruling concerning Transgender kids health care. 

BY: Ed Yong

Lily Curran (far right), who is transgender
 plays with a group of friends, some of whom are also trans.
Since 2013, Kristina Olson, a psychologist at the University of Washington, has been running a large, long-term study to track the health and well-being of transgender children—those who identify as a different gender from the one they were assigned at birth. Since the study’s launch, Olson has also heard from the parents of gender-nonconforming kids, who consistently defy gender stereotypes but have not socially transitioned. They might include boys who like wearing dresses or girls who play with trucks, but who have not, for example, changed the pronouns they use. Those parents asked whether their children could participate in the study. Olson agreed.

After a while, she realized that she had inadvertently recruited a sizable group of 85 gender-nonconforming participants, ages 3 to 12. And as she kept in touch with the families over the years, she learned that some of those children eventually transitioned. “Enough of them were doing it that we had this unique opportunity to look back at our data to see whether the kids who went on to transition were different to those who didn’t,” Olson says.

By studying the 85 gender-nonconforming children she recruited, her team has now shown, in two separate ways, that those who go on to transition do so because they already have a strong sense of their identity.

The American Physiological Association  - 5 questions for Kristina Olson

This is a topic for which long-term data are scarce. And as transgender identities have gained more social acceptance, more parents are faced with questions about whether and how to support their young gender-nonconforming children.

“There’s a lot of public writing focused on the idea that we have no idea which of these gender-nonconforming kids will or will not eventually identify as trans,” says Olson. And if only small proportions do, as some studies have suggested, the argument goes that “they shouldn’t be transitioning.” She disputes that idea. “Our study suggests that it’s not random,” she says. “We can’t say this kid will be trans and this one won’t be, but it’s not that we have no idea!”

Russell Toomey from the University of Arizona, who studies LGBTQ youth and is himself transgender:.

This study provides further credence to guidance that practitioners and other professionals should affirm—rather than question—a child’s assertion of their gender, particularly for those who more strongly identify with their gender,”

Read more here 

Devor and others note that Olson’s earlier studies suggest that children who are supported and affirmed in their transitions are just as mentally healthy as cisgender peers. 

That reminds him of seminal work by the American psychologist Evelyn Hooker. In the 1950s, when many psychologists saw homosexuality as a mental illness (largely because they had only ever worked with gay people who had records of arrest or mental-health problems), Hooker surveyed a more representative sample and found that gay and straight men don’t differ in their mental health. 

That was instrumental in getting homosexuality removed from a list of mental-health disorders in 1987. “We’re sitting in a similar moment today with transgenderism,” says Devor. “The mental-health issues that we see are largely the result of living a life that blocks your expression of your gender. My view is that the work coming out of Olson’s group will have an Evelyn Hooker effect.”

I am reminded of what Robyn Kanner wrote in The Atlantic last year: “Society has done nothing for trans youth for so many years. People have to trust that the youth who sway in the breeze of gender will land on their feet when they’re ready. Wherever that is, it’ll be beautiful.”

See Also this from the Princeton Alumni Weekly  - Psychology Study Seeks to Understand Transgender Youth


*My Note: Read Florida medical boards sign off on ban prohibiting gender-affirming care for kids  See also is "Is Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo qualified? This one of many politically motivated decision he has orchestrated under the the Ron DeSantis governorship.  


  1. from what I have read about kids/adults who eventually give up on their transition is that their initial discomfort with their gender status was due to some other reason than knowing from an early age (4-6?) that they were in the wrong gender.this one question should be the key for specialists guiding these folks
    the Florida "guidance" speaks to the 80% who drop out but offers no concerns about the 20%. No acknowledgement about the positives of puberty blockers to prevent an unwanted body alteration

    1. Thanks 'LOADS" for the 'info'. too bad you forgot to add 'academic attribution' and authors name to your 'blurb'.
      "Thou Shalt NOT bear false witness'' aka 'heresay'