Most gender-confused children DO grow out of it

Most gender-confused children DO grow out of it

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.

The study is one of the longest into the issue of gender in children.

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.

Participants were asked to respond to the statement 'I wish to be of the opposite sex' at six different points over 15 years.

They were given a multiple choice: 0-Not True, 1-Somewhat or Sometimes True, and 2-Very True or Often True.

The same prompt was given every two or three years from the start of the study in March 2001 until the end.

Researchers looked for those expressing 'gender non-contentedness,' or unhappiness with being the gender aligned with their biological sex.

The study, published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior, found that overall 78 percent of people had the same feelings about their gender over the 15 years.

Around 19 percent became more content with their gender and just about 2 percent became less comfortable.

Participants were also asked to evaluate their self-worth by rating how they felt about their physical appearance and self esteem.

According to the findings, females were more likely to report being unhappy with their gender and both increasing and decreasing 'non-contentedness' were associated with lower self-reported self worth, more behavioral problems and an increase in emotional struggles.

The authors said: '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.'

Rates of gender dysphoria, a clinical diagnosis by a healthcare professional that differs from gender non contentedness, have soared in every US state except one since 2018 - with the average age of diagnosis trending younger.

An analysis of insurance claims conducted by Komodo Health Inc found between 2017 and 2021, approximately 121,880 children aged six to 17 years old were diagnosed with the condition.

In 2021, 42,000 were given the diagnosis, a 70 percent increase from 2020.

And children under 18 years old now make up one-fifth of new diagnoses each year.

In the United States, 1.6million people ages 13 and older identify as transgender.

A report by the health data analytics firm Definitive Healthcare shows the rate of gender dysphoria increased in every state except South Dakota from 2018 to 2022 across all ages.

The sharpest rises over those five years were seen in three Republican-led states: Virginia (274 percent) Indiana (247 percent) and Utah (193 percent).

South Dakota saw a decline of 23 percent between 2018 and 2022.

Meanwhile, the report also found the number of sex change surgeries being carried out each year is rising rapidly - climbing by up to 40 percent in some years.

Unlike other countries, such as the UK, there is no federal lower age limit for when children can get 'top' or 'bottom' operations in the US, which leaves it up to the states.

Dr Jay Richards, director of the Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Life, Religion, and Family, said: '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.'