Methodological Questions in Childhood Gender Identity ‘Desistence’ Research

Some interesting conclusions come to light given further scrutiny.

GID Reform Weblog by Kelley Winters

Kelley Winters, Ph.D.
GID Reform Advocates

An expanded presentation to the 23rd World Professional Association for Transgender Health Biennial Symposium, Feb. 16, 2014, Bangkok, Thailand. (Presented remotely, from Loveland, Colorado, USA)

It is frequently repeated in mental health literature and popular media that the vast majority of children whose gender identity differs from their assigned birth-sex, or who are severly distressed by their birth-sex, will “desist” in their gender identities and gender dysphoria by adolescence. As a consequence, gender dysphoric children are pressed to remain in their birth-assigned roles throughout the world. But are gender dysphoria and diverse gender identities just a phase?

This presentation reexamines research in Canada and The Netherlands that underlies the “desistence” axiom, with respect to methodological rigor and validity of claims.

Conclusions

(1) Evidence from these studies suggests that the majority of gender nonconforming children are not gender dysphoric adolescents or adults.

(2) It does…

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