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Gender identity 5 years after social transition

Gender-Affirming Care & Transition Research
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Authors: Olson, K. R., Durwood, L., Horton, R., Gallagher, N. M., & Devor, A.

Date of publication: 2022

Journal: Pediatrics

Summary: This US study investigated the rate of retransition (i.e. changing gender identification) and current gender identity amongst 317 children and young people who identified as gender diverse. The participants were on average just over 8 years of age and had socially transitioned (i.e. changed their gender expression, such as name, hairstyle, clothing etc to better match their gender identity) an average of 5 years ago. The researchers found that an average of 5 years after their initial social transition, 94% identified as a binary trans person, 2.5% had reverted to identifying as cisgender (ie feeling their gender identity matches the sex they were assigned at birth), and 3.5% had moved from identifying as a binary trans identity to identifying as non-binary. They also found it was more common (7.3%) for children to shift in their sense of gender identity over time rather than stop identifying as gender diverse altogether. The researchers concluded that retransitions are infrequent but clinicians and families should be aware that it can happen.

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