‘Puberty is not a disease.’ Landmark study shows majority of kids with gender dysphoria grow out of it.

A long-term study from the Netherlands finds discomfort with one’s gender is “relatively common” among young adolescents and decreases as children get older, with most growing out of…

A long-term study from the Netherlands finds discomfort with one’s gender is “relatively common” among young adolescents and decreases as children get older, with most growing out of it.

What’s more, such “gender non-contentedness” was found to be tied to dissatisfaction with self and poorer mental health throughout development.

Amid “scarce” general population studies examining how young people with gender dysphoria develop through adolescence, the landmark study’s researchers, Pien Rawee et al, followed more than 2,700 children, from age 11 to 26, with regard to their level of gender non-contentedness.  

In early adolescence, results showed that 11% of participants reported gender dysphoria, but by about age 26, only 4% expressed they were either “often” or “sometimes” still troubled about gender-related issues. 

Study participants found to exhibit a trajectory of increasing gender non-contentedness (2%) were more often female, say the researchers. Those experiencing dysphoria, whether increasing or decreasing, “were associated with a lower global self-worth, more behavioral and emotional problems, and a non-heterosexual sexual orientation.” 

“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,” Rawee et al concluded. 

The study used data from the Tracking Adolescent’s Individual Lives Survey (TRAILS), a continuing general population cohort study. Gender non-contentedness was measured throughout the study with an item from the Youth and Adult Self-Report that states, “I wish to be of the opposite sex.” 

Additionally, self-concept was measured by the Self-Perception Profile for Children, while behavioral and emotional problems were assessed via the Youth Self-Report/Adult Self-Report total problem score. 

The researchers concluded that discomfort with gender as aligned with biological sex is most often expressed during the middle school years – at about age 11 – and then declines for most young people as they get older.  

Results of another recently published large study from Finland addressed the issue of gender dysphoric young people and risk of suicide.  

The study, published at BMJ Mental Health, concluded that gender dysphoria in young people is not predictive of suicide when other mental health issues are accounted for. 

The primary predictor of death in gender-dysphoric young people is “psychiatric morbidity,” said researchers Ruuska S-M, Tuisku K, Holttinen T, et al. 

“Medical gender reassignment does not have an impact on suicide risk,” they said, adding that while death from suicide first seemed to be much higher among the “gender-referred” young people, “the association was fully explained by psychiatric treatment history.” 

In a podcast interview last month with “The World and Everything in It,” Quentin Van Meter, M.D., pediatric endocrinologist and former president of the American College of Pediatricians, repeated what his organization has been stating for years throughout the surge in rapid onset of gender dysphoria among young people: 

“Puberty is not a disease, it is a very important part of life that changes you from an infertile child into a reproductive adult. And puberty blockers should not be used during puberty.” 

So-called “gender dysphoria,” Van Meter said, is “entirely in your head,” “has no biologic basis,” and “improves and resolves in upwards of 90 to 95% of the children who grow up and who are allowed to go through their natural puberty”.  

“So why on God’s green earth would you block that cure of 95% and create a whole new disease child who lives half the half-life of a standard adult in this country, and who is chronically dependent on medication, and who still has the mental health problems, because they were there at the beginning and they haven’t been addressed?”