Gender dysphoria is often in fact autism This is interesting to me as a high functioning autistic. But there are of course many varieties of autism. The tale below sounds partly familiar. I have always had male friends but not so much.
How many trans-identified children “desist”? That is, how many identify as transgender for a time, and then eventually stop doing so, prior to medical intervention (as distinct from detransitioners, who return to identifying with their natal sex after undergoing some form of medical transition)? The answer is that no one knows, in part because few experts are keeping track, and in part because what research does exist is highly politicized.
Some trans activists and advocates, for instance, object to the very idea of measuring “desistance” in the first place, on the argument that this approach may discourage a child from embracing a transgender identity. One Canadian trans activist and researcher insists that research in this area is simply “not relevant when deciding between models of care.” Others claim that the idea of desistance is rooted in transphobic “myth,” though research often shows otherwise.
High-end estimates of desistance tended to arise from longitudinal studies of children who first reported gender dysphoria at an early age. The vast majority of those children resolved their gender dysphoria before, or early in, puberty. In one 2021 study published in Frontiers in Psychiatry, for instance, 88 percent of boys with gender dysphoria were found to have desisted by their teens or adulthood (and more than 63 percent were same-sex attracted). These results are consistent with established research; yet, in the current ideological climate, they often are seen as suspect. That’s because the traditional “watchful waiting” approach used by clinicians to treat children who present with gender dysphoria—which tends to be associated with a high rate of desistance—has largely been supplanted by a policy of encouraging social transition, an approach associated with an increase in observed dysphoria. Indeed, several studies show that nearly all children on puberty blockers go on to cross-sex hormones.