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Humanize From Discovery Institute's Center on Human Exceptionalism

Study: Most Gender-Confused Children become Gender-Conforming Adults

Originally published at National Review

A new study has found that almost all children who experience gender confusion grow out of it as they age into adulthood. From “Development of Gender Non-Contentedness During Adolescence and Early Adulthood,” published in Archives of Sexual Behavior:

We found that gender non-contentedness is most common around the age of 11 and that the prevalence decreases with age.

The decline is significant:

We identified three different developmental trajectory types of gender (non-) contentedness throughout adolescence and early adulthood: (1) the majority (78% of the sample) consistently indicated to never experience any gender non-contentedness, (2) a group reporting gender non-contentedness in early adolescence, but not any longer in adulthood (19% of the sample), and (3) a small group (2% of the sample) showing the opposite pattern of increasingly reporting gender non-contentedness with age.

That means that by the time gender-non-contented children are adults, of the 21–22 percent experiencing gender distress, all but 2 percent (we might say) grew out of it. Or to put it another way, 98 percent of all young adults are not gender confused, regardless of their circumstance during childhood and adolescence.

It is becoming increasingly difficult for “the science is settled” crowd to claim that enthusiastic “gender-affirming care” is medically necessary treatment for children experiencing gender confusion. The time has come for the medical establishment, politicians, the media, and gender ideologues generally to cease pushing puberty blocking and surgeries and focus more on long-term mental-health interventions to help these confused kids grow into adulthood with their bodies intact and fully functioning. At the very least, this data must be presented clearly and completely to parents and patients as part of the informed consent process before beginning interventions that cannot be undone.

Wesley J. Smith

Chair and Senior Fellow, Center on Human Exceptionalism
Wesley J. Smith is Chair and Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism. Wesley is a contributor to National Review and is the author of 14 books, in recent years focusing on human dignity, liberty, and equality. Wesley has been recognized as one of America’s premier public intellectuals on bioethics by National Journal and has been honored by the Human Life Foundation as a “Great Defender of Life” for his work against suicide and euthanasia. Wesley’s most recent book is Culture of Death: The Age of “Do Harm” Medicine, a warning about the dangers to patients of the modern bioethics movement.