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Retransitions Uncommon Among Transgender Youth

Later cisgender identities more common among youth with initial social transition before age 6 years

WEDNESDAY, May 4, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Few initially transgender youth retransition five years after their initial social transition, according to a study published online May 4 in Pediatrics.

Kristina R. Olson, Ph.D., from Princeton University in New Jersey, and colleagues examined the rate of retransition and current gender identities among 317 initially transgender youth (208 transgender boys; 109 transgender girls) participating in a longitudinal study.

The researchers found that 7.3 percent of youth had retransitioned at least once at an average of five years after their initial social transition. At the end of this period, most youth (94 percent) identified as binary transgender youth (including 1.3 percent who retransitioned to another identity before returning to their binary transgender identity), while 2.5 and 3.5 percent identified as cisgender and nonbinary, respectively. Youth whose initial social transition occurred before age 6 years more often had later cisgender identities; retransition frequently occurred before age 10 years.

“Though we can never predict the exact gender trajectory of any child, these data suggest that many youth who identify as transgender early, and are supported through a social transition, will continue to identify as transgender five years after initial social transition,” the authors write. “Parents and clinicians should be informed that not all youth will continue on the same trajectory over time. Further understanding of how to support youth’s initial and later transitions is needed.”

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