Research shows transgender adults question gender identity before age 7

March 16 (UPI) – A new study showed that transgender adults who undergo sex-confirming surgery can start asking about their biological field as early as 7 years old.

In a study published on Monday JAMA Network OpenThe authors found that among 210 transgender men and women, most of them first encountered gender dysphoria – the feeling that their emotional and psychological identity was the opposite of their biological gender – after their sixth birthday.

Researchers believe this study may be the first to give an indication of the age of the initial experience of sexual dysphoria among trans-Americans.

“For parents, these results should provide some assurance that what they see in their children is natural, that this is not a“ phase ”as some have described it,” study co-author Maurice Garcia, urologist at Cedars-Sinai. Los Angeles Medical Center told UPI. “And if we, as parents and society, react negatively or irresponsibly to what these children are experiencing, this can have lasting consequences.”

To get their conclusions, Garcia and his colleagues interviewed 155 trans women with an average age of 41 and 55 trans men with an average age of 35 years, about half of whom were white and non-Hispanic. Almost half of the participants, 48 ​​percent, had an active or recent history of anxiety or depression, and among trans women, 7 percent HIV positive.

For trans men, they found that the average age of the “earliest common memory” and the age of the first experience of sexual dysphoria were 4.7 and 6.2 years, respectively. Among trans women, these ages were 4.5 and 6.7 years.

Overall, 73 percent of trans women and 78 percent of trans men in the study first experienced sexual dysphoria by age seven. Each of them lived on average 22.9 and 27.1 years, respectively, with untreated gender dysphoria before the start of the non-surgical transition to sex.

“To be clear, we do not suggest that all children who have feelings of sexual dysphoria should undergo hormone therapy or surgery to confirm their gender,” Garcia said.

“However, our results show that gender dysphoria is as natural as cisgender, and that we must support young people who go through it,” he said. “What some adults in our study have been waiting for years before undergoing gender confirmation procedures means that they suffered unnecessarily.”

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