CA — Toronto, Ontario. A long-term follow-up of male children with gender dysphoria has found that most study participants desisted over time and accepted themselves as boys. The groundbreaking study used the largest sample to date of boys referred to clinics for gender dysphoria.
“A Follow-Up Study of Boys With Gender Identity Disorder” was published in the peer-viewed journal Frontiers in Psychology, and the research protocol was reviewed and approved by Clarke Institute of Psychiatry (now the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health) and the University of Toronto.The authors noted that the boys in the study were seen “during a period of time when treatment recommendations, if such were made, often aimed to reduce the gender dysphoria between the child’s felt gender identity and biological sex.” Recommendations often included “psychotherapy or psychoanalysis, behavior therapy, group therapy, parent-counseling, and interventions in the naturalistic environment, such as encouragement of same-sex peer relations.”In contrast to this therapeutic approach, “in recent years, it has become more common for some clinicians to recommend a gender social transition prior to puberty,” the authors noted. The authors postulated that children who transition prior to puberty may be more likely to persist.