Trans Debate: Most gender-confused kids grow out it, says study; Elon Musk’s says…

The study was conducted by researchers in the Netherlands.

Representational Image

Amid the furore over a massive boom in transgender children receiving drugs to change their gender in the US, a new long-term study conducted by researchers in the Netherlands state that a “majority of gender-confused children grow out of that feeling by the time they are fully grown adults”.

The study was conducted by researchers in the Netherlands that tracked 2,700 children from the age of 11 to the mid-twenties, and that focused on asking them every three years about their feelings about gender.

Results showed that at the start of the research, one-in-10 children expressed “gender non-contendness” in varying degrees. However, by the age of 25, only one-in-25 said they were “often” or “sometimes” discontent about their gender.

According to a report in the Daily Mail, the researchers concluded: “The results of the current study might help adolescents to realize that it is normal to have some doubts about one’s identity and one’s gender identity during this age period and that this is also relatively common.”

Reacting to the research, Elon Musk, never one to shy away from weighing in wrote on X: “I’m cool with adults doing whatever they want, so long as it doesn’t harm others, but kids need to be protected at all costs.”

A fellow at the conservative Ethics and Public Policy Center (who was not involved in the research) told the Mail: “This study provides even more reason to be skeptical towards aggressive steps to facilitate gender transition in childhood and adolescence. The fact that rates of satisfaction are lower even just a few years later suggests that for the vast majority of people, prudence and caution, rather than a rush towards permanent surgeries or hormone therapies, will be the best approach for teenagers struggling to make sense of the world and their place in it. As such, policies that prohibit gender transition for minors make a great deal of sense.”

While the study is one of the longest conducted into the issue of gender in children, researchers urged caution and pointed out the limitations of the study. Firstly, the study looked at a mixture of the children from the general population and kids who received mental health care (though not related to gender per se). This would mean that the study doesn’t primarily focus on children diagnosed with gender dysphoria.

The Methodology

Researchers from the University of Groningen analysed the data of 2,770 individuals through the Tracking Adolescents Individual Lives Survey. The participants were asked to respond to the statement: I wish to be of the opposite sex. The question was put to them at six different points in 15 years. They were given multiple choices as answers:

0 – Not True

1 – Somewhat or Sometimes True

2 – Very True or Often True

Researchers tallied those who expressed “gender non-contentedness” with being gender aligned with their biological sex. The study, published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior, found that 78% of people had the same feelings about their gender for the one-and-half decades. Around 19% became more content with their gender while 2% became less comfortable.

The study also showed that females were likely to report being unhappy with their gender, that both increasing or decreasing “non-contentedness” was associated with lower self-reported self-worth, more behavioural issues and more emotional struggles.

The authors added: ‘Gender non-contentedness, while being relatively common during early adolescence, in general decreases with age and appears to be associated with a poorer self-concept and mental health throughout development.’

The gender debate has been particularly intense in the WENA countries (Western Europe and Northern America) of late. JK Rowling recently challenged Scotland’s new hate laws around “misgendering” by naming various transwomen and calling them men. Elon Musk is at the centre of the debate himself and has a personal stake as one of his children, Xavier Alexander Musk expressed her desire to change her name to conform with her gender identity. She asked her aunt not to tell Elon Musk.

She texted her aunt: “Hey, I’m transgender, and my name is Jenna.Don’t tell my dad.”

Musk had claimed that his daughter was a Communist and broke off her relationship with him because she was influenced in school in California, accusing the school of brainwashing his daughter into thinking that being rich is bad.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp