OUTInPerth – Research from Perth’s Gender Clinic shows detransition rate is very low


This article was originally published by the OUTInPerth. You can find the original article here.

A new study conducted at the Child and Adolescent Health Service Gender Diversity Service at Perth Children’s Hospital has shown the rate of patients who choose to reidentify with their sex registered at birth is very low.

The study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics on 4th March 2024 showed that 5.3% of young people reidentified with the birth registered sex before or during assessment, only 1% of all patients who initiated medical treatment later detransitioned.

This retrospective cohort study examined all referrals to the Child and Adolescent Health Service Gender Diversity Service at Perth Children’s Hospital between January 1, 2014, and December 31, 2020. They looked into the cases of 548 individuals with closed referrals to a pediatric gender clinic.

Of the 548 patients in the study 29 ended up reidentifying with the sex they were assigned at birth. Except for two patients, reidentification occurred before or during early stages of assessment.

The two patients who reidentified with their birth-registered sex did so following initiation of puberty suppression or gender-affirming hormone treatment, which represents 1% of the people in the cohort. Of the 548 people in the study, 196 initiated gender-affirming medical treatment.

Researchers say the findings from a pediatric gender clinic audit indicate that a small proportion of patients, and a very small proportion of those who initiated medical gender-affirming treatment, reidentified with their birth-registered sex during the study period.

They say more longitudinal follow-up studies, including qualitative self-report, are required to understand different pathways of gender identity experience.

The findings stand in stark contrast to stories highlighted in the media and put forward by some politicians claiming there is a growing number of young people who regret receiving medical treatment for gender dysphoria.

The new Western Australian research aligns with other studies conducted around the world.

A 2023 study from the University of Michigan, published in the journal JAMA Surgery looked into 235 patients who had undergone a gender affirming mastectomy over the last 30 years.

They found that the median satisfaction rate among those patients was five out of five, and that not a single patient in the study regretted their decision to change gender. The study centred around a single medical provider, and researchers say the next step will be to look at satisfaction rates across multiple providers.

Previous studies have also shown that the level of regret is extremely low. A study of 6793 people who sought gender-affirming services at the multi-disciplinary VU Medical Centre in Amsterdam between 1972 and 2015 found that patients who underwent a gonadectomy had a regret rate of 0.6 % for trans women and 0,3% for transmen. They acknowledge that rate of regret may be higher though as many patients did not continue seeing the clinic for follow ups.

One of the largest studies into transgender levels of regret was the US Transgender Survey that took place in 2015. It included 27,715 adults, and they asked if patients had ever, even if only temporarily detransitioned.

Rates of detransition were higher in transgender women (11%) than transgender men (4%). The most common reasons cited were pressure from a parent (36%), transitioning was too hard (33%), too much harassment or discrimination (31%), and trouble getting a job (29%).

Graeme Watson 

This article was originally published by the OUTInPerth. You can find the original article here.

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