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Study: Most Children Confused About Their Sex Grow Out of It as Adults

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A long-term Dutch study found that the majority of children who experience confusion about their gender/sex grow out of it by early adulthood.

Of over 2,700 children surveyed, 11% reported some gender nonconformity initially, but by age 25 only 4% still regularly experienced it.

“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,” the researchers stated.

Experts say this suggests caution is warranted before allowing medical interventions for gender dysphoria in minors.

While adults should be free to make their own choices, children need protection.

“The study provides even more reason to be skeptical towards aggressive steps to facilitate gender transition in childhood and adolescence,” said think tank Ethics and Public Policy Center fellow Patrick Brown.

Some note up to 98% of gender dysphoric youth will align with their biological sex if they progress through natural puberty without medical intervention.

However, gender dysphoria diagnoses among minors have sharply increased in recent years in the U.S., with 2021 seeing a 70% rise, calling into question expansive “gender affirming” approaches.

“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,” he added.

“As such, policies that prohibit gender transition for minors make a great deal of sense,” Brown said.

“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,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk said.

“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,” researchers wrote.

“We’ve known for over a decade that most kids who experience distress with their sexed bodies resolve those feelings after they pass through natural puberty,” said Dr. Jay Richards, director of the Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Life, Religion, and Family.

There are others writing “that as many as 88 percent of gender-dysphoric girls and as many as 98 percent of gender-dysphoric boys in previous generations desisted if allowed to go through natural puberty,” he said.

“These two facts make it clear why ‘gender-affirming care’ on minors is such an outrage. It leads, in the end, to sterilization and in many cases to a complete loss of natural sexual function,” Richards said.

“There is no good evidence that this helps minors long term. Moreover, it medicalizes what could very well be temporary psychological symptoms,” Richards added. “History will judge this medicalized ‘gender-affirming care’ on minors as we now judge eugenics and lobotomies.”

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