You can read the full paper below. 👇. This is an excellent piece of work and echoes many of the themes found in the earlier studies I looked at for this series.
Detransition Related Needs and Support A Cross Sectional Online Survey
This paper is focussed on the support needs of detransitioners but also covers their motivations to both transition and detransition. It also offers a distinction between those who medically detransition and re-identify with their birth sex and those who end any medical treatment but maintain, or perhaps cling, to a trans-identity.
The first point to make is the paper is published in the Journal of Homosexuality!
The location of the publication may, or may not, be a significant development but it gave me significant satisfaction. Below is the abstract for the paper:
First of all it is crucial to determine the definition of a detransitioner. Not all transition medically so first of all the study defines ”social” and ”medical” transition. It is not always the case that people cease to identify as transgender after they stop medical transition. I am also, personally, aware of a post-operative, de-medicalised male who still uses the term ”transsexual” as he feels it best describes his experience. In this case it serves as shorthand to signal the surgery they underwent and also may be a label maintain community links with fellow travellers.
There is some methodological discussion about how a detransitioner is defined. Some data is based on only those who underwent medical interventions. This paper looks at social as well as medical transition but provides research on which medical steps were undertaken by the survey respondents.
For the purposes of this study the author has chosen to focus on those who claimed the label ”detransitioner”. However, they did include 8 people who rejected the label but whose experience was deemed to be sufficiently analogous to include as a ”detransitioner”.
It is also important to note that there are some trans-identified people who feel they have followed an irreversible path. They believe to re-identify with their birth sex is simply not socially, or medically, achievable. I know both males and females, who find themselves in this sort of limbo or no wo/man’s land, if you will. The author is aware of this complexity but it is outside of the scope of this study.
Survey participants were identified by targetting people in on-line forums, where detransitioners were known to seek suport. They were asked a simple question about whether they had ever socially/medically transitioned and stopped. Details of the survey sample are below 👇. As you can see females are over-represented. I suspect this not only a function of the new demographic being predominantly female. It may also be indicative of female openness to seeking community. Perhaps, it also suggests males are less likely to, publicly, admit they made a mistake. Note that males also seem to take longer to find their way back, to their sex, so this pattern may change in the future.
The survey had global reach with majority representation from the United States followed by Europe.
The majority transitioned socially and medically. As this comment reveals there is further complexity in that someone asked about a category for ”Med-trans” only. I assume this is people who didn’t disown their birth sex but did have medical interventions. This may be a niche issue but note that the current WPATH (World Professional Association for Transgender Health ) guidelines have a section on Eunuchs. No I am not kidding!
Below the author delineates the reported experiences revealed by the survey: 51% started socially transitioning under the age of 18. Average age of Medical transition was 20 for females and 26 for males. Brain maturation estimated to occur around age 25. Detransitioners emerging from cohorts who did this at the age of legal majority, the majority, are in danger of being left unprotected in any future which restricts irreversible treatments, in under 18’s.
The sample of males was not large but the age of onset of medical transition mirrors what I have seen on other de-trans surveys. Girls tend to start earlier and spend less time transitioning. Not for the first time, I am struck by how sex matters even in communities which furiously deny the significance of biological sex.
Next up the profile of the respondents. The high % of co-morbidities is also a familiar finding. The rates of surgical interventions is also staggeringly high (46%), especially given the length of time the respondents, particularly, the females, identifed as ”trans”.
The table showing co-morbid conditions lays it out rather starkly. I would have preferred to see sex recorded against these conditions but as the number of males was small it may not have revealed any, statistically, significant differences. Sorry, not sorry, I am wedded to the sex binary. 😉
Now we come to look at reasons for detransition, that are also, inevitably, reveal the reasons for transition. I notice that, in marked contrast to studies funded by Trans Lobby groups, lack of social acceptance/ discrimination scores quite low. A staggering 70% realised their Gender Dysphoria was rooted in other issues.
The kind of support needs the detransitioners identify reflects further on reasons for their initial decision to transition. Many 👇were wrestling with internalised homophobia. See also the comment about a shift in Gender Identity. It is logically incoherent for Trans Activists to argue for the recognition of “Gender Fluidity” whilst defending irreversible interventions for children and adolescents. I am also pleased to see the discovery of radical feminism makes an appearance. It has also appeared in earlier surveys of detransitioners.
The survey also allowed for open comments which I have reproduced in full in part (4 a) to this blog. Well worth giving voice to all the detransitioners who opened up about their experience: You can read their comments here 👇.
Open Comments Detrans Survey 4
The open comments reveal the ostracism, from the LGBT community, experienced by those desisting from the trans-narrative. They also speak of the betrayal and mistrust they now feel towards Medical professionals. The difficulties of finding therapists able to deal with detransition also features in the open comments.
The survey also provides a helpful table which compares and contrasts the sources of support respondents enjoyed while transitioning and detransitioning. As you can see the LGBT community and trans specific organisations largely leave the scene of the crime; once people realise they made a mistake.
The survey continues to identify the kind of support the respondents would like to be available. These cover psychological, medical, legal and social categories. Counselling to deal with issues such as internalised homophobia, sexism and feelings of regret. Medical support to deal with stopping/changing cross sex hormones or complications from surgeries. Social support covered the need to hear other stories of their fellow travellers and the need to meet up, on-line and in real life.
The legal support mainly related to the need to re-establish their legal identity as their correct sex but a small percentage wished to take legal action for the injuries caused by the medical interventions. 👇 Those of us waiting for legal action, to put an end to this cannot, in my view, expect detransitioners to shoulder this burden. But, if those 13% do take up the legal fight there will be an army provided to support and fundraise for them.
Politicians need to do their jobs and start legislating. They also, in the United States, need to close loopholes relating to Statute limitation. Many live in states where the average length time before detransition means they are already out of time to get any legal redress.
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