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Clin Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2011 Oct;16(4):499-516. doi: 10.1177/1359104510378303. Epub 2011 Jan 7.

Desisting and persisting gender dysphoria after childhood: a qualitative follow-up study.

Author information

1
Department of Medical Psychology, VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. td.steensma@vumc.nl

Abstract

The aim of this qualitative study was to obtain a better understanding of the developmental trajectories of persistence and desistence of childhood gender dysphoria and the psychosexual outcome of gender dysphoric children. Twenty five adolescents (M age 15.88, range 14-18), diagnosed with a Gender Identity Disorder (DSM-IV or DSM-IV-TR) in childhood, participated in this study. Data were collected by means of biographical interviews. Adolescents with persisting gender dysphoria (persisters) and those in whom the gender dysphoria remitted (desisters) indicated that they considered the period between 10 and 13 years of age to be crucial. They reported that in this period they became increasingly aware of the persistence or desistence of their childhood gender dysphoria. Both persisters and desisters stated that the changes in their social environment, the anticipated and actual feminization or masculinization of their bodies, and the first experiences of falling in love and sexual attraction had influenced their gender related interests and behaviour, feelings of gender discomfort and gender identification. Although, both persisters and desisters reported a desire to be the other gender during childhood years, the underlying motives of their desire seemed to be different.

PMID:
21216800
DOI:
10.1177/1359104510378303
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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