'Gender non-contentedness' commonly fades after adolescence: 15-year study

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A recent study out of the Netherlands found that "gender non-contentedness" is largely a passing phase among young people if they are allowed to grow out of it.

Eleven percent of the 2,772 children tracked over a 15-year span reported feelings of "gender non-contentedness" during early adolescence at around age 11, according to the results of the study released in February by researchers at the University of Groningen. But that number dwindled to 4% by the time they were about 26. 

The study assessed "gender non-contentedness" by reviewing the share of respondents who said, "I wish to be of the opposite sex."

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"Gender non-contentedness," which the study defined as "unhappiness with being the gender aligned with one's sex," was relatively common during early adolescence but generally "decreases with age and appears to be associated with a poorer self-concept and mental health throughout development," the researchers noted.

Researchers also tracked gender non-contentedness and its association with self-concept, behavioral and emotional problems, as well as sexual orientation in adulthood, which respondents were asked to self-report at age 22.

A little more than half — or 53% — of those studied were biological males.

Researchers discerned three developmental trajectories regarding gender non-contentedness: 78% reported no such feelings as they grew older, while 19% reported a decreasing gender non-contentedness and 2% reported increasing gender non-contentedness.

Those who reported increasing gender non-contentedness with age were typically females, the study observed, noting that "both an increasing and decreasing trajectory were associated with a lower global self-worth, more behavioral and emotional problems, and a non-heterosexual sexual orientation."

The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), the world's leading transgender healthcare body, drew scrutiny for leaked internal documents published last month by the think tank Environmental Progress.

WPATH's Standards of Care, now in its eighth edition, guide many leading health authorities worldwide regarding transgender healthcare.

According to the leaked documents, members of WPATH admitted internally that minors are incapable of giving informed consent regarding irreversible treatments such as puberty-blocking drugs and cross-sex hormones.

During a May 2022 workshop included in the leak, Canadian endocrinologist Dan Metzger said it was "always a good theory" to discuss "fertility preservation" with 14-year-olds seeking transgender procedures but conceded that in such cases he knows "I'm talking to a blank wall."

"We try to talk about it, but most of the kids are nowhere in any kind of a brain space to really, really, really talk about it in a serious way," Metzger said. "That's always bothered me, but you know, we still want the kids to be happy, happier in the moment, right?"

WPATH Executive Committee President Marci Bowers, M.D., who identifies as transgender, defended the organization in a statement to The Christian Post.

"WPATH is and has always been a science- and evidence-based organization whose recommendations are widely endorsed by major medical organizations around the world," Bowers said.

"We are the professionals who best know the medical needs of trans and gender diverse individuals — and stand opposed to individuals who misrepresent and de-legitimize the diverse identities and complex needs of this population through scare tactics," Bowers continued.

"The world is not flat. Gender, like genitalia, is represented by diversity. The small percentage of the population that is trans or gender diverse deserves healthcare and will never be a threat to the global gender binary."

Jon Brown is a reporter for The Christian Post. Send news tips to

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