The recent explosion in the numbers of children and young people referred to clinics for medical treatments related to gender dysphoria has outpaced the research on this new cohort of patients. Most concerning are the numbers of young people who are beginning to speak out about how they have discontinued medical and social measures and re-identified with their natal sex. This is commonly referred to as detransition. Many of them have related that they have been profoundly harmed by the treatments that were provided to them.
Little is known about this phenomenon beyond the increasing numbers of young people who are making videos and talking about their experiences online. Lisa Littman’s recent peer-reviewed publication on detransitioned people revealed that the vast majority have not notified their healthcare providers that they have detransitioned. There is no quantifiable data on the number of detransitioned people, their experiences, or the reasons they have decided to detransition.
A recent survey hosted on the r/detrans Subreddit yielded some interesting results and comments. We do realize of course that a convenience sample was used (just as such samples are used by the Trevor Project and many other relied-upon studies about trans-identified people). Because so little is known about detransitioners, the Subreddit survey is useful to help start building a picture of what is going on with this population.
Two-hundred forty-seven participants contributed information and comments. The results underscore the need for rigorous and unbiased research and concern regarding transition regret.
The majority of participants in the survey socially transitioned before the age of 18:
A full quarter of the socially transitioned medically transitioned in fewer than six months, and more than 50% in less than two years:
Participants gave the following reasons for detransition:
It is interesting that discrimination, lack of support, and financial concerns were the least frequently given reasons for detransitioning. The majority of respondents said that they realized their gender dysphoria was related to other issues, that they had health concerns, and that they were unhappy with the physical results of transition.