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Parents were often “pressured” into transitioning their children to treat gender dysphoria, after which the parents reported worse mental health outcomes for their children, according to a new study.
Northwestern University psychology professor Michael Bailey analyzed survey data from 1,655 parents of youth and young adult children who identified as the opposite sex or non-binary. The survey data was compiled by the anonymous support group Parents of Rapid-Onset Gender Dysphoria (ROGD) Kids, an organization that collects horror stories from parents whose children struggled with gender dysphoria.
The data collected came from families with children who began to identify as transgender between the ages of 11 and 21.
Bailey’s study found that gender dysphoria impacted girls much more often than boys, 75% of the gender dysphoric children were biological females. Girls were also much more likely to socially transition or more in order to match their gender identity. A history of mental health issues was a defining trait of most children who later struggled with gender dysphoria.
“Pre-existing mental health issues were common, and youths with these issues were more likely than those without them to have socially and medically transitioned,” the study says. “Parents reported that they had often felt pressured by clinicians to affirm their AYA child’s new gender and support their transition. According to the parents, AYA children’s mental health deteriorated considerably after social transition.”
Parents of ROGD Kids say the study backs up its assertions that one of the prime causes of gender dysphoria and transgender identification in young people is social contagion. Girls are especially susceptible to suggestion and group think influenced by their social circles, the group says.
“These youth are most likely using ‘gender dysphoria’ to describe general feelings of dysphoria that they have no other name for, and do not understand. Transitioning will not help them. It can only cause irreversible harm and make things much worse,” the group said in a press release touting the study.
In a footnote to its release, Parents of ROGD Kids also knocked The Washington Post for an article the paper published last month suggesting that transgender treatment led to happier outcomes from people who identify as transgender.
“On March 23, 2023, the Washington Post reported on a survey that found the majority of trans adults were happy they had transitioned. While they may feel that way, on every question relating to mental health and social functioning, they rated themselves as worse off than the total population surveyed,” the group said.
“Most alarming, 78% of trans respondents reported that they had serious mental health issues as a child or teenager. These results support our conclusion: Transitioning does not improve social and emotional functioning,” it added.