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3. Research on detransition


To create guidelines that are safe for LGB and other vulnerable young people, it will be necessary to carefully appraise detransition research. LGBTQ advocates cite a paper by Turban et. al. which found that the main reason for detransition was lack of support. This is misleading as it was not a study of detransitioners. It was a survey promoted by transition advocacy networks for people who identified as transgender.


We ask APS to examine:

A 2021 survey of 237 detransitioners that found the most common reasons given for detransitioning was the realisation that my gender dysphoria was related to other issues (70%), health concerns (62%) and transition did not help with my dysphoria (50%). (Vandenbussche 2021)


The 2021 Littman study of 100 detransitioners that found “psychosocial factors (such as trauma, mental health conditions, maladaptive coping mechanisms, internalised homophobia, and social influence) can cause or contribute to the development of gender dysphoria in some individuals”. (Littman 2021). Baseline characteristics included high rates of same-sex attraction and 23% of participants stated that internalised homophobia played a role in their desire to transition.  

  • “Transitioning to male would mean my attraction to girls would be ‘normal”

  • “I felt being the opposite gender would make my repressed same-sex attraction less scary”

  • “I didn’t want to be a gay man”

  • “At the time I was trying to figure out my identity and felt very male and thought I was transgender. I later discovered that I was a lesbian”

  • “...after deep discovery, I realized I was a gay man and realized that sexual trauma after puberty might have confused my thought. I wanted to live as a gay man again”

  • “What would have helped me is being able to access... lesbian community. I needed access to diverse female role-models and mentors, especially other butch women

  • This study also found high rates of mental health diagnoses and traumatic experiences in girls prior to the emergence of gender dysphoria.

  • Female detransitioners cited reasons for transition that included: ‘I felt I would be more socially acceptable as a member of the target gender’ (55%); ‘I felt I would be treated better as a member of the target gender’ (50%) and ‘I thought transitioning would reduce gender-related harassment or trauma’ (50%)

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