This is one of the most common arguments brought up in anti-trans hearings. The idea that 80% of trans people "will desist" is a complete lie that is easy to debunk.
This is such a perfect example of why research methodology matters. And yet, too many people just don't understand and don't want to. It's so much easier for them to throw out a "research based number" than to think about what the number actually represents.
Given that the criteria for having a “gender disorder” was being a girl who played with trucks or a boy who likes dolls, and this was the 90s, I’m surprised that 20% STILL didn’t “desist” according to this study. What does it say about a percentage that high in a group mostly made up of people who probably weren’t even trans?
Also like... if detransitioning was so common, why are there way more trans people than detransitioners? Obviously this has never been measured by studies/surveys, but I'm certain most people's anecdotal experience is the same on this one.
I declared my gender different from what was expected by society since 1969, and knowing nothing about the fact that people could be transgender, I still tried to socially fit in with my identity throughout my life. One could call my first 50 years a constant struggle of trying to transition but with no real possibility of doing so full time 24/7. In the late 70s, I would go out by myself dressed with a very fem. presentation to stores, and often to the same Friendly's restaurant a couple of towns over in Park Ridge, NJ. I was never misgendered but did occasionally feel I stood out, not so unlike the first year of fully transitiong. Erica was already the name I identified with. I had a few gay friends in HS but I never identified that way at all so I was really confused to where I fit in. At college in the early 80s I lived at my off-campus housing identitfing mostly as a young woman but it wasn't really possible to show up that way in classes. I had a few girl friends who fully accepted me for being like them. It was my first real socialization as trans (still not knowing anyone else ever felt that they were born in the wrong body) and with their help my collection of clothes was about 70% affirming. I'd push the boundary with my clothes at classes with what would now be called androgenous. I graduated and as a engineer/scientist many told me I wouldn't be hired without looking more professional (they meant more masculine). I complied enough wearing my man costume and didn't push the boundary. I met my future wife in1985 and married her in 1986 (I crossdressed on stage with pictures) during our honeymoon in the Poconos, it was supposed to be embarrassing wearing our spouses 🩱 and negiligee, but it felt right even if a little awkward in front of other couples at this honeymoon resort event. My wife thought I was a little quirky always going clothes shopping with her and having to try everything on too! But she liked that I loved to shop with her. We had fun with it for a few decades. I finally knew what transgender was and realized that I wasn't alone and I saw a path to finally transition. Six years ago, March 16, 2017, I started HRT with my wife's approval. I was never going to go back to a man costume.
Lack of representation, knowledge, society expectations had me on the edges of transitioning/de-transitioning before I even knew that it was a thing. All of these hateful bills are trying to pushing society back to a time when it's not OK to live authentically. I'm really concerned about kids that may be forced to de-transition just because of hateful politics. We all need to find a way to support them.
People with pre-existing biases will cherry pick data to push a narrative. Just like we saw with anti Vaccine folks.
thanks for putting this information out there! I sat in the gallery for a public hearing for anti-trans bills that were in committee in the Texas legislature last week and definitely found it to be weird and baffling that the 80% number kept getting thrown around, and that there were dangerous "detransitioners" like Corinna Cohn being flown in from out of state to testify for these bad bills.
Thanks for this. In a similar vein, I collected all the papers I could find on detransition rates, surgical regret, and desistance, and the result was the same: detransition is infrequent. The overall pooled detransition rate was 3.3%, and depending on which papers are included or excluded and how the mean rate is calculated, it could range from probably about 2.5-4%. https://firstname.lastname@example.org/how-common-is-detransition-a-review-of-all-the-evidence-95518e6affe1