Trans kids ‘never significantly differ’ from cis kids of their gender
A groundbreaking study has found that trans children are extremely similar to cis children of their true gender.
The findings, published by Washington University researchers Anne Fast and Kristina Olson, came from a series of tests on 36 trans children aged 3 to 5, who have socially transitioned.
The trans children kept to gender stereotypes just as closely as the 36 cis kids in the study.
It reported that “young transgender children were just as likely as [cisgender] children to show preferences for peers, toys, and clothing culturally associated with their expressed gender.”
Trans kids are just as likely to “dress in a stereotypically gendered outfit and endorse flexibility in gender stereotypes,” the research revealed.
Trans children were also equally likely to say that they were more similar to children of their gender than the opposite one.
In fact, the trans children “never significantly differed from their gender-matched peers” on almost any question, including when they were asked to point to children they wanted to befriend.
The only significant difference was that trans kids “were less likely to see other people’s gender as stable over time” – a result probably born from their own experiences, the researchers said.
The youngsters fell under the American Psychological Association’s guidelines about trans children their age, in that they had long been “consistent, persistent, and insistent” about being another gender.
Fast and Olson concluded that “in many ways, the basic gender development of socially transgender children is quite similar to that of other children.”
Olson, an associate professor at the university, said: “We are increasingly aware that there are individuals who identify early in development as a gender other than the one aligned with their sex at birth.
“Such children should be included in work on basic gender development to expand our knowledge of gender developmental experiences and strengthen theories of gender development.”
However, Olson was not confident that under the Trump administration, money for studies like this one would be forthcoming.
“Given the state of science funding I’m not optimistic that this work is going to be a high fiscal priority, but one can dream,” she told The Daily Beast.
“We also need to get a broader range of families to participate in research as work like mine disproportionately involves families who support their children’s gender diverse identities.
“To understand the full spectrum of transgender lives we need to work with children in all kinds of family situations.”