Study: Transgender children are not confused about their identities

A new study, to be published in the February issue of Psychological Science, finds that transgender children are fully capable of understanding what gender means, as well as their personal gender identities. The study followed 32 transgender children, 18 of their siblings, and 32 non-transgender children used as a control group, all aged 5 to 12. The transgender children come from supportive homes.

The author of the report, Nicholas Eaton, an assistant psychology professor at Stony Brook University, said, “We found that gender cognition in the transgender kids was indistinguishable from their non-transgender peers and siblings.” By testing the answers about how a child identifies against their reaction time to computerized tasks, psychologists were able to determine that there is no discernable difference between the responses of a transgender girl and a cisgender girl; the same is true for transgender boys and cisgender boys (cisgender is a term used by some to describe people who are not transgender).

This study is deeply affirming for transgender children, whom experts agree benefit from access to transition-related healthcare. Claims that transgender children are confused about their identities, are too young to understand gender, and that allowing a child to transition is "child abuse," have been consistently debunked as nothing more than biased rhetoric.

The authors of the study hope that this information will help counter the stigma surrounding transgender children, and encourage media and other sources to cease spreading false information regarding the transgender community.