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  • Ryan Wittler

Few Transgender Youth Change Their Minds After Five Years


A new study from researchers at Princeton University has found that nearly all transgender youth maintain their gender identity five years after their initial social transition.

Study highlights:

The researchers followed 317 transgender youth from Princeton’s TransYouth Project, finding 94% still identified as transgender five years after they their social transition during childhood.

  • The group included 208 transgender girls and 109 transgender boys, who were an average of 8.1 years old when they began participating in the project and 6.5 years old when they began socially transitioning.

The study found 7.3% of the group had retransitioned (i.e., transitioned to another gender identity after their initial transition) at least once during the five-year period following their initial social transition.

  • Of the 94% who still identified as transgender, 1.3% had retransitioned at least once before returning to their transgender identity.

  • Of the total group, 2.5% identified as cisgender at the end of the five years, while 3.5% identified as non-binary.

The present study was the first to track a large cohort of transgender youth who had been followed since transitioning early in their lives.

  • All of the study participants also had parents who were supportive of their transition and access to relevant resources.

Why it matters:

The researchers say the findings suggest very few transgender youth go on to change their gender identity after their initial transition, countering notions that transgender children are confused about their identities or experiencing some sort of “phase.”

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