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  • Sylvie Zucca

How can we explain the explosion in the number of young girls questioning their gender identity?

Teenagers - and especially young girls - are increasingly questioning their gender identity. A team of NHS researchers has set out to find out why.

Atlantico: A team of NHS researchers has investigated the reasons for the dramatic increase in the number of biological adolescents seeking referral to specialist gender clinics. Just under 250 people were referred to the Gender Identify Service 10 years ago, compared with 5,000 last year, 2/3 of them young girls. How can we explain this sudden increase?

Sylvie Zucca: This exponential increase exists in all Westernized countries. In France, it has become particularly visible in recent years, and even more so in the post-confinement era. Previously, the transgender population here consisted mainly of adult men who wanted to become women. Today, on the contrary, we are witnessing a very strong demand for gender reassignment from women wanting to become men, particularly from teenagers and young adults. I don't think anyone knows the "cause" of this process, but we can put forward a number of hypotheses. Adolescence is a delicate passage, and in girls, it often manifests itself as a physical preoccupation linked to a pubertal passage that can be painful (what used to be called "the ungrateful age"). It's always been there, but in today's terribly individualized world of images, it's more difficult to cope with, as mirrors and screens have invaded our world. If, on top of this, there's a very complex, even traumatic, family or individual history, or (fairly frequent) symptoms of anorexia nervosa, depression or autism, then there's a propensity, via social networks and contacts, to quickly self-diagnose "tda", "tsa", "hpi", "trans" and look for a solution: as quickly as possible, you need a body with no more feminine forms, no breasts or hips, and to be perceived as a man.

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