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Transition regret and detransition: Meanings and uncertainties

Par Sarah C. J. Jorgensen


Gender transition is undertaken to improve the well-being of people with gender dysphoria.

However, some have argued that the evidence supporting medical interventions for gender transition (e.g. hormonal therapies and surgery) is weak and inconclusive, and a growing number of people have recently come forward seeking help.

In this article, I discuss emerging clinical and research issues related to transition regret and detransition with the aim of supporting clinicians with the latest information so that they can help patients meet the challenges of regret and detransition.

I begin by describing recent changes in the epidemiology of gender dysphoria, the conceptualization of transgender identification and transition research. I then discuss the potential impact of these changes on regret and detransition ;

The prevalence of desistance, regret and detransition; the reasons for detransition; and the medical and mental health care needs of detransitioners.

Although recent data have highlighted a complex range of experiences that lead people to detransition, research remains very much in its infancy,

Little is known about the medical and mental health care needs of these patients, and there is currently no best practice guidance for clinicians involved in their care.

Moreover, the term detransition can have a wide range of possible meanings for trans-identifying people, detransitioners and researchers, leading to inconsistencies in its use. Moving forward and minimizing the damage will require solid research, challenging fundamental assumptions, scrutiny of practice models and openness to debate.

Key words: Detransition - Regret - Gender dysphoria - Transgender - Gender empowerment

Article en version française (trad. deepl pro)

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