Today in news that is inexplicably going to piss off a particular segment of people, a new study has shown that transgender kids may have an understanding of their gender identity at a young age.
NBC News reports that a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that transgender youth are just as confident in their gender identity as cisgender children, those whose identity matches their sex assigned at birth. Selin Gulgoz, lead author of the study issued a press statement saying “Trans kids are showing strong identities and preferences that are different from their assigned sex. There is almost no difference between these trans- and cisgender kids of the same gender identity- both in how, and the extent to which, they identify with their gender or express that gender.”
The study involved researchers interviewing 317 transgender children from ages 3-12, 189 of their siblings as well as 316 cisgender kids. They would ask the kids questions about how much they felt like a boy, girl or something else. They also asked their preferences on toys and clothes that are traditionally associated with one gender. The transgender kids overwhelmingly preferred toys and clothes associated with their gender identity not their assigned sex. Additionally, the preferences of the transgender kids weren’t much different from cisgender kids with the same gender identity. Dr. Stuart Chipkin from the University of Massachusetts Amherst said that the study “Supports the idea that gender is inherent and separate from biological sex which would seem to then come down on the side of nature as opposed to nurture.”
All in all, this study could be a great tool to help debunk some of the myths and misunderstandings surrounding transgender youth. Especially among the “how can a child know what it is?!” crowd. Unfortunately, that’s a big if though. When has science ever stopped the willfully ignorant?