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    ICGDR Update

    Who we are

    ICGDR is a nonprofit research organization with the purpose of increasing understanding of gender dysphoria, especially gender dysphoria beginning in adolescence and young adulthood. Gender dysphoria beginning during this life stage was virtually unknown until recently, when the number of cases has exploded. A bitter controversy has developed regarding whether this increase is due to greater social tolerance or to a new, socially contagious and culture-bound syndrome that has been called “Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria” (ROGD). ICGDR aims to conduct research to resolve this controversy, as well as how best to help gender dysphoric youth and their families. We will not only conduct excellent research. We will also ensure that our findings become widely known.

    What we’ve done so far

    Since the creation of our nonprofit organization, we have been engaged with several exciting projects. First, we have supported the communication of research results about detransitioners by publishing research “open access” and presenting this work at conferences and seminars including the International Academy of Sex Research Annual Meeting; VUmc Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry/Center of Expertise on Gender Dysphoria research meeting, and the Open University Gender Critical Research Network webinar series. Second, we are supporting novel research to analyze the social media environment surrounding the topics of gender dysphoria, transition and detransition. Third, we have contributed to efforts to fund systematic reviews of the evidence for transition-related interventions for the treatment of gender dysphoria. The use of rigorous systematic evidence review is critical to ensure that the care provided to gender dysphoric youth is based on the best available evidence.

    One of our directors recently published a large study of parents reporting on their gender dysphoric youth, whom parents believed have Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria. (This study was coauthored with the founder of Parents of ROGD Kids.) This study replicated several aspects of Lisa Littman’s original study of ROGD.

    We have analyzed the results of a study about desistance and detransition in young adults who previously identified as transgender. The first research article from this data is currently undergoing editorial peer review. The article focuses on the factors associated with adopting and relinquishing a transgender identification as well as participants’ symptoms and well-being, before, during, and after trans-identification.

    And, we have analyzed data from detransitioners about what kinds of counseling and information they wished they had received–but did not receive–from mental health and medical professionals before gender transition.

    What we plan to do

    We are nearly ready to begin a large, international study that will track both gender dysphoric youth (age 13-21) and their parents for at least five years. We will be looking at outcomes including desistance, persistence, transition, and detransition and focusing on mental health, family relationships, and social environments. Both gender dysphoric youth and their families are starved for information that we will provide.

    How you can help

    Currently, ICGDR has little chance of receiving traditional research funding from agencies such as the National Institutes of Health. The currently popular approach to gender dysphoria in the US is an oversimplified one-cause, one-solution approach that often fast-tracks medical transition. The field is contentious and often hostile to research that considers other potential explanations and treatments of gender dysphoria. We need your moral and financial support. Our specific short-term needs include funds to facilitate the hiring of a research assistant to help with recruitment and screening interviews, funds for open access publishing for research articles, and funds for administrative assistance to help with communications, editing, and program management.