Review of the Gender Recognition Act 2004: consultation

This consultation seeks views on proposals to reform the Gender Recognition Act 2004.

Appendix A - CRWIA Stage 2 – Screening – Evidence Base

Transgender Children – Evidence Of Numbers Experiencing Gender Dysphoria Or Discomfort With Their Assigned Gender

Kuyper, L & Wijsen, C (2014) Gender Identities and Gender Dysphoria in the Netherlands Archives of Sexual Behaviour Volume 43 Issue 2, draws on a number of other research studies including:

  • A Dutch study found parents reported that their child “wishes to be opposite sex” for 1.4% of boys and 2% of girls (from Verhust, van der Ende & Koot 1996). This was based on the Child Behaviour Checklist ( CBCL), a parent report questionnaire on behavioural issues.
  • A large scale twin study using the CBCL found that at age 7, 3.7% of boys and 5.7% of girls behaved like the opposite sex and/or wished to be the opposite sex. By age 10, this fell to 2.7% and 3.6% respectively (Van Beijsterveldt 2006).
  • A study of US boys and girls (age 4-11) found 1.0% of boys and 3.5% of girls wished to be the opposite sex (Zucker et al 1997).
  • A study of 5010 first year college students from the National Taiwan University found 7.3% of female and 1.9% of male students reported that they (very) often wished to be of the opposite sex (Lai et al 2010).
  • Using the same question with 760 Dutch 11-18 year olds, 5% of boys and 8.4% of girls indicated that they wanted to be of the opposite sex (5.2% & 8.2% respectively, “a bit or sometimes” and 0.0 and 0.2% respectively “clearly or often”) (Tick, van der Ende and Verhulst 2008).
  • Self-identification as transgender amongst a sample of 2,730 young people in grades 6-8 in San Francisco Public Schools found that 1.3% identified as transgender, when presented with a transgender-inclusive item on gender “What is your gender (female; male; transgender)?” (Shields et al 2013).
  • The studies using the CBCL (by Van Beijsterveldt 2006 & Zucker et al 1997) found that parents indicating “opposite sex behaviour” as “somewhat or sometimes true” greatly outnumbered the parents who said it was “very true or often true”. Both studies also found higher rates of children behaving like the opposite sex than wishing to be of the opposite sex.


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