This recent article in Quilette, psychologist Dr Debra Soh discusses whether transitioning is sometimes supported by parents, in part, because they are uncomfortable with their children being homosexual.

Because the underlying story that the public isn’t privy to is that many of these children would have grown up to be gay, but are instead undergoing a new form of conversion therapy.


Another phenomenon that points to homophobia as a possible motivation for transitioning is that of rapid-onset gender dysphoria (ROGD), wherein adolescent and college-aged girls suddenly declare to their parents that they want to transition, without any previous signs of being distressed about their birth sex. This desire to transition usually manifests during or after puberty, yet these girls don’t meet any of the diagnostic criteria for gender dysphoria.

The article points to a study that backs this scientifically:

A study published last month on ROGD---one that gained widespread media attention for infuriating transgender activists---found that a large proportion of these girls had come out as lesbian or bisexual prior to coming out as transgender. ...

Since I began writing about this issue several years ago, many of my friends have told me how relieved they were to not have grown up in today’s political climate. As children, they similarly voiced unhappiness about their bodies and felt that they identified with the opposite sex, but eventually grew up to feel comfortable living as gay men. They fear they would have decided to transition, because transitioning is now considered a viable, and almost commonplace, way to resolve this.

The article in full does a better description than these snippets do of explaining the point.

Are there any other studies that link gender dysphoria with familial homophobic influences against same-sex attraction?

closed as unclear what you're asking by Sklivvz Nov 13 '18 at 8:00

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  • 4
    I think that there is a valid question somewhere in here (the paper seems somewhat questionable; asking parents who complain online about their child being trans how rapid that development was in their eyes seems ... a bit prone to errors). But your question title could really use some work; the claim doesn't mention homophobes, conversion therapy, or "transgenderism". – tim Nov 12 '18 at 17:44
  • @tim The claim mentions homophobia, conversion therapy, and advocating sex change operations on the basis of homosexual behavior, as edited – K Dog Nov 12 '18 at 18:03
  • 1
    The title question makes the subject a yes/no: "Are some people advocating this?" ...but there is interest in comments, and with additional body claims, in, "What is the evidence used to advocate for this?" ...these are quite different questions. – elliot svensson Nov 12 '18 at 20:19
  • Not sure at all what this question is asking please clarify what the claim is with a quote and give evidence of notability. Is the claim that many of today's transgender people would have not have come out in a more hostile environment? Seems like a trivial question. Is the claim that many TG people came out first as homosexuals and then as heterosexuals of the opposite gender? Again, seems trivial. Are you asking whether many (how many?) transgendered people are, in fact, just homosexuals coping (with what?), then quote such a claim exactly so we can answer it. – Sklivvz Nov 13 '18 at 8:06
  • Finally, qualify what this has to do with "conversion" "therapy" or rapid onset gender disphoria as both these things might be part of the claim but I can't figure out what it is. – Sklivvz Nov 13 '18 at 8:07

In his work, "When Harry Became Sally", Ryan Anderson, "a senior research fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation," recounts this statement by Dr. Paul McHugh, who has become controversial for his work to end the practice of providing gender reassignment surgery at Johns Hopkins:

Dr. Jon Meyer of Johns Hopkins studied men who had sought a sex change operation there, and Dr. McHugh reports on his colleague's findings:

Most of the cases fell into one of two quite different groups. One group consisted of conflicted and guilt-ridden homosexual men who saw a sex-change as a way to resolve their conflicts over homosexuality by allowing them to behave sexually as females with men.

[Surgical Sex by Paul R. McHugh (2004)]

When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment by Ryan T. Anderson (2018)

That these words have become controversial since the time when they were written in the 2004 should be very clear. But this quotation does show that the claim that homosexuals seek sex-change surgery has been laid in the fabric of LGBTQ history.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – Jamiec Nov 16 '18 at 15:48

Are there any other studies that link the rise of transgenderism or gender dysphoria as a rationalized manifestation of what is traditionally just homosexual behavior or identity?

Well, there is this:

Most children with gender dysphoria will not remain gender dysphoric after puberty. Children with persistent GID are characterized by more extreme gender dysphoria in childhood than children with desisting gender dysphoria. With regard to sexual orientation, the most likely outcome of childhood GID is homosexuality or bisexuality.

Psychosexual Outcome of Gender-Dysphoric Children by Wallien and Cohen-Kettenis (2008)

And we also have this:

Research done in the past four decades has shown that the future of children with gender identity disorders is not what it once seemed. In the 1960s, when Richard Green (1987) began recruiting a sample of boys with "gender identity disturbance," his assumption, and that of most investigators in the field, was that these children were pretranssexual: that is, in their teens and young adulthoods they would continue to have gender dysphoria of such a degree as to be transsexual. However, the long-term follow-up study done by Green (1987) and evidence by other investigators (e.g., Davenport, 1986; Zuger, 1988; Zucker and Bradley, 1995) has shown trannssexualism[sic] to be a rare outcome for these boys when grown up. In the natural history of childhood gender dysphoria, cross-gender behavior appears to diminish and may virtually disappear in the majority of boys around ages eight to ten. Instead of continued cross-gender behavior and transsexualism, they appear to have a much greater propensity to be homosexual or bisexual (and primarily gender-typical) in young adulthood than the general population.

Sissies and Tomboys: Gender Nonconformity and Homosexual Childhood by Matthew Rottnek, NYU Press (1999), p. 38

And regarding what kind of scientific evidence we can expect to help resolve these questions, we read that:

the highest level of evidence available for selecting among the various approaches to treatment is best characterized as “expert opinion.” Yet, opinions vary widely among experts and are influenced by theoretical orientation and assumptions and beliefs regarding the origins of gender identity, as well as its perceived malleability at particular stages of development.

Gender Dysphoric/Gender Variant (GD/GV) Children and Adolescents: Summarizing What We Know and What We Have Yet to Learn by Jack Drescher and William Byne (2012, Journal of Homosexuality)

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