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Parent reports of adolescents and young adults perceived to show signs of a rapid onset of gender dysphoria. PLOS ONE describes ROGD as

Conclusion Rapid-onset gender dysphoria (ROGD) describes a phenomenon where the development of gender dysphoria is observed to begin suddenly during or after puberty in an adolescent or young adult who would not have met criteria for gender dysphoria in childhood. ROGD appears to represent an entity that is distinct from the gender dysphoria observed in individuals who have previously been described as transgender

Whereas Wikipedia says:

Controversy surrounds the concept of rapid-onset gender dysphoria (ROGD), proposed as a subtype of gender dysphoria and said to be caused by peer influence and social contagion. ROGD has not been recognized by any major professional association as a valid mental health diagnosis, and use of the term has been discouraged by professional and academic institutions due to a lack of reputable scientific evidence, major methodological issues in existing research, and likelihood to cause harm by stigmatizing gender-affirming care.

  • Is ROGD real?
  • If so, how prevalent is it?

Edit: It has been questioned what 'real' means. Real in this particular case: does the phenomenon described by Littman L occur in reality.

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    It feels like any answer to this would just be a rehash of the Wikipedia article, which seems at a glance to have plenty of references. It's very unlikely someone will present a firm "yes" or "no" to the question of "does it exist?"
    – IMSoP
    Jul 21, 2023 at 8:13
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    Oof... this does feel like one of those things where it could be a valid concern (one of those signs of psychosis is a sudden desire to make massive changes in one's life or body, with an extreme example might be a patient who decides their fingers no longer belong to them and try to get rid of them), but there will be a conflict with people wanting to use that as an explanation (shades of how women acting out could lead to them being sent to asylums and/or times when governments have "re-educated" people crazy enough to oppose them). Jul 21, 2023 at 11:52
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    This isn't suitable for this site because it's an open question of epistemology and epidemiology. The success or failure of labeling ROGD a genuine condition can't be determined by a simple survey of patient outcomes -- it's a complex problem of medical and social systems. (Although, I would be more surprised by a psychological condition which is not affected by social influences or parent-child conflict.)
    – Avery
    Jul 21, 2023 at 12:17
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    I do not like the title. What does it mean for a classification to be "real"? Is it recognised by professionals? You know the answer. Is it in the DSM? You know the answer. Has anyone met the criteria? There are no official criteria, but there are some reports from parents. What more is there to answer? What facts are missing?
    – Oddthinking
    Jul 22, 2023 at 9:30
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    @pinegulf: The phenomena described is that some parents selected from trans-critical web-sites where parents complain about their trans children report that, from their perspective, the gender dysphoria of their children was sudden news. That could well be a very accurate, statistically correct summation of what those parents believe. But that might be explained by, for example, children hiding their gender dysphoria from their bigoted parents, or children who didn't have words for their long-felt feelings until they met other trans youths. So what is the question asking?
    – Oddthinking
    Jul 24, 2023 at 8:01

1 Answer 1

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I was unable to find any paper that would validate the rapid-onset gender dysphoria hypothesis.

The paper you link was one of the first to mention a phenomenon called ROGD. You can see that it contains a correction which "serves to provide additional clarifications and context" (my highlight):

Rapid-onset gender dysphoria (ROGD) is not a formal mental health diagnosis at this time. This report did not collect data from the adolescents and young adults (AYAs) or clinicians and therefore does not validate the phenomenon.

As has been pointed out in the comment, the report approached the issue by questioning parents - who may or may not be on board with their child transitioning - if they thought that their child transitioning was sudden. Obviously, the parents assessment is not necessarily correct:

Because this is a study of parent reports, there is some information about the AYAs that the parents would not have access to and the answers might reflect parent perspectives.

Specifically, parents were primarily recruited from websites that were unsupportive of trans people:

Concerns were raised that this study only posted links to the recruitment information on selected sites that are viewed as being unsupportive of transition. [...] Specifically, three of the sites that posted recruitment information expressed cautious or negative views about medical and surgical interventions for gender dysphoric adolescents and young adults and cautious or negative views about categorizing gender dysphoric youth as transgender. And, one of the sites that posted recruitment information is perceived to be pro-gender-affirming.

Children of unsupportive parents may of course not come out to their parents right away, so any transition might seem rapid to the parents.

A more in-depth criticism of Littmans methodology can be seen in Methodological Critique of Littman’s (2018) Parental-Respondents Accounts of “Rapid-Onset Gender Dysphoria”.


There's also this more recent paper, which suffers from the same problems (questioning the parents, who in this case where not supportive, but instead worried their child suffered from ROGD). The paper has also been retracted.


A study from 2021 Do Clinical Data from Transgender Adolescents Support the Phenomenon of “Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria”? found no evidence for ROGD:

We did not find support within a clinical population for a new etiologic phenomenon of rapid onset gender dysphoria during adolescence.


A study from 2023 Age of Realization and Disclosure of Gender Identity Among Transgender Adults also investigated the issue:

Of 27,497 participants, 40.8% reported “later realization” of TGD identities. Within the “childhood realization” group, the median age of sharing one's gender identity with another person was 20. In this group, the median time between realization of one's gender identity and sharing this with another person was 14 years.

Based on this, they conclude:

The results of this study do not support the ROGD hypothesis.


The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) has stated:

The term “Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria (ROGD)” is not a medical entity recognized by any major professional association, nor is it listed as a subtype or classification in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) or International Classification of Diseases (ICD). Therefore, it constitutes nothing more than an acronym created to describe a proposed clinical phenomenon that may or may not warrant further peer-reviewed scientific investigation.

They encourage further research. As seen above, so far that research has results in studies which do not find any evidence for ROGD. I am unaware of any non-retracted studies that would provide such evidence.

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