New study out of Finland: Girls with gender dysphoria have many other mental health issues

A Finnish study, published in April of 2015 in the journal Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health, is one of several that are beginning to document the upsurge in teen girls wanting to “transition.” This study focuses on the high level of comorbid mental health issues that occur along with gender dysphoria.

The number of referrals exceeded expectations in light of epidemiological knowledge. Natal girls were markedly overrepresented among applicants. Severe psychopathology preceding onset of gender dysphoria was common. Autism spectrum problems were very common.

So why does this matter? Well, maybe, just maybe, those other issues need to be addressed. And could they even be the cause of the dysphoria?

In the majority of the applicants, gender dysphoria presented in the context of wider identity confusion, severe psychopathology and considerable challenges in the adolescent development. At this point it is not possible to predict how gender dysphoria in this group will develop: will gender dysphoria in these adolescents cease with the resolution of wider developmental problems, or perhaps consolidate later into transsexual identity, with the completion of the developmental tasks of adolescence.

The researchers conclude:

Adolescents seeking sex reassignment represent a variety of developmental pathways differentiated by the timing of onset of gender dysphoria, psychopathology and developmental difficulties. It is important to be aware of the different groups, or developmental pathways, in gender dysphoric adolescents in order to be able to find appropriate treatment options. In the presence of severe psychopathology and developmental difficulties, medical [sex reassignment] treatments may not be currently advisable.  Treatment guidelines need to be reviewed to appreciate the complex situations.

Medical “transition” is seen as the magic bullet. But here’s a thought: What if the other, very common, comorbid disorders are actually the cause of the body dissociation that is now celebrated and promoted as “gender identity”?  Why do we rush to hack up healthy young bodies and dose them with powerful hormones, rather than addressing the brain that erroneously thinks it should be attached to a different physical form? Why has it become taboo to pose the obvious hypothesis: Maybe we have it exactly backwards. It’s the brain that is mistaken–not the body.

Questions like these should not be controversial.  They should not generate a whole new avalanche of hate mail in my Tumblr inbox. Questions like these should spur thinking, caring people–people who claim to care about suicidal and troubled teens–to investigate deeper; to put the brakes on the headlong rush to drugs and surgery as THE solution to a complex intersection of mental health issues.

Trans activists, take heed.

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34 thoughts on “New study out of Finland: Girls with gender dysphoria have many other mental health issues

  1. I have autism and i noticed that when i considered myself ftm that a lot of people in the trans community are on the autistic spectrum, i do think there is some kind of link between the two and it should be researched further.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Grace, you have detransitioned? Thank you for your comment. Would like to hear more from you. I have actually seen many references to a link between autism and gender dysphoria. Body dissociation is a common symptom, am I correct? I blogged about one such study (though I didn’t emphasize the autism connection) a while ago. I have a huge backlog of research links that I need to go through, and more than a few mention autism and gender dysphoria. Here is one:
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4345542/

      Liked by 1 person

      • As a person diagnosed with AS, I would like to add something.
        People on the autistic spectrum feel very different from others, and often “wrong”. We often have trouble fitting in and understanding social situations. Since femininity is a social construct that requires a lot of work, autistic girls and women might not feel or be able to act feminine enough.
        One common thing is “special interests”. People with AS can easily be obsessed with certain topics.
        So, with the combo of feeling different and not like a real girl/boy and all the info about transgenderism on the internet, it could lead to people going from feeling wrong, seeing others online talking about being trans, to researching the topic intensively and thinking it could be me, that it could solve their problems to be trans.
        Just a thought.

        Liked by 3 people

      • I am in the same boat, ‘feminizing’ did not imprint on me. Many females with ASD, are androgynous, even if they groom themselves daily to be feminine for a job and social reasons. They are not gender dysphoric, and not trans- it just seems like ‘acting-like a lady’ is made up, even if you switch the roles and have boys pretend to be girlish, this is unnecessary roleplay that does not help greater humanity in any way.

        I don’t even know what it means to “feel like a woman” or “feel like a man”.
        http://www.wrongplanet.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=243125

        Wrong planet is an ASD board where you can meet other ASD females and adults. This has been co opted by the trans community in other places, and they skew the facts about ASD, and some get kicked off the board for pushing an agenda and posting incorrect facts[which bother people with AS like myself]. I don’t even like to talk about my own AS, because- ‘Maybe you are trans’ gets forced on me[been there-done that] outside of a Wrong Planet board. Men also use this as an excuse to bully women online.

        The trans community tries to convince non conforming ASD people to join their cult, but some can’t stand it if someone keep misquoting science, or making things up even after corrected[like they do].

        That is a dead give away too, Many ASD people, if you can prove your fact, they will correct themselves with the new information, and not feel badly about having the wrong information previously. They will update everything accordingly. If you are saying ‘bullshit’ and non reality is true, they will kick you off that site for teasing them.

        Liked by 3 people

      • Autism / Transgender are effectively the same thing biologically, it’s ‘labelled’ differently by different people, but the research looking from this perspective is only just starting to accumulate, so now we have to work against 30+ years of troublesome misinformation.

        http://brain.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2013/08/08/brain.awt216

        People constantly saying things like ‘it might just be the autism that causes the trans feelings’, or ‘lots of people in the trans community seem to actually have autism, so they must just be confused’, really doesn’t help matters and adds complexity where it needn’t really exist.

        At the root of it, what we now call ‘autism’ actually IS androgyny, so trans feelings and behaviours are an obvious and likely by-product of the condition. Females born more male than average and males born more female, or people born without either male or female desires or behaviours imprinted, now get diagnosed with autism when they are young due to childhood developmental difficulties and problems with social integration. Society forcing people with male brains to try to act like girls and people with female brains to try to act like boys is probably what is behind a lot of the social difficulties and anxieties these people experience. Gender atypical but generally pro-social behaviours are unnecessarily being repressed by a conspiracy of parents and same sex peers. That’s what causes the mental health issues.

        The ‘autism spectrum’ and the ‘gender spectrum’ are one and the same thing. How people come to self identify and where they locate their own personality within the range of what is understood to be male or female traits and behaviours is something that everyone affected must work out for themselves, and may take many years to fully unravel.

        It’s all a big mess, as now the very idea of ‘autism’ and it’s attendant ‘symptoms’ is being used to invalidate people’s autonomy and their ability to express their own innate personality and social identity, and it often leads to the withholding of necessary hormonal treatment plans to treat dysphoria, which is a real bio-neurological condition and enforcement of unnecessary behavioural therapies to treat ‘autism’ which is a made-up idea based on some flimsy theories of human developmental processes. (I don’t just mean the old ‘refrigerator mother’ stuff, the very idea of our having to actively or subconsciously learn to perform body language to express our core personality and understand social cues is a very flawed premise)
        It’s more like there is a kind of a biological clock which can be set to run at different speeds in different individuals, for some it runs very quickly and for others much more slowly. Some people now reach psycho-sexual/emotional maturity by their mid-teens, while others need to be 40 or 50 before getting to the same point in their lifecycle. It’s actually rather debatable who ends up being better off.

        Gender specific behaviours are not just ‘made up’ and enforced by society. Femininity is not a social construct that requires a lot of work to perform. Most people actually feel these things pretty strongly and can’t imagine life any other way. For most it takes a lot of mental effort not to follow the path of least resistance, to counteract our natural instincts and expressions. It’s really the people that don’t feel them so strongly, the ones that treat them as a purely intellectual exercise, something that has to be learned, who are the ones that are usually viewed as quite ‘strange’, disordered or even psychopathic by the ‘cis’ majority of the population.

        Look around you, the entire industrial/consumer economy is predominantly made up of businesses providing products/services to make money out of enabling people’s innate gender specific behaviours. If they weren’t built in to us then we’d all just stay at home reading ever-so complicated books like you lot, rather than actually enjoying ourselves playing sports, socialising, going clubbing, getting makeovers, decorating our homes, having lots of great sex, raising families.. etc.

        Transgender is a physical condition, and it’s actually quite easy to diagnose someone visually based on facial and cranial characteristics. Your core personality, including emotional and sexual desires, are essentially pre-defined from birth by the structure of your brain, but it may take you a lifetime to come to a more concious understanding of it, if it drastically differs from what your more restrictive social environment expects of you.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Emmajoey, I disagree with a lot of what you say here, but I am publishing your comment in hopes others will also chime in. While I think you are onto something with your observation that autism and transgenderism may be co-occurring and synergistic, your leap to “transition” as the answer for people with autism/gender dysphoria, and the idea that there is such a thing as a “male” or “female” brain is really unfounded. There is something truly backwards about assuming that the body we are born with is wrong. It’s an **idea** that the brain cooks up that the body needs to be surgically and chemically altered. There is no evidence whatsoever that “emotional and sexual desires are predefined at birth.” While “restrictive social environments” definitely interfere with self-actualization, self-actualization in my universe does not require a surgeon’s knife or a endocrinologist’s prescription. Quite the opposite.

        Liked by 3 people

      • Honestly, it’s not ‘bullshit’, it is just biology. That is what it is, take it or leave it.
        The truth will eventually out, despite what more right-wing or religious people would like us to believe. I’m fairly right-wing myself, I don’t believe in a sexual free-for-all, I like traditional family structures, I’d love to be given a chance to be part of one.

        Now I don’t know what the solution is, and I agree genital surgery is probably overly drastic as it leads to infertility, which obviously is counter-evolutionary. Having said that for some more extreme gender variants, in either direction, hormone therapy is actually necessary to not leave people psychologically under-developed, fairly socially functional and not emotional basket-cases.
        For those that really need it, hormone therapy is probably a far better, more humane and natural treatment than any of these SSRIs or the even more extreme psych meds that get thrown at people. We don’t really know what we are doing messing with specific neurotransmitters, but the human body itself does seem to know how to maintain homoeostasis given the right external conditions.

        I can only go based on myself and others like me, but we’re basically in a catch 22 situation, regardless of which path we take and at what age. I was born physically male but with a more female personality. I had a fairly miserable time in a single-sex school, I didn’t know how to make friends, all the other boys just seemed to want to hurt me and I didn’t have a clue why. I thought I was acting just like them, I was often even excelling academically, but I didn’t care about sports, and I didn’t know how to banter, and I really didn’t have any idea what was going on around me.

        When I hit puberty though I knew something was very wrong, while the others at my school all started to want to get girlfriends, I started desperately wanting to be a girl.

        I’m 32 now, and those feeling don’t ever just go away. It’s hard to explain, and I have basically tried to suppress it all, but I know that it is there under the surface all the time, and it gets harder and harder to carry on knowing that I’ll never get to really be the person I want to be, and people won’t ever see the real me or understand why I behave the way that I do. I still present as male, albeit androgynous and non-descript, but I have very feminine posture, body language and mannerisms, and predominantly female tastes in music and media.

        To other people I count as either ‘geek’, ‘Aspergers’, ‘queer’ or both, socially incapable in male company, emotionally immature, highly disorganised, fairly depressed, and struggling to make it through day by day knowing that if I ever tell the actual truth about myself I can put myself in grave danger.

        I don’t think we should get rid of all the ‘gatekeepers’, I don’t believe we should hand out hormones ‘willy-nilly’, but I also don’t believe that we can pretend that problems like this don’t really exist, that it’s ‘just a phase’, and that we grow out of it. Because we don’t grow out of it, and a lot of us just carry growing bigger physically but stop growing emotionally when we are teenagers, and then we are left as ‘disabled’ by a society that doesn’t seem to think people like us should even exist.

        So far as sex goes, or even romance, I’ve never done any of it. I know that I’m technically a ‘bottom’, but I don’t want to have relations with men, as most of them I can’t really stand, and I don’t think anyone would want me. It’s just something I don’t get involved in, though as the years roll by I realise that I’m very much missing out on one of the key experiences of human existence. Everyone else I grew up with now seems to be getting married, or on to their second or third child, and I’m still standing on the starting line, waiting for my turn to have a life that will probably never happen.

        I don’t ever want to get a woman pregnant, I know I wouldn’t be a good father, I can barely support my own existence let alone someone else’s. I might actually be good at looking after children, but the world is so paranoid about paedophiles now that frankly it isn’t worth taking the risk that someone will raise totally unwarranted suspicions about my intentions.

        I’m wishing I could have been braver about telling the truth about myself when I was a teenager. I’m wishing that this current ‘transgender’ movement had existed back then to this degree in the public conciousness, as I might not have felt so afraid and all alone. I’m wishing that I hadn’t spent half my life in the closet, trying to convince both myself and my family I was ‘straight’ but knowing that I actually had no real feelings of wanting to do those things, and consequently never doing them.

        So I’ve now accepted the ‘label’ of ‘Asperger’s’ to try to explain my personality to other people, but really and truly I shouldn’t have had to. I don’t really have a ‘neurological disorder’, at least not any more than any other girl just like me.

        I could and should be much more socially functional by now, I could have started a family of my own, or I could at least be employed in a more emotionally fulfilling (even if lower paid) job, where I didn’t have to constantly try to hide my emotions and nullify my natural female behaviour patterns.

        So tell me, how am I supposed to live my life? Because I wouldn’t wish my present situation on anyone coming up in the generations behind me, who maybe now has the opportunity to take a different path than was available to me.
        Difficult yes, possibly medically dangerous, but maybe actually getting to be seen and understood by family and friends, which is really all we want in the end.

        Like

      • Being “seen and understood” by family and friends is what everyone ultimately wants in the end. And if you, as a 32-year-old, make the decision to take hormones and have plastic surgery as an attempt at gaining that acceptance, you have the right to do that. Although I think there is plenty of evidence–though it doesn’t get a lot of press nowadays–that medical transition does not solve the existential angst so many people with gender dysphoria feel. And from what I have seen, many of the people I’ve encountered who have gone down that road are still “psychologically under-developed,” aren’t “socially functional” and still “emotional basket-cases.”

        I get that you are in pain, and maybe have always been, because your essential way of being doesn’t fit a societal norm. But to insist that the feelings in your head have a biological basis, but your body is a mistake, is a function of dissociation from reality. It’s a psychological issue abetted by the trans-hypnotized culture we find ourselves in right now. One of the great ironies to me today is the glorification of the label “gender fluid.” If behaving, thinking, and feeling outside the “binary” were truly celebrated, no one would need to “transition.” (And in fact, we’d have no need for terms like “gender fluid” at all.) We could all just be ourselves, without anyone thinking they need to cut off or add body parts to be accepted as they are.

        Liked by 3 people

      • Well I think my close family does essentially accept me as I am. I never ‘came out’ to them while my father was alive, but since he is gone, as are some of my older more traditional relatives, I have now admitted to my immediate family how I feel. I don’t know if it’s gone down very well, but there is nothing I can do about it either way.

        I don’t think my body is a mistake exactly, there have always been people like me throughout history. In other cultures we are much more accepted and given specific roles to play, but under judeo-christian mythology we are essentially cast adrift as dysfunctional.

        We’re often considered ‘geniuses’, but at the same time are regarded as strange and incomprehensible, either divas or psychopaths. I don’t think my behaviour is bad, in person I’m very self-restrained, but I do struggle to be understood.

        I think it’s a really sad situation. So much of the stuff that people take for granted nowadays has been created by people like me, but hardly anyone seems to have heard of the likes of Lynn Conway, or Sophie Wilson, or the many extraordinary programmers and engineers at Microsoft or Apple, or Google. Lots of people through many generations have had to take their ‘shameful secret’ to their grave with them, and the people around them have wondered why someone so obviously talented could also be so self-destructive.

        I do think ‘plastic surgery’ as you put it is a fairly drastic step to take. I don’t think I would call it ‘mutilation’ but it’s obviously very painful and complex major surgery that most would regard as cosmetic, and the business of socially transitioning is nightmarishly complicated, given how many databases and things there are tracking us nowadays.

        On the other hand I have some fundamental physiological needs, that I don’t presently have a good way of meeting. My body seems to expect to be able to function in a way that is presently anatomically impossible, but which is not a delusion. I don’t have a good way of releasing the tension, so it just tends to build over months until I reach a breaking point, and end up crushingly depressed and either binge eating or back on SSRIs. I seem to have a crash or crisis every two or three years, and I’m not otherwise fully functional the rest of the time.

        I’m kind of fed up with it now, it’s really screwing up my life, and I am looking for a more permanent long term strategy for managing my own physiology. It is supposed to be my responsibility, isn’t it? If I’m ever to be expected to ‘grow up’ and have a proper career, then I can’t be crashing and burning every couple of years.

        Even if I never find a partner I love, I should at least be able to have an orgasm on my own every now and again, right?
        I mean, if it harms no one else, it’s kind of my business what I do with my body, and if it really feels like I need to stick things in it, rather than stick part of it in other things, well, you gotta do whatever you gotta do to make it work, right?

        Like

      • I have Asperger’s too.
        Sadly, Your article did not prove your post. [If you were hoping to impress someone,]

        ‘Man’ is just another role to ‘play’. The roles are all made up.

        Men are not women. it is called, ‘biology’.

        You notice in biology, 10% of mammals have gay members, but trans does not exist in animals. It, does not really exist in nature at all, trans is a made up by humans exploring fetishes with worn objects stereotypical associated with females in a role that was made up to attract sexual encounters.

        So, anyway, most other females with ASD that I have met are mere like butch girls, not girls that think they are really men. Many would love male privileged, and nearly all say they don’t feel like women, but few I ever met want to be a guy. That is a huge leap in logic.

        Butch/Dyke/Lesbians Do NOT adhere to typical gender roles. this does not mean they ‘want’ to be men, or believe they are really men. They don’t want to be forced into a gender role, but many are forced to put on a little make up to stay employed. They experience oppression for who they are,

        As a matter of fact, some women with ASD, ARE butch girls. The problem is, M to trans do not consider Butch women as part of the trans cult because they want to explore what it is to be a non conforming female. . Any born woman that is butch, has had their spaces closed down by the trans activists that are angry that they want their own spaces away from men to talk among st themselves. This makes it obvious it is mostly a ‘male sexual rights movement’

        You do know that Laurielai Bailey, the tranny -pimp, already admitted that he lied about being autistic, and used it as an excuse to attack people online for years?

        -just giving you the heads up,

        Like

      • Let’s quote Wikipedia: Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impaired social interaction, verbal and non-verbal communication, and restricted and repetitive behavior.

        How is this the same thing as trans? Seriously.

        “Femininity is not a social construct that requires a lot of work to perform. ”

        This is some offensive anti-feminist bullshit.
        Even stereotypically feminine neurotypical girls and women often find, for example, llving up to current female beauty/grooming standards to be hard and tiresome work.

        It doesn’t make you the opposite sex to not be comfortable with the gender role you’re expected to perform.
        Just because the female, submissive, decorative and caring one is hard to perform, doesn’t mean I want to be a man. I couldn’t live up to the typical male gender role either.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I never started medical transition but was on the path to and had been to a few doctors about it trying to get a referral to a gender therapist but in the meantime I found blogs like this one and they really opened my eyes.

    I’m currently seeing a therapist that has some experience with trans people and shes really helped me with dealing with my dysphoria so im no longer looking to be referred on to the gender therapist. I think my autism has a lot to do with the dysphoria and body dissociation, the dysphoria was there as long as i can remember and got much worse during puberty and then the bodily dissociation started happening too along with depression.

    I’ve also noticed alot of trans people have other conditions like depression or bipolar and they think its caused by being trans but i think its the other way around. Thanks for the link 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    • Grace, thank you so very much for your valuable contribution to this discussion. May I also share your comment (anonymously) on my Tumblr blog? Also, I am very interested and heartened to hear about your therapist. I believe it is very difficult right now for therapists to buck the trans trend and work hard on other issues. I have talked to a few psychotherapists who are actually AFRAID to challenge a young person who thinks they are trans, for fear of backlash and even licensure issues, given the APA’s stance on this. Brava to her!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yes feel free to share my comment. I think the reason i was lucky to get a good therapist is because in my country (Ireland) trans issues are not well known and it took a while for me to even find a therapist who had worked with trans people when most others said they had little/no experience and some didn’t know anything about gender dysphoria. My doctor wasn’t afraid to bring up my childhood or events that she thought could be significant in my identifying as trans and im glad she did.

        Liked by 3 people

    • Grace thank you so much for sharing your experience. It seems that my daughter may also be on the autistic spectrum. She has been having therapy for two years and has been diagnosed as such, albeit mildly. She also suffers from depression, and now wants to embark on the first stages that will ultimately lead to transition.
      My thoughts are with you Grace and all those young people out there who have struggled with this.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. IAM NOW 54 lol today lol. I rocked & ROCKED AS A CHILD BORN SUSAN ( I BELIEVE I HAD& HAVE ASPERGER’s?!. )

    I CHANGED MY GENDER, Started in 07 .
    Age ( 46) IN A HELLISH STATE OF MIND SINCE AGE (3) !.
    IVE HAD SURGERY …
    IVE CHANGED MY UPER BODY !.
    BUT IAM VERY STRAIGHT SEXUALLY ALWAYS WAS !!,
    IED LIKE TO KNOW MORE ON THIS STUDY !!!. ; I THINK SOMETHING GOING ON ?!!!, BUT I DONT KNOW WHAT ?!!!.
    THANK YOU . CN

    Like

  4. Thank you for this study.
    Usually northern-europe people are more open minded to transactivism, so find a study in which they talk about alternative paths it is unusual. . .

    Liked by 1 person

  5. i think the vast majority of young women feel some degree of body dysphoria and i believe its universality is a relatively modern phenomenon -or anyhow strongly linked to the patriarchal concept of what women should be… im very interested in how this body dysphoria becomes so gender-centric. and how rejecting gender stereotype becomes conflated with extreme body modification. you are so on point with the mental health and questioning whether gender dysphoria is a symptom rather than a cause of gender distress.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Pingback: New study out of Finland: Girls with gender dysphoria have many other mental health issues | Easilyriled's Blog

  7. Hi 🙂
    I was interested by the discussion about autism here (and “what if those disorders are actually the cause of body dissociation”) bc I’m autistic and a LOT of autistic girls my age (teenagers) I know from support groups (to learn social skills, etc) are questioning their gender/thinking about transition. I mean a much much higher percentage than not-autistic girls I know… The majority of girls in those groups consider themselves genderqueer/bigender/nonbinary & some talk about transitioning or at least “presenting” as a boy.
    (And I hate that since I look boyish, these people (even some of the adults in charge of the groups) often assume I want to be called he (I’m a girl) & make me feel like it’s weird that I don’t :/)
    Like other people who commented, I wonder if the number of transgender/gender questioning autistic girls is bc autism makes all this gender stuff really hard – there’s hypersensitivity to touch/smell/etc which means many of us can’t shave, can’t wear makeup or tight-fitting feminine clothing, can’t have long hair (bc it touches your skin in unpleasant ways), wear nail polish (it smells too strong) etc. Also ppl think girls have better social skills than boys… so a lot of autistic teenage girls end up feeling like they’re “not girl enough”, like all the other girls can do those things easily and they can’t & that probably means they should be a boy.
    Idk if this explanation is too simple, there’s probably more to it, but I’m really noticing how MANY autistic girls are in this situation, of wanting to be called “he”, to pass as a boy, to get breast surgery, etc, compared to not-autistic girls my age, and I wish the links between autism and transgender/discomfort with gender were explored more, so we could better help them. If autistic/other disabled people are more affected by dysphoria than the general population, we really should be wondering why? instead of just “accepting that their body is wrong for them”… Why would so many autistic girls’ bodies be WRONG? For no reason???
    Anyway thank you for your blog, you talk about all this very kindly and clearly:)

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Gender dysphoria? Um, don’t they mean sex dysphoria? Because, uh, not being able to identify with being oppressed in a number of ways (being paid less, expected to wear uncomfortable shoes, expected to act submissive, etc) seems rather healthy to me. That’s not a mental health issue.

    I would, without hesitation, transition to the male gender role. Change my name in my passport, and suddenly I get paid more, am not expected to raise my own children (or do any care-work at all), and am not at risk to be raped unless I get myself in prison? Sounds nice. Sadly, one cannot just identify out of sex-based oppression.

    It may be relevant to this discussion that women have, in the Victorian Age, but probably afterwards, too, been locked up in institutions for being … too sane, i.e. not submitting to the expectations of patriarchy. (Righteous anger = hysteria, etc.)

    Now, I didn’t read your source and don’t know what kinds of psychopathology are mentioned, but could it be that those girls are just too sane for the patriarchy?

    Gender roles are something that is socially learnt, and autistic kids aren’t as good at picking up social cues, so … is it a wonder that autistic girls don’t feel sufficently subhuman to be able to identify with femininity?

    Maybe it is less of a comorbidity and more of a sickle cell anemia and malaria relationship.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. i wouldnt wear lots of things as a child because they felt horrible on my skin.. my eldest daughter is exactly the same… we choose not to wear dresses or nail varnish or make up or high heels, because we’re women who dont enjoy discomfort and pain or the sexual power it gives us… and lets face it, that is what dressing up is all about. nobody in their right mind actually enjoys tottering round in agony, nobody likes having their pubic hair ripped out by a stranger in a tabard… they do it because they feel it gives them either sexual empowerment or for narcissistic reasons which feed their fantasies. and this is how people get hooked https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuroplasticity

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Emmajoey, AS and trans* are NOT the same thing. Although many AS girls/women are very gender non conforming (it’s practically written into the diagnosis). If you transition an AS female, she will most likely end up looking like a 1 dimensional caricature of a man. It will be very hard for her to learn “masculine” traits that society expects of her.

    She will not look like your average man or average trans* man. She’ll probably retain those traits that she always had which were “masculine” such as the inability to read emotions and the emotional “coldness” but she’ll probably never swagger about and learn to do all the other little masculine performances.

    Like

    • That’s BS. I’ve had more in common with NT males than autistic males. There’s science behind it. AS females and NT males have similar brain patterns.
      And you’re being very stereotypical about males. Being trans doesn’t mean you’re going to follow every gender stereotype to a T. Not every straight NT male will fit into the same box either.

      Like

  11. I was dx with PDD-NOS (Autism) when I was 15. Ton of mental health problems. Inability to communicate emotions and what was going on in my brain. Was institutionalized twice due to severe mental health. Told I was bi-polar among many other things. And through a ton of speech therapy learned how to better communicate.

    I went cold turkey on all my meds in 2012 afraid to ask about it thinking I would be forced into an institution again. I got a clean slate. But still had a ton of mental health struggles and refused to go to the ER at all due to constantly being told I was lying about my pains.

    In 2014 I went back to my doctors about these pains I kept having. The pain would turn previously into panic attacks and ER visits in which they would find no cause. Anyway, turns out I actually have Fibromyalgia. Which has since been on a slow decline. And is genetic.

    About 6 months later I decided to finally start testosterone and transition. After also reading it could help with energy levels for fibro.

    After starting testosterone my mental health has only become even more stable. I have more energy. Am feeling more myself. Im more confident and able to speak freely for once in my life instead of constantly being shut down in my brain. Unable to speak up.

    For the first time in my life I am stable. I dont need to see a therapist constantly. – and yes I was seeing school therapists constantly even in elementry school.. And my doctor has even mentioned the marked improvement he has seen from me in only 1 year.

    I think that every situation is going to be different. But I have known since I was very young that I was male. And have seen within myself a dramatic difference in transitioning. Not just because my outward appearance is now more “fitting” but psychologically I am now feeling at ease with myself.

    I know for me that transition does help and does work. It didnt make my autism “go away” but it has dramatically affected my mental health and ability to be who I am and do what I want to do.

    I am more confident. I am more able to speak up for myself. And more happy then I have ever been.

    My thoughts on the transgender issue: (if you beleive in god) God gave man the tools and medicine we have for a reason. He has given us the knowledge. And we are in an age right now where he is teaching us acceptance. But the adversary is working hard to divide us. Being transgender is a medical condition. And it is seeing a momement at this time for a reason. Because we have the tools. And we are ready as a people to learn this new lesson on acceptance.

    I am not sure others motivation for transition but my own. But what I do know is, it has worked and is working for me in helping me manage my conditions. And not just my gender identity.

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    • I appreciate your candor about your personal experiences, and the fact that you didn’t outright attack us parents who don’t think transition is the right treatment for our children.

      I hope you don’t mind me asking a question. You mention that you are more confident and able to speak up for yourself better after starting testosterone. Do you think that’s due to the testosterone relieving some of the fibromyalgia symptoms? Maybe you’re not in as much physical pain, so that has freed you to a certain extent? I am trying to understand why so many of our girls (without other physical issues) now feel they need testosterone to have confidence and speak up for themselves.

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  12. For starters, autism is not a mental health issue. It’s a neurological condition which means the brain is wired differently than NTs (non-autistic). I’ve felt I was in the wrong body since I was about 4. I don’t have much of a memory before that. I remember hating dresses and the moment I could dress myself I was done with them.
    You saying there’s a link between transgender and autism might actually mean there is actually evidence of transgender happening in the brain which isn’t a negative at all. It’s actually proof that people can be born this way. Who care if people think/feel differently because of a bit of a brain difference? I have a very visual mind – does that mean I’m broken? Temple Grandin sure doesn’t think so.
    I don’t actually care about being infertile.
    The decision is ultimately up to the parent but I’m still angry at mine for discouraging me for really expressing who I really am. Just keep that in mind when making decisions for your child.
    I grew up in a time (the 90s) where transgender either wasn’t a label or not as wide spread. from the ages of 4-20 I wanted to be male, then I suppressed it and tried to be more like everyone wanted me to be. It was exhausting and I felt fake, so I gave up on it and just adopted the tomboy label. Then I heard of transgender and I finally felt like maybe I’m actually allowed to be how to I wanted to be in childhood. But all the fucking name calling, discouragement, and pressure to be more like my stereotype made it’s impact, and now I’m trying to feel like I once did. I feel more genderless than anything but still extremely male. This is the real gender confusion, and it’s because it took society 20 years to actually accept it.

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