Now Reading
New study indicates link between genetics and gender dysphoria

New study indicates link between genetics and gender dysphoria

International Trans Day of Visibility

A new study has found a number of genetic differences between transgender women and non-transgender men.

The findings from the Hudson Institute of Medical Research in Australia suggests there is a biological reason why some people experience gender dysphoria.

The study examined genetic variations of 380 transgender women, which were compared to 344 non-transgender men.

It found that the transgender women exhibited genetic variants which correlated with genes involved in processing sex hormones estrogen and androgen, New Atlas reported.

The researchers believe this could mean the certain brains develop in ways which are less ‘masculine’ and more ‘feminine’, thereby contributing to gender dysphoria in transgender women.

‘Comprehensive study’

‘This is the world’s largest and most comprehensive study examining changes in genes that control sex hormone signaling in transgender women,’ Professor Vincent Harley, the lead author on the study, told ABC News.

It is part of a growing number of scientific studies into gender identity, including MRI scans of transgender youths and an ongoing cross-continental study of genomes.

However, the reaction of some trans rights activists has been more circumspect.

Also speaking to ABC News, Sally Goldner from Transgender Victoria said this type of research carries both pros and cons.

‘It’s good to see [the research] back up what we already know — that we are who we are,’ said Goldner. ‘It’s not so good if people don’t seem to fit some sort of genetic test, if that was ever developed.’

Prof. Harley expressed similar sentiments, though was hopeful that the scientific research would help in combating transphobia and enhance social understanding of the trans community.

‘While it should not hinge on science to validate people’s individuality and lived experience, these findings may help to reduce discrimination, lend evidence towards improving diagnosis or treatment, promote greater awareness and acceptance, and reduce the distress experienced by transgender people in our communities,’ said Prof. Harley.