Julie Bakker, a Belgian neurologist at the University of Liege, discovered new information about brain activity in transgender individuals.
According to Bakker’s results, brain activity of a transgender person matches up with their gender identity, not their sex assigned at birth.
The study included MRIs of 160 children and teenagers who experience gender dysphoria. This condition involves someone feeling their gender identity does not align with their biological sex.
The technique used is known as diffusion tensor imaging.
Bakker ultimately concluded that trans boys’ brains resemble cis boys’ brains, while trans girls’ brains resemble cis girls’ brains.
Helping trans youth
Bakker acknowledges more research on this topic is necessary. However, she believes this is a good start.
‘We now have evidence that sexual differentiation of the brain differs in young people with GD, as they show functional brain characteristics that are typical of their desired gender.
‘We will then be better equipped to support these young people, instead of just sending them to a psychiatrist and hoping that their distress will disappear spontaneously.’