Major concerns over Australian study into transgender children

Some very well-respected psychiatrists have raised serious concerns about the ethics and methodology of a new prospective study into transgender children, taking place at Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital Gender Service.

The protocol of the study, known as the Trans20 longitudinal cohort study has been recently published in the journal, BMJ Open.

In essence, the study aims to track the long-term outcomes of children and adolescents who have presented to this service over the last three years (from February 2017 to February 2020). Researchers estimate that the final number of participants will be about 600.

There is no disputing the fact that the issue of people identifying with a gender different to the one with which they were born has become increasingly common (or at least increasingly recognised) over the last decade. And this issue is causing significant mental distress The study authors say their service at the Royal Children’s Hospital is seeing approximately 250 ...


D’Angelo R, Carlos d’Abrera J, Halasz G, Morris P, Prager S, Spielman R. What constitutes informed consent in the treatment of childhood gender dysphoria?: some comments on the Trans20 study. BMJ Open. 2019 Dec 14; 9(11): e032151. Available from:

Tollit MA, Pace CC, Telfer M, Hoq M, Bryson J, Fulkoski N, et al. What are the health outcomes of trans and gender diverse young people in Australia? Study protocol for the Trans20 longitudinal cohort study. BMJ Open. 2019 Nov 4; 9(11): e032151. DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-032151.

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