Article: Age of Realization and Disclosure of Gender Identity Among Transgender Adults

The “rapid-onset gender dysphoria” (ROGD) hypothesis theorized, based on a parent report survey, a distinct and more transient form of gender dysphoria in which individuals purportedly come to understand themselves as transgender and/or gender diverse (TGD) suddenly during adolescence. 

This study evaluated components of ROGD by (1) estimating the prevalence among TGD adults of first realizing one’s TGD identity after childhood (i.e., after the onset of puberty), and (2) assessing the median time between realizing one’s gender identity and disclosing this to someone else. Some have theorized that people who initially realize their transgender and/or gender diverse (TGD) identities during adolescence will not continue to hold TGD identities in adulthood. This study found that later onset of TGD identity realization was common among TGD adults.

A substantial proportion of TGD adults reported realizing their gender identity was different from societal expectations based on their sex assigned at birth during adolescence or later. Several years typically elapsed between participants’ TGD identity realization and sharing this with another person. The results of this study do not support the ROGD hypothesis.