Study about de/retransition
Detransition and retransition are terms used in different ways. They may refer to the discontinuation of the medical gender-affirming treatment to transition from one gender to another. Detransition/retransition may, also, mean that someone goes back to identifying with the sex they were assigned with at birth, that the gender identity has become less important to them or that the person has started to identify in a different way. Some also distinguish between medical detransition, which refers to the discontinuation of medical gender-confirming treatments, and social detransition, which refers to a process of changing social aspects of a previous social transition. In some cases, the concept of retransition is also used, which means making a transition after having previously made one (or more) transitions, but not necessarily back to the gender assigned at birth.
Within the above groups there may also be individuals who regret previously completed treatments or other steps they have taken during their process. These concepts have, however, been used in different ways in literature, which has led to some confusion around their meaning.
In Sweden, the debate about gender-affirming care, especially for young people, has been intensified during the recent years. In February 2022, the National Board of Health and Welfare also came up with new recommendations for hormonal treatment for young people, which are considerably stricter than before. It is now recommended that hormonal treatment should only be offered to minors in exceptional cases; otherwise only in the context of a research project. The changed recommendations are based, among other things, on SBU's compilation of evidence for the state of gender-affirming care for young people. It is stated that, among other things, it is not possible to determine how common it is for people to change their gender identity, stop treatment or in some aspect regret it. They also express concern about a large number of detransitioned people whose experiences and needs are not documented.
The aim of the study is to explore the experiences and needs of people who have experienced de/retransition in some form. We see a great need to initially conduct this qualitative study in order to be able to quantitively measure the prevalence of detransitioned people in a systematic way in the long term. Increased knowledge in this area is also important to further develop gender-affirming healthcare both during the assessment period but also after receiving a diagnosis and gender-affirming treatment.