The article entitled “A critical commentary on follow- up studies and “desistence” theories about transgender and gender non-conforming children” by Temple Newhook et al. (2018) is a plea to abandon longitudi- nal studies on the development of gender variant chil- dren as they do not respect children’s autonomy. A few relatively recent studies are criticized and it is con- cluded that conducting longitudinal psychosexual out- come studies and acknowledging the children’s feelings are contradictory. We agree that the longitudi- nal studies currently available have their limitations. We do, however, strongly disagree with the authors that studies on gender variant children’s development should be abandoned and that our studies do not take children’s needs and voices seriously or are unethical.
By Thomas D. Steensma and Peggy T. Cohen-Kettenis, 2018