Over the last several years, a key point of controversy has emerged at the heart of the transgender child phenomenon – namely, the desistance debate. In simple terms, the debate involves this question: Of the children who experience gender dysphoria in their prepubescent years, how many of them will “persist” in this experience such that they eventually transition and/or identify as transgender in adulthood, and how many will “desist” in this experience such that, in adulthood, their sense of gender identity eventually aligns with their natal (birth) sex? The purpose of this essay is to analyze the desistance debate, both within and beyond the polarities of the culture war
While there certainly are similarities between Gender Identity Change Efforts (GICE) and Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (SOCE), there are also some significant differences. The purpose of this study is to consider both the similarities and, especially, the differences between SOCE and GICE. The motivation behind this study is not to defend either SOCE or (what has been called) GICE. Rather, the primary purpose of this study is to explore the differences between SOCE and GICE in order to challenge the widespread conflation of the two and address some of the unhelpful ramifications that stem from this conflation.