Gender: A Wider Lens
Gender: A Wider Lens
80 — Desistance Part II — Advice for Parents

80 — Desistance Part II — Advice for Parents


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Following on from the first episode on desistance (77), Sasha and Stella address a common question they get from parents of gender-questioning children: Could my child be desisting, and if so, how should I respond? The episode begins with a description of how it might look if a child is desisting or developing more psychological flexibility around gender. Then, they explore the many different responses parents can have when they suspect their child is in a desistance process. Commonalities among parents of desisted kids are discussed, and Sasha and Stella offer some practical advice for parents who may be confused by conflicting information from both affirmative practitioners and gender-critical commentators alike.


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Extended Notes

  • Desistance is a highly emotional subject.

  • Signs that may indicate desistance or gender flexibility in children.

  • Parents should educate themselves and relax while teenagers are exploring gender.

  • Rules of thumb for bringing up a conversation about gender with kids.

  • Stella discusses Ireland and the lack of emphasis on medicalizing children there.

  • Selfies and an emphasis on how someone looks have impacted children in negative ways.

  • Radical interventions proactive parents have done to keep kids mentally healthy and engaged in life.

  • A household in which a child feels they can be themselves can have a bigger impact than therapy in some cases.

  • Does desistance manifest differently in boys than in girls?

  • Gender can be concentrated or diluted depending on a child’s other interests.

  • Moving is a strategy to mitigate unhelpful influences.

  • In desistance stories, things that make a difference are when parents get creative about broadening their child’s life.

  • When a child adopts a new name it is much different than when they adopt different pronouns.

  • Therapy can help parents while their child is desisting.

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Gender: A Wider Lens
Gender: A Wider Lens
Therapists Stella O’Malley and Sasha Ayad explore diverse perspectives through a psychological lens, fostering open dialogue on gender identity, transition, and the transgender umbrella. Their work with gender dysphoric clients and unique experiences yield an informed outlook delving into gender's psychological nuances. Interviews with clinicians, academics, transgender individuals, parents, detransitioners, and others touched by gender provide varied insights and intimate inquiry into the taboo yet relevant topic.