Clinical management of gender dysphoria in children and adolescents: the Dutch approach

J Homosex. 2012;59(3):301-20. doi: 10.1080/00918369.2012.653300.


The Dutch approach on clinical management of both prepubertal children under the age of 12 and adolescents starting at age 12 with gender dysphoria, starts with a thorough assessment of any vulnerable aspects of the youth's functioning or circumstances and, when necessary, appropriate intervention. In children with gender dysphoria only, the general recommendation is watchful waiting and carefully observing how gender dysphoria develops in the first stages of puberty. Gender dysphoric adolescents can be considered eligible for puberty suppression and subsequent cross-sex hormones when they reach the age of 16 years. Currently, withholding physical medical interventions in these cases seems more harmful to wellbeing in both adolescence and adulthood when compared to cases where physical medical interventions were provided.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Counseling
  • Female
  • Gender Identity
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Netherlands
  • Parents / psychology
  • Puberty / psychology
  • Transsexualism / diagnosis
  • Transsexualism / etiology
  • Transsexualism / psychology
  • Transsexualism / therapy*
  • Watchful Waiting