DES Sons and the Significance of Gender Identity

DES Sons International Network Statistics of Individuals with Gender-related Issues or Outcomes Among Network Members

Scott Kerlin, 5-Year Research Summary Update, October 2004

  1. Within a few months of the formation of the Network in 1999, several members raised issues regarding gender dysphoria as among their (apparent) side effects. Over time this issue became more common in private disclosures to me by members, as well as online group discussions. Over time, gender identity issues and transsexualism emerged in discussions among regular DES Sons International Network members. Ultimately because of the sensitivity of many gender-related discussions, some members wished to have a more private discussion environment separate from the main DES Sons International Network. In January 2002 I formed the DES-Trans Gender Support Group (DES-Trans) for more extensive discussions of these issues.
  2. Somewhere between one-quarter and one-third of members of the DES Sons International Network since 1999 have indicated (through my private surveys and/or interviews of members, membership poll responses, or through personal introductions and subsequent discussion postings to the Network) that gender identity and/or sexuality issues were among the most significant issues they needed to understand or seek further support.
  3. The majority of individuals who joined the Network (i.e. somewhere between 2/3 and 3/4 of the total, or about 350 persons) did not mention gender issues or concerns during their personal introductions, health histories, or subsequent Network discussions. I have no way of knowing how many of these individuals may also have gender-related issues, unless at a subsequent time they have chosen to raise them (as some have in private correspondence with me). I suspect there are others for whom it is an underlying concern but not an easy for them to articulate without fear of ridicule or dismissal from others.
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