Transgender children are born this way, study shows

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Researchers at the University of São Paulo’s Medical School have compared the brains of trans and cisgender adults and found out that the differences were significant. In the study, it was found that the insula – a region of the brain – of a trans person has a different volume in comparison to cis one. The insula plays an important role in people’s body image, self-awareness and empathy, so it definitely can be a defining factor of self-identity, in part from the point of view of gender. Giancarlo Spizzirri, first author of the study – which was published in Scientific Reports – said that the trans identity can occur on the stage of gestation. Carmita Abdo, coordinator of the Sexuality Research Programme at the university and the study’s principal investigator, emphasized that the study showed that being trans is not a model of behavior, it is not an issue that can be socially determined or transformed. “We observed specificities in the brains of trans individuals, an important finding in light of the idea of gender ideology, ” she added, “The evidence is building that it’s not a matter of ideology. Our own research based on MRI scans points to a detectable structural basis.”

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