University of Leicester
2021SmithADclinpsy.pdf (1.97 MB)

Exploring gender transition: Partner experiences and attitudes towards adolescent gender services

Download (1.97 MB)
posted on 2022-02-17, 22:04 authored by Aimee Smith
Literature Review:
Qualitative research was reviewed to further understand the experiences of partners in romantic relationships with people who are transitioning gender. A systematic search of the literature was conducted, and a quality appraisal tool utilised to select nine papers. A thematic synthesis generated four themes: Changes in sexual relationship; new roles and responsibilities; identity and belonging; loss and transformation. Findings suggested experiences of ambiguous loss and disenfranchised grief, changes in sexual intimacy and sexual roles. The findings were considered in relation to dominant trans-affirmative discourses and marginalised positions in LGBTQ communities. There is a need for open and supportive spaces for partners to explore and share their experiences.
Research Paper:
There are debates around the conceptualisation of gender identity within the research. There are also debates concerning how adolescent gender services should respond when an adolescent wishes to transition gender. Q-Methodology was utilised in order to further understand the positions in relation to these debates. Analysis identified three factors: ‘affirmative action is needed now’, ‘gender exploration is key’ and ‘proceed with caution’. Affirmative action is needed now argued for all medical interventions to be offered with little or no assessment and gatekeeping from gender services. Gender exploration is key argued for slowing down the process and taking an explorative view rather than advocating for medical interventions. Finally proceed with caution advocated for a staged approach to intervention starting with a diagnosis of gender dysphoria followed by the most reversible interventions to the least reversible. There were consensus agreements around informed consent and offering social networking opportunities. The findings of the study depict three clear positions within the debates around interventions for adolescents wishing to transition, individuals may be able to consider and reflect upon their own positioning.



Gareth Morgan; Ceri Jones

Date of award


Author affiliation

Department of Clinical Psychology

Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • DClinPsy



Usage metrics

    University of Leicester Theses


    No categories selected


    Ref. manager