Transgender people are born that way, a new study has found

Transgender people are born that way, according to a new study.

Researchers at the University of São Paulo’s Medical School have compared the brains of trans and cisgender adults, and discovered that they are significantly different.

In the study, it was found that the insula – a region of the brain – had a distinct volume depending on whether it was in the brain of a trans or cis subject.


The insula plays an important role in people’s body image, self-awareness and empathy.

Giancarlo Spizzirri, first author of the study – which was published in Scientific Reports – said that the result led them to believe that people are trans in the womb.

“We found that trans people have characteristics that bring them closer to the gender with which they identify and their brains have particularities, suggesting that the differences begin to occur during gestation,” he said in a statement.

(Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)

Carmita Abdo, coordinator of the Sexuality Research Programme at the university and the study’s principal investigator, emphasised that the study showed being trans was not a product of society.

It found that the term ‘transgender’ “doesn’t just refer to different kinds of behaviour that people develop,” said Abdo.

“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.”

Professor Geraldo Busatto, who heads the Psychiatric Neuroimaging Laboratory at the university’s hospital, said it would be “simplistic to make a direct link with transgender, but the detection of a difference in the insula is relevant”.

Comments (0)

MyPinkNews members are invited to comment on articles to discuss the content we publish, or debate issues more generally. Please familiarise yourself with our community guidelines to ensure that our community remains a safe and inclusive space for all.

Loading Comments