New research finds an essential hyperlink between gender-affirming care and psychological well being for trans youth
The study has a relatively small sample size: 300 transgender youth between 10 and 17 years of age. The minors were treated at the Transgender Youth Clinic (TYC) of the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada. The clinic cares for minors under 18 who are going through puberty. One limitation of the study is that the mental health reports were drawn up at a specific point in time. The age at which the patients received their diagnoses is also unknown. For example, it's possible that older teenagers reported a higher rate of depression diagnoses because they had more time and possibly the awareness to get one. Even so, the results are still important.
At the clinic, researchers found that minors older than 15 years (when they became patients at the clinic) were more likely to report depression, consider suicide, injure themselves, and attempt suicide than those between 10 and 15 Years. Another way to think about it is that a general conservative discussion point depends on transsexuals (or LGBTQ + adolescents) being “too young” to know their bodies or needs. These and similar studies show that people who receive gender-affirming care have a real advantage when asked for it, rather than their surroundings trying to brush it off as a "phase".
The lead author of the study, the pediatric endocrinologist Dr. Julia C. Sorbara told NBC News that, as makes sense for many of us, a "Much of puberty consists of developing physical changes, and in teens with gender dysphoria, they begin to develop physical changes that do not match the gender they have identified. “It's not surprising how Dr. Sorbara put it that this experience can be "very stressful". The doctor pointed out to the publication that many transgender teenagers may want or need access to care like at this clinic but cannot get it.
Again, this is not just an ethical guess or assumption. This study is one of many that confirm the importance of a supportive, gender-affirming medical and social experience to mental health. In general, the transgender community reports higher rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide attempts. Transgender teens also report higher rates of bullying, harassment and homelessness than their cisgender peers. What makes the difference Adoption.
As reported by Daily Kos, Republican senators across the country have no qualms about discreetly introducing anti-transgender laws specifically targeting children. While talk of anti-trans bathroom bills has calmed down, excitement has grown with fixations about who can play and compete in girls' sports. For example, Senator Kelly Loeffler of Georgia recently tabled a bill aimed at keeping transgender girls and women out of girls' sports following the steps of a similar attempt in Idaho.
You can help transgender youth – and LGBTQ + youth in general – by using the correct pronouns, validating and accepting identities, and of course learning about the enduring Allies and LGBTQ + history. We also have a roundup of five free mental health and suicide prevention resources here.
If you or someone you know is having trouble, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255 in English and Spanish.
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