Eating Disorders Significantly More Prevalent Among Transgender People, Study Finds | ThinkProgress

Eating Disorders Significantly More Prevalent Among Transgender People, Study Finds | ThinkProgress:

“Transgender people are at a significantly higher risk of having an eating disorder than their cisgender counterparts, according to a new study from researchers at Washington University in St. Louis.”


6 thoughts on “Eating Disorders Significantly More Prevalent Among Transgender People, Study Finds | ThinkProgress

  1. I have mixed feelings when I read studies like this one. On one hand its good that its identified but on the other hand I really dislike the conclusions they draw. Nothing wrong with the conclusions and they may be right. But drawing conclusions just based on empirical evidence can lead to the wrong conclusions for a person.

    The conclusions they draw try to paint all transgender people with a eating disorder as having the same reasons for having that eating disorder. Which may be the worse thing for a transgender person trying to be themselves not seen as a person that is like everyone else who fits that category or label.

    The conclusions are good for a starting point for a therapist to help a transgender with a eating disorder. But what they need to realize is that we are all individuals who may have different reasons for self-destructive behaviour like eating disorders. Even those reasons may have nothing to do with being transgender in the first place. After all a person is more than one thing like being transgender.

    Those reasons need to be discovered for each person, not do some boilerplate remedy because the therapist read a study that drew some conclusions.

    1. I agree, you cannot use a single study to diagnose an entire group. Every individual is different. I do see such studies as useful to create a larger picture of possible concerns which may impact the health of a person who also happens to be member of said group.

      1. I agree its good to have studies to create the larger picture so resources and the nature of the group can be understood better. But often I see people using a single study or try to create a smaller picture with the studies and that is a problem

        But also got my attention was them trying to explain the results. It sounded like they where guessing not basing it on actual first hand knowledge, It would be better if they did a follow up study of transgenders with eating disorders to see if there is an actual underlying common thread that leads to the disorder not assume they know the reason.

  2. I think data points like this can be useful, even if they paint an incomplete picture. And I found their conclusions match my own thinking on this.

    “Researchers point to numerous reasons the eating disorder levels might be so high for transgender people. Other studies that assessed people with “conflicted gender identity” suggested that individuals used eating behaviors to suppress or accentuate particular gendered features, such as weight loss for transgender women who may try to conform to feminine ideals of slimness and attractiveness.”

    What I see in this is a confirmation of my own observations: trans women in particular are expected to conform to social expectations of femininity to a degree that is even more extreme than their cis sisters. Or they risk having their womanhood denied by the larger culture. This results in severe self-esteem problems. If you aren’t traditionally perfect, glamorous, and beautiful at all times — you aren’t considered a woman at all. A cis woman will certainly encounter body shaming for not being traditionally slim and attractive … but nobody will actually deny her womanhood.

    This is something I personally struggle with and I think it’s a real problem.

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