Most studies have found that youth who do not conform to gender norms for their assigned sex have higher rates of depression and anxiety than their cisgender peers.1,2 However, more recent research featuring smaller cohorts (ie, ranging from 31 to 73 participants) of socially transitioned transgender youth—youth who identify and live as a gender different from their sex assignment at birth—show normative or only slightly elevated rates of depression and anxiety.3-5 We recruited a new, larger sample of socially transitioned transgender youth, their siblings, and age- and gender-matched control participants to test whether transgender youth experience significantly higher levels of anxiety and depression than their cisgender peers.
In Virginia, a battle is raging over a new transgender rights policy passed by the Loudoun County School Board this month.
Conservative legislators and special interest groups are using scientific studies as a cudgel in their attempts to limit children’s access to gender affirming healthcare.
A recent fundraising letter from the political action arm of the Family Research Council openly describes its legislative attack on access to health care for transgender youth as a political strategy designed to secure conservative electoral victories in 2022.
The letter and its accompanying “fact sheet” on the “Save Adolescents from Experimentation” (SAFE) Act are filled with disinformation about what it calls “the transgender experiment now preying on thousands of American children.” The premise of FRC’s fundraising package is a false and malicious insinuation that “experimental hormone treatments” and “cosmetic surgery” are being “imposed” on children and are “destroying the lives of thousands of American children every year.”
While FRC falsely claims that gender transition “is an experiment, not medical care,” an April 2021 Harvard Law Review article noted that “every major U.S. medical association recognizes that gender-affirming healthcare is a medically necessary treatment” for people experiencing gender dysphoria—the medical term for distress caused by a discrepancy between a person’s assigned sex and gender identity. For the record, treatment of trans youth begins with therapy and counseling. Children who have not yet reached puberty generally are not treated with medical interventions but may be provided with emotional support to transition socially.
But FRC’s goal is not truth-telling; it is inciting fear and outrage and channeling it for political purposes—a strategy its president make explicit.
A federal judge in Indianapolis has ruled against a former Brownsburg teacher who said he was forced to resign after refusing to call transgender students by their chosen names.
The judge on Monday rejected former orchestra teacher John Kluge’s allegations of religious discrimination and retaliation against the Brownsburg Community School Corporation.
According to supporters of the raft of proposed laws targeting trans youth in state legislatures around the country, the answer is emphatically yes: Transgender children are a liberal American fad.
Are they right? Is the Family Research Council, a powerful right-wing organization that supports many of these bills, correct when it claims that children like mine are the result of “a resurgence of postmodern thinking”? Is it true, as a best-selling book has argued, that my daughter is part of a “transgender craze” sweeping America’s youth?
Why are trans youth more visible these days? Is it due to more widespread acceptance, or more media coverage? Just how many trans kids are there?
There seem to be few clear-cut answers. But after talking with a number of scholars who study transgender youth – and editing articles written by them – I learned that the history of trans kids and some ongoing research can shed some light on how the U.S. got to this moment.
We should listen to young folks about their gender identity. The risks of not are far higher.
For the best possible outcomes, we should do everything we can to ensure that trans people feel comfortable coming out and transitioning as soon as they are able to understand their gender. This will make the lives of so many people inordinately easier at no real cost to society. Anything else is inhumane.
Three new books are aiming to help educate children and adults about nonbinary and transgender youth.
The GenderCool Project, a youth-led movement that works to replace misinformed opinions on transgender and nonbinary youth, has partnered with A Kids Book About to release three children’s books that aim to educate and inspire.