A study has highlighted the rise of teenagers seeking help with gender identity.
Mismatch on the Gender They Feel Inside
A new study shows that more and more young people are feeling a mismatch between their assigned gender at birth and the gender they feel inside.
The medical term for this feeling is called gender dysphoria. The study found that children are seeking gender affirming-care at a younger and younger age, with those assigned female at birth seeking care around age 11, while those assigned male at birth seek it around age 13.
The reason behind kids seeking gender affirming-care at a younger age is not entirely understood. However, it could be because there is now better access to gender care and a more accepting society that allows for gender diversity.
This has led to fewer barriers and fears for young people expressing their gender identity.
The Outcome of Analysis
The study analyzed data from over 66 million people, and the results suggest that gender dysphoria has been increasing.
A Sharp Increase
The estimated number of gender-dysphoria cases increased significantly from 2017 to 2021, with the average age of those diagnosed also falling to a younger age.
A Key Age
For those assigned female at birth, the initial feeling of gender dysphoria begins at age 11, peaks between 17 and 19, and then declines.
Similar in Males
This is below that of those assigned male at birth by age 22. For those assigned male at birth, the prevalence starts increasing at age 13, peaks at 23, and gradually declines afterward.
Gender-affirming care helps individuals transition from their assigned gender to the gender they identify with.
However, some states have passed laws banning such care, which may be harmful to those seeking support for their gender identity.
The author of the study Dr. Ching-Fang Sun, a resident at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine in Roanoke, suggests parents of a child exploring their gender identity should try to provide support and information without pushing them toward a specific gender.
Seeking help from mental health professionals or local resources is essential if parents have questions or concerns.
A Credible Study
The study’s large sample size and geographic range add credibility to its findings, making it an important contribution to transgender health research. The study’s findings have been seen as a positive development by experts in transgender health.
A Significant Victory
The increasing number of young people seeking care at a younger age means that healthcare providers are addressing gender dysphoria earlier, which is considered a significant victory in early intervention.
Youth Are Now More Likely to Consult a Doctor
A psychologist at the Montefiore Transgender Health Program in New York City says people seeking gender-affirming care at a younger age with medical professionals is important because, “instead of trans individuals resorting to extra-medical means for gender-affirming care, the data suggests that youth are now more likely to consult a doctor and gain access to gender-affirming care with support from an interdisciplinary team.”
Crucial Professional Help
While those experiencing gender dysphoria have an increased rate of suicide and are often faced with strong prejudice, connecting them with real medical professionals can be a crucial step in assuring their safety and well-being.
Medical professionals seem to believe that this study highlights the increasing prevalence of gender dysphoria among young people, but they remain hopeful as the study also suggests those experiencing gender dysphoria seek professional help and support at a younger age.
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