Gender-Affirming Hormone Therapy for LGBTQ Youth Can Help Save Lives, Study Finds

G can be used to make a variety of things.A study that was published Tuesday in Journal of Adolescent Health found that gender-affirming hormone treatment (GAHT) significantly reduces suicide rates among transgender or nonbinary teens.

The peer-reviewed study comes from researchers at The Trevor Project, a nonprofit focused on suicide prevention among LGBTQ youth, and is the first large-scale study to examine GAHT’s impact on trans and nonbinary young people. Data from the Trevor Project Survey of more than 34,000 LGBTQ Youth between 13 and 24, across the U.S., was used to create the study. The survey covered the period October 2020 through December 2020. 12,000 respondents were identified as being transgender/nonbinary.
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Gender-affirming hormone therapy aims to help align someone’s sex characteristics with their gender identity, and can IncludeTaking hormones like testosterone and estrogen. A study showed that GAHT was more effective for young people than the alternative treatment. NotAccess it. The results of the study revealed that GAHT is associated with a nearly 40% reduction in suicide attempts among trans and nonbinary youth under 18.

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Research has shown that transgender, nonbinary youth have an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and attempts and depression than their heterosexual and gay peers. The risk is due in part to experiences with gender dysphoria, as well as “the way that they are treated in society based on their identity,” says Dr. Amy Green, the vice president of research at the Trevor Project who co-authored the study.

In the last year, misinformation and confusion about medical treatment for transgender and nonbinary youth has skyrocketed. The LGBTQ advocacy group Human Rights Campaign claims that in 2021, over 130 antitrans legislations were introduced into state legislatures. This includes at least 35 bills designed to ban medical care for trans youth. Arkansas passed a law in April that prohibited transgender teens from having access to GAHT. However, it was not. BlockadeEnjoined by a Federal Judge in July.

The study found that young people living in the South—where the majority of this year’s anti-trans health care bills have been introduced—reported the lowest rate of being able to access GHAT. Nonbinary and trans youths of color reported lower access rates to GHAT than their white counterparts.

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Many legislators who have introduced bans on medical care argue that young people can’t access GAHT. However, GAHT is only accessible through a consultation with a doctor. Und Study found that many trans and nonbinary people don’t have access to the medical care they want. A half of all transgender, nonbinary teens surveyed stated that they did not use GAHT and wanted to. The survey found that 14 percent had already received the treatment and 36% did not want to.

“I think folks should understand that this is a decision that is not made lightly, and that it’s taken into account with the best needs individually of the youth [and] of their family, in combination with medical providers and mental health clinicians,” says Green.

Doctors often recommend two paths to treat depression or suicide risk in transgender and nonbinary youth. The first is to treat gender dysphoria with gender-affirming treatments. Other is the reduction of minority stress and harmful discrimination experiences LGBTQ young people frequently face.

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Green warns that the recent bills that seek to stop trans people’s medical care are dangerous as they prevent both paths. “They’re causing increased distress and discrimination, and they’re keeping you from accessing the medications that can help reduce gender dysphoria.”

She adds that she hopes the results of the study will convince people that “when decisions are being made about health care, they’re best left to health care professionals as well as research and science.”

To reach the Crisis Text Line, text HOME to 7417141 or call 1-800-273-8255 if you think someone is contemplating suicide. For emergency situations, dial 911 or go to a hospital.


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