rain
Monday May 21st, 2018 4:45AM

Not just boy and girl; more teens identify as transgender

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

CHICAGO (AP) — Far more U.S. teens than previously thought are transgender or identify themselves using other nontraditional gender terms, with many rejecting the idea that girl and boy are the only options, new research suggests.

The study looked at students in ninth and 11th grade and estimated that nearly 3 percent are transgender or gender nonconforming, meaning they don't always self-identify as the sex they were assigned at birth. That includes kids who refer to themselves using neutral pronouns like "them" instead of "he" or "she."

"Diverse gender identities are more prevalent than people would expect," said lead author Nic Rider, a University of Minnesota postdoctoral fellow who studies transgender health.

The study is an analysis of a 2016 statewide survey of almost 81,000 Minnesota teens.

Nearly 2,200 identified as transgender or gender nonconforming. The study found that these kids reported worse mental and physical health than other kids, echoing results seen in previous research. Bullying and discrimination are among possible reasons for the differences, Rider said, although the survey didn't ask.

Rider said it's a study based on a statewide population of teens in ninth and 11th grades and that the results can be used to estimate numbers of trans and gender nonconforming teens in those grades across the United States.

The study was published Monday in Pediatrics .

Although the study only included teens in two grades, the rates are higher than a UCLA study released last year estimating that 0.7 percent of teens aged 13 to 17 are transgender, or about 150,000 kids. That study used government data on adults to estimate numbers for children. It said 0.6 percent of U.S. adults identify as transgender, or about 1.4 million.

Some experts believe rising awareness of transgender issues has led increasing numbers of transgender teens to come out, or to experiment with gender identification.

"With growing trans visibility in the United States, some youth might find it safer to come out and talk about gender exploration," Rider said.

But differences in estimates may also reflect differences in how gender identity questions are phrased, Rider said.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not asked about transgender status on its youth surveys, noting that it is difficult to find the right question to yield a credible answer.

The survey Rider analyzed asked about the sex the teens were assigned at birth, and if they considered themselves transgender, gender queer, gender fluid or unsure about their gender identity. Kids were not asked if they had undergone surgery or other medical treatment to transition to the opposite sex.

Dr. Daniel Shumer, a specialist in transgender medicine at the University of Michigan, wrote in an accompanying opinion article in Pediatrics that the study supports other research suggesting that earlier counts of the trans population "have been underestimated by orders of magnitude." He said that the higher numbers should serve as a lesson to schools and physicians to abandon limited views of gender.

"Youth are rejecting this binary thinking and are asking adults to keep up," he wrote.

Rider said to improve health disparities affecting transgender teens, doctors should help them feel more comfortable about seeking health care by asking how they identify and if they've experienced bullying, discrimination or other victimization. That's important, Rider said, "because this conveys competence, inclusivity, and caring."

That advice echoes American Academy of Pediatrics policy that says pediatricians should use gender-neutral terms and encourage teens to feel comfortable talking "about their emerging sexual identities."

___

Follow AP Medical Writer Lindsey Tanner on Twitter at @LindseyTanner . Her work can be found at http://tinyurl.com/kv4uhoh .

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, Top General short headlines, AP Health, AP Health - Children's Health
© Copyright 2018 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Not just boy and girl; more teens identify as transgender
New research suggests that far more U.S. teens are transgender or gender nonconforming than previously thought
1:18AM ( 3 minutes ago )
Zach Ertz brings in TD catch and brings home Super Bowl ring
Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz brings in a key touchdown catch and brings home a Super Bowl ring
1:06AM ( 15 minutes ago )
Aggressive playcalling helps Eagles capture first Super Bowl
Doug Pederson called for a pass to his quarterback on fourth down, went for 2-point conversions when the chart said otherwise and stuck with the same aggressive approach in the biggest game of his coaching career.
12:54AM ( 27 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Democratic, GOP lawmakers: Memo doesn't clear Trump in probe
Democratic and Republican lawmakers say President Donald Trump was wrong to assert that a GOP-produced classified memo on FBI surveillance powers cleared him in the Russia investigation
12:29AM ( 52 minutes ago )
AP PHOTOS: Eagles beat Patriots in a thrilling Super Bowl
AP PHOTOS: The Philadelphia Eagles beat the New England Patriots 41-33 in a thrilling Super Bowl in frigid Minneapolis
12:22AM ( 59 minutes ago )
Nassar to receive final sentence in sexual assault scandal
Already facing the rest of his life in prison, former sports doctor Larry Nassar faces a third and final sentence in a sexual assault scandal
12:11AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
Abortion is a focus of early action in legislative sessions
Abortion legislation emerges as a hot topic as state legislatures get back to work around the country.
7:12PM ( 1 day ago )
State legislatures see flurry of activity on abortion bills
Abortion rises as a hot topic in this year's state legislative sessions, as activists on both sides say they expect the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in soon on how far states go in restricting access
6:54PM ( 1 day ago )
GOP-led states testing boundaries of abortion restrictions
Lawmakers in many Republican-led states are introducing bills that would severely restrict access to abortions, testing the boundaries of how far they can go
3:23PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Health
Prince William praises benefits of outdoor play for children
Britain's Prince William has praised Sweden's embrace of the great outdoors, in particular the physical and mental benefits of outdoor exercise for children
3:12PM ( 4 days ago )
Teen stricken with rare cancer weds high school sweetheart
A Florida teen who doctors say is dying from cancer has been granted one of his final wishes: a donated wedding with his high school sweetheart
7:03PM ( 6 days ago )
Scientists successfully clone monkeys; are humans up next?
The primate barrier has been broken: For the first time, scientists have successfully created monkeys by using the cloning technique that produced Dolly the sheep. Are humans up next?
4:50PM ( 1 week ago )
AP Health - Children's Health
Zach Ertz brings in TD catch and brings home Super Bowl ring
Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz brings in a key touchdown catch and brings home a Super Bowl ring
1:06AM ( 15 minutes ago )
Aggressive playcalling helps Eagles capture first Super Bowl
Doug Pederson called for a pass to his quarterback on fourth down, went for 2-point conversions when the chart said otherwise and stuck with the same aggressive approach in the biggest game of his coaching career.
12:54AM ( 27 minutes ago )
Humor, social messages proliferate at a tame Super Bowl
Super Bowl ads ran the gamut from tame humor to ... tame messages about social causes
12:50AM ( 31 minutes ago )
Here's a look at the best and the worst Super Bowl ads
During advertising biggest showcase, tame humor and messages about social causes ruled the day
12:46AM ( 35 minutes ago )
Era of trillion-dollar budget deficits is making a comeback
The era of trillion-dollar budget deficits is about make a comeback _ and a brewing budget deal could mean their return comes just next year
12:44AM ( 37 minutes ago )