Hormone therapy improves mental health of transgender youth.That’s the takeaway from a new study New England Journal of Medicinewas released last week.
The survey is reportedly the largest in the United States to date. Over the course of two years, researchers followed her 315 transgender and nonbinary adolescents from her 12-year-old to her 20-year-old receiving hormone therapy. According to the study abstract, “Over the course of the study, there was an increase in appearance matching (gender identity and physical appearance matching), positive impact, and life satisfaction, and a decrease in depression and anxiety symptoms. .”
Researchers reported that adolescents assigned female at birth gained greater benefits when taking testosterone than adolescents assigned male at birth who took estrogen. They speculate that several factors may be at work here, including the speed at which transfeminine people face greater social stigma than transmasculine people.
The authors conclude that providing adolescents with gender-affirming hormones (GAH) has seen a “significant increase in referrals, but limited evidence on long-term outcomes has led to controversy and debate.” says. Across the country, state legislators have introduced legislation to limit or outright ban gender-affirming care for transgender youth.
“Studies like this are important because they provide longer-term data,” said Kareen Matouk, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist in the Gender Identity Program at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. self magazine. “This will help individuals and their families navigate the health care system more easily and confidently, and protect access to gender-affirming care that lawmakers seek to deny.”
Opponents of gender-affirming care for transgender youth often argue that adolescent blockers and GAHs can have harmful or irreversible effects. However, Matuk said, “Gender-affirming hormone therapy is generally safe and effective under the supervision of an endocrinologist or health care provider who specializes in transgender health care and has experience in initiating hormone therapy. We have some data that suggests that
Gender-affirming care for both adolescents and adults is necessary to save the lives of transgender people, according to the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychiatric Association, and many other professional groups. It is approved as
The authors of the new study stress that more research is needed on other factors, such as access to mental health care and the quality of peer and family support, but their findings suggest that While GAH improves mental health, withholding treatment increases gender dysphoria and negatively impacts psychological functioning.”