A new study released by the University of California Los Angeles finds that gender “nonconforming” young people in California are more than twice as likely to have psychological problems than those comfortable with their biological sex.
According to the study, 17 percent of “gender nonconforming” respondents reported severe psychological distress, versus 7 percent of “gender conforming” youth.
The American College of Pediatricians has asserted that children and adolescents who are uncomfortable with their biological sex suffer from gender dysphoria, as defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V):
A person’s belief that he or she is something they are not is, at best, a sign of confused thinking. When an otherwise healthy biological boy believes he is a girl, or an otherwise healthy biological girl believes she is a boy, an objective psychological problem exists that lies in the mind, not the body, and it should be treated as such. These children suffer from gender dysphoria. Gender dysphoria (GD), formerly listed as Gender Identity Disorder (GID), is a recognized mental disorder in the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM-V)…
The study, released by the school’s Williams Institute – a sexual orientation and gender identity think tank – and the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research also found no significant differences in the rates of suicidal ideation (thinking) and suicide attempts between “gender nonconforming” young people and those who are comfortable with their biological sex.
That outcome is in stark contrast with other research often cited by proponents of the practice of immediately affirming young people who claim to be a gender that is inconsistent with their biological sex.
In 2015, for example, the Huffington Post featured a column that portrayed “transgender” individuals who consider or attempt suicide primarily as victims of “rejection by friends and family,” “discrimination,” and “internalized transphobia.”
The fear of suicide is one of the primary reasons parents of gender confused children immediately rush to affirm their children’s claim to be a different gender. The fear also fuels the recommendation by LGBT “affirming” therapists that gender-confused children must be affirmed in their gender confusion and even allowed to begin taking puberty-suppressing drugs in order to begin “transition” to the opposite sex.
The UCLA study’s authors point to lack of acceptance of the young person’s chosen gender identity and victimization by family and others as primary causes of the psychological problems experienced by “gender nonconforming” young people:
This finding highlights the need to increase access to affirming mental health care and other supports, as well as to educate parents, schools, and communities on the mental health needs of gender nonconforming youth. It also makes it clear that we must focus on continuing to reduce known risk factors, such as bullying and bias, against gender nonconforming people.
Researchers Paul Hruz, Lawrence Mayer, and Paul McHugh also address the problem of “gender-affirming” therapy in a paper titled “Growing Pains,” published at The New Atlantis.
The authors write:
Gender-affirming models of treatment are sometimes applied even to very young children. Often, the gender-affirming approach is followed in later youth and adulthood by hormonal and surgical interventions intended to make patients’ appearances align more closely with their gender identity than their biological sex. In order to improve the success of the physical changes, interventions at younger ages are increasingly being recommended.
The authors warn of decisions made to help “affirm” a gender-confused child’s perceived identity, without any connection to scientific fact or research.
“Though there is little systematically collected data on the number of young people (or even the number of adults) who identify as transgender or who have undergone sex-reassignment surgery, there is some evidence that the number of people receiving medical and psychotherapeutic care for gender identity issues is on the rise,” they write.
The UCLA study’s main headline is that, in California, 27 percent of participants between the ages of 12 and 17 self-report that others view them as “gender nonconforming” at school. The authors included two questions in the California Health Interview Survey that were asked of 1,594 young people in California between the ages of 12 and 17.
First, the young people were asked, “Are you male or female?” and, subsequent to that question, were asked:
A person’s appearance, style, dress, or the way they walk or talk may affect how people describe them. How do you think other people at school would describe you?
- Very feminine
- Mostly feminine
- Equally feminine & masculine
- Mostly masculine
- Very masculine
The authors categorized male participants, who said others describe them as “very feminine” or “mostly feminine,” and female respondents, who said others describe them as “very masculine” or “mostly masculine,” as “highly gender nonconforming,” while those youth who responded “equally feminine and masculine” were categorized as “androgynous.”
Those young people categorized as “highly gender nonconforming” numbered 59, while 331 were placed in the “androgynous” category. Of the youth participants in the study, 1,204 were in the “gender conforming” category.
California was the first state to adopt the LGBT rights agenda formally into its public schools, as part of a new history and social studies curriculum that will reach children as young as the second grade.