Here is What You Need to Know About Care Of Transgender Youths And Teenagers

In Education

Gender identity is a certainty for some people, including children, who may not identify with the gender they were assigned at birth. Denying or ignoring their gender identity can be dangerous.

Gender identity exploration common among children

Assigned sex is based on body characteristics or chromosomes, and while most children are fine with their gender assignment, some feel that they are in the wrong body, don’t fit either sex or move between the two. Gender identity exploration in young children is joint, but when a child truly feels they are in the wrong body, it is not a phase but who they know themselves to be.

Approximately 0.6% of adults and 0.7% of teenagers identify as transgender or “gender nonconforming,” which amounts to roughly five students in every high school. However, these individuals often face exclusion, scorn, and bullying, which puts them at risk of depression and anxiety. In addition, gender-nonconforming youth usually don’t disclose their feelings until about a decade after they first realize they feel different, which can lead to suicidal thoughts and attempts.

Mental health issues in transgender children due to discrimination

Being gender-nonconforming is not caused by mental health issues. The mental health problems in this population arise from feeling uncomfortable in their bodies and being treated poorly by others.

The American Psychiatric Association and American Academy of Pediatrics advocate for gender-affirming care based on evidence and support youth in being themselves. This care recognizes that diverse gender expression is natural human diversity, not a mental health disorder.

Providing gender-affirming care to gender-nonconforming youth is crucial for their mental and physical health. This care supports them with a team of understanding providers rather than using harmful conversion therapies. The AAP, the American Psychiatric Association, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration all oppose such therapies and believe everyone has the right to be themselves and receive necessary care. People should not change who they are, especially when the change comes at a considerable cost. Therefore, it is a fundamental human right for individuals in this category to receive necessary care without bias.

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