Gender dysphoria

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Gender dysphoria
Other namesGender identity disorder
SpecialtyPsychiatry, psychology Edit this on Wikidata
SymptomsDistress related to one's assigned gender or sex[1][2][3]
ComplicationsEating disorders, suicide, depression, anxiety, social isolation[4]
Differential diagnosisVariance in gender identity or expression that is not distressing[1][3]
TreatmentTransitioning, psychotherapy[2][3]
MedicationHormones (e.g., androgens, antiandrogens, estrogens)

Gender dysphoria (GD) is the distress a person feels due to a mismatch between their gender identity—their personal sense of their own gender—and their sex assigned at birth.[5][6] The diagnostic label gender identity disorder (GID) was used until 2013 with the release of the DSM-5. The condition was renamed to remove the stigma associated with the term disorder.[7]

People with gender dysphoria commonly identify as transgender.[8] Gender nonconformity is not the same thing as gender dysphoria[9] and does not always lead to dysphoria or distress.[10] According to the American Psychiatric Association, the critical element of gender dysphoria is "clinically significant distress".[1]

The causes of gender dysphoria are unknown but a gender identity likely reflects genetic and biological, environmental, and cultural factors.[11][12][13] Treatment for gender dysphoria may include supporting the individual's gender expression or their desire for hormone therapy or surgery.[2][3] Treatment may also include counseling or psychotherapy.[3]

Some researchers and transgender people support declassification of the condition because they say the diagnosis pathologizes gender variance and reinforces the binary model of gender.[14]

Signs and symptoms[edit]

Distress arising from an incongruence between a person's felt gender and assigned sex/gender (usually at birth) is the cardinal symptom of gender dysphoria.[15][16]

Gender dysphoria in those assigned male at birth tends to follow one of two broad trajectories: early-onset or late-onset. Early-onset gender dysphoria is behaviorally visible in childhood. Sometimes gender dysphoria will stop for a while in this group and they will identify as gay or homosexual for a period of time, followed by recurrence of gender dysphoria. This group is usually sexually attracted to members of their natal sex in adulthood. Late-onset gender dysphoria does not include visible signs in early childhood, but some report having had wishes to be the opposite sex in childhood that they did not report to others. Trans women who experience late-onset gender dysphoria will usually be sexually attracted to women and may identify as lesbians or bisexual. It is common for people assigned male at birth who have late-onset gender dysphoria to cross-dress with sexual excitement. In those assigned female at birth, early-onset gender dysphoria is the most common course. This group is usually sexually attracted to women. Trans men who experience late-onset gender dysphoria will usually be sexually attracted to men and may identify as gay.[17][18]

Symptoms of GD in children include preferences for opposite sex-typical toys, games, or activities; great dislike of their own genitalia; and a strong preference for playmates of the opposite sex.[19] Some children may also experience social isolation from their peers, anxiety, loneliness, and depression.[4]

In adolescents and adults, symptoms include the desire to be and to be treated as the other sex.[19] Adults with GD are at increased risk for stress, isolation, anxiety, depression, poor self-esteem, and suicide.[4] Transgender people are also at heightened risk for eating disorders[20] and substance abuse.[21]

Causes[edit]

The specific causes of gender dysphoria remain unknown, and treatments targeting the etiology or pathogenesis of gender dysphoria do not exist.[22] Evidence from studies of twins suggests that genetic factors play a role in the development of gender dysphoria[11][12] and gender identity is thought to likely reflect a complex interplay of biological, environmental, and cultural factors.[13]

Diagnosis[edit]

The American Psychiatric Association permits a diagnosis of gender dysphoria in adolescents or adults if two or more of the following criteria are experienced for at least six months' duration:[19]

  • A strong desire to be of a gender other than one's assigned gender
  • A strong desire to be treated as a gender other than one's assigned gender
  • A significant incongruence between one's experienced or expressed gender and one's sexual characteristics
  • A strong desire for the sexual characteristics of a gender other than one's assigned gender
  • A strong desire to be rid of one's sexual characteristics due to incongruence with one's experienced or expressed gender
  • A strong conviction that one has the typical reactions and feelings of a gender other than one's assigned gender

In addition, the condition must be associated with clinically significant distress or impairment.[19]

The DSM-5 moved this diagnosis out of the sexual disorders category and into a category of its own.[19] The diagnosis was renamed from gender identity disorder to gender dysphoria, after criticisms that the former term was stigmatizing.[23] Subtyping by sexual orientation was deleted. The diagnosis for children was separated from that for adults, as "gender dysphoria in children". The creation of a specific diagnosis for children reflects the lesser ability of children to have insight into what they are experiencing, or ability to express it if they have insight.[24] Other specified gender dysphoria or unspecified gender dysphoria can be diagnosed if a person does not meet the criteria for gender dysphoria but still has clinically significant distress or impairment.[19] Intersex people are now included in the diagnosis of GD.[25]

The International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) lists several disorders related to gender identity:[26][27]

  • Transsexualism (F64.0): Desire to live and be accepted as a member of the opposite sex, usually accompanied by a desire for surgery and hormonal treatment
  • Gender identity disorder of childhood (F64.2): Persistent and intense distress about one's assigned gender, manifested prior to puberty
  • Other gender identity disorders (F64.8)
  • Gender identity disorder, unspecified (F64.9)
  • Sexual maturation disorder (F66.0): Uncertainty about one's gender identity or sexual orientation, causing anxiety or distress

The ICD-11, which will come into effect on 1 January 2022, significantly revises classification of gender identity-related conditions.[28] Under "conditions related to sexual health", the ICD-11 lists "gender incongruence", which is coded into three conditions:[29]

  • Gender incongruence of adolescence or adulthood (HA60): replaces F64.0
  • Gender incongruence of childhood (HA61): replaces F64.2
  • Gender incongruence, unspecified (HA6Z): replaces F64.9

In addition, sexual maturation disorder has been removed, along with dual-role transvestism.[30] ICD-11 defines gender incongruence as "a marked and persistent incongruence between an individual’s experienced gender and the assigned sex", with no requirement for significant distress or impairment.

Treatment[edit]

Treatment for a person diagnosed with GD may include psychological counseling, supporting the individual's gender expression, or hormone therapy or surgery. This may involve physical transition resulting from medical interventions such as hormonal treatment, genital surgery, electrolysis or laser hair removal, chest/breast surgery, or other reconstructive surgeries.[31] The goal of treatment may simply be to reduce problems resulting from the person's transgender status, for example, counseling the patient in order to reduce guilt associated with cross-dressing.[32]

Guidelines have been established to aid clinicians. The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) Standards of Care are used by some clinicians as treatment guidelines. Others use guidelines outlined in Gianna Israel and Donald Tarver's Transgender Care.[33] Guidelines for treatment generally follow a "harm reduction" model.[34][35][36]

Children[edit]

The question of whether to counsel young children to be happy with their assigned sex, or to allow them to continue to exhibit behaviors that do not match their assigned sex—or to explore a gender transition—is controversial. Follow-up studies of children with gender dysphoria until 2013 consistently show that the majority of them will not remain gender dysphoric after puberty and will instead identify as gay or lesbian.[37][38][39][needs update] People are more likely to keep having gender dysphoria the more intense their gender dysphoria, cross-gendered behavior, and verbal identification with the desired/experienced gender are (i.e. stating that they are a different gender rather than wish to be a different gender).[40]

Professionals who treat gender dysphoria in children sometimes prescribe puberty blockers to delay the onset of puberty until a child is believed to be old enough to make an informed decision on whether hormonal or surgical gender reassignment is in their best interest.[41][42] The American Academy of Pediatrics state that "pubertal suppression in children who identify as TGD [transgender and gender diverse] generally leads to improved psychological functioning in adolescence and young adulthood."[43]

A review commissioned by the UK Department of Health found that there was very low certainty of quality of evidence about puberty blocker outcomes in terms of mental health, quality of life and impact on gender dysphoria.[44] The Finnish government commissioned a review of the research evidence for treatment of minors and the Finnish Ministry of Health concluded that there are no research-based health care methods for minors with gender dysphoria.[45] Nevertheless, they recommend the use of puberty blockers for minors on a case-by-case basis. In the United States, several states have introduced or are considering legislation that would prohibit the use of puberty blockers in the treatment of transgender children.[46] The American Medical Association, the Endocrine Society, the American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the American Academy of Pediatrics oppose bans on puberty blockers for transgender children.[47][48][49][50][51] In the UK, in the case of Bell v Tavistock, an appeal court ruled that children under 16 could give consent to receiving puberty blockers.[52]

Psychological treatments[edit]

Until the 1970s, psychotherapy was the primary treatment for gender dysphoria and generally was directed to helping the person adjust to their assigned sex. Psychotherapy is any therapeutic interaction that aims to treat a psychological problem. Psychotherapy may be used in addition to biological interventions, although some clinicians use only psychotherapy to treat gender dysphoria.[22] Psychotherapeutic treatment of GD involves helping the patient to adapt to their gender incongruence or to explorative investigation of confounding co-occurring[53][54][55][56] mental health issues. Attempts to alleviate GD by changing the patient's gender identity to reflect assigned sex have been ineffective.[57]: 1741 

Biological treatments[edit]

Biological treatments physically alter primary and secondary sex characteristics to reduce the discrepancy between an individual's physical body and gender identity.[58] Biological treatments for GD are typically undertaken in conjunction with psychotherapy; however, the WPATH Standards of Care state that psychotherapy should not be an absolute requirement for biological treatments.[59] It is known that some mental disorders are important to evaluate and treat before proceeding with hormones or surgery, as treatment of these mental disorders can sometimes make the wish for altering one's body disappear or significantly lessen.[58]

Psychotherapy, hormone therapy, and sex reassignment surgery can be effective at treating GD when the WPATH Standards of Care 6 are followed.[57]: 1570  Hormonal treatments have been shown to reduce a number of symptoms of psychiatric distress associated with gender dysphoria.[60] A WPATH commissioned systematic review of the outcomes of hormone therapy "found evidence that gender-affirming hormone therapy may be associated with improvements in [quality of life] scores and decreases in depression and anxiety symptoms among transgender people." The strength of the evidence was low due to methodological limitations of the studies undertaken.[61] Those who choose to undergo sex reassignment surgery report high satisfaction rates with the outcome, though these studies have limitations including risk of bias (lack of randomization, lack of controlled studies, self-reported outcomes) and high loss to follow up.[62][63][64]

For adolescents, much is unknown, including persistence. Disagreement among practitioners regarding treatment of adolescents is in part due to the lack of long-term data.[53] Young people qualifying for biomedical treatment according to the Dutch model[65][66] (including having GD from early childhood on which intensifies at puberty and absence of psychiatric comorbidities that could challenge diagnosis or treatment) found reduction in gender dysphoria, although limitations to these outcome studies have been noted, such as lack of controls or considering alternatives like psychotherapy.[67]

More rigorous studies are needed to assess the effectiveness, safety, and long-term benefits and risks of hormonal and surgical treatments.[62] For instance, a 2020 Cochrane review found insufficient evidence[68] to determine whether feminizing hormones were safe or effective. Several studies have found significant long-term psychological and psychiatric pathology after surgical treatments.[62] The Swedish West Region commissioned Health Technology Assessment found in 2018 that the certainty of the evidence for sustained satisfaction with surgery was very low.[69]

Comorbidities[edit]

Among youth, around 20% to 30% of individuals heading to gender clinics meet the DSM criteria for a anxiety disorder.[70]

A review in 2014 stated that gender dysphoria symptoms in people with schizophrenia may arise due to delusionally changed gender identity or appear regardless of psychotic process.[71]

A widely held view among clinicians is that there is an over-representation of neurodevelopmental conditions amongst individuals with GD, although this view has been questioned.[72] Studies on children and adolescents with gender dysphoria have found a high prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) traits or a confirmed diagnosis of ASD. Adults with gender dysphoria attending specialist gender clinics have also been shown to have high rates of ASD traits or an autism diagnosis as well.[73] It has been estimated that children with ASD were over four times as likely to be diagnosed with GD,[72] with ASD being reported from 6% to over 20% of teens referring to gender identity services.[74]

Epidemiology[edit]

The DSM-5 estimates that about 0.005% to 0.014% of people assigned male at birth and 0.002% to 0.003% of people assigned female at birth are diagnosable with gender dysphoria.[75]

According to Black's Medical Dictionary, gender dysphoria “occurs in one in 30,000 male births and one in 100,000 female births.”[76] Studies in European countries in the early 2000s found that about 1 in 12,000 natal male adults and 1 in 30,000 natal female adults seek out sex reassignment surgery.[77] Studies of hormonal treatment or legal name change find higher prevalence than sex reassignment, with, for example a 2010 Swedish study finding that 1 in 7,750 adult natal males and 1 in 13,120 adult natal females requested a legal name change to a name of the opposite gender.[77]

Studies that measure transgender status by self-identification find even higher rates of gender identity different from sex assigned at birth (although some of those who identify as transgender or gender nonconforming may not experience clinically significant distress and so do not have gender dysphoria). A study in New Zealand found that 1 in 3,630 natal males and 1 in 22,714 natal females have changed their legal gender markers.[77] A survey of Massachusetts adults found that 0.5% identify as transgender.[77][78] A national survey in New Zealand of 8,500 randomly selected secondary school students from 91 randomly selected high schools found 1.2% of students responded "yes" to the question "Do you think you are transgender?".[79] Outside of a clinical setting, the stability of transgender or non-binary identities is unknown.[77]

Research indicates people who transition in adulthood are up to three times more likely to be male assigned at birth, but that among people transitioning in childhood the sex ratio is close to 1:1.[80] The prevalence of gender dysphoria in children is unknown due to the absence of formal prevalence studies.[40]

History[edit]

Neither the DSM-I (1952) nor the DSM-II (1968) contained a diagnosis analogous to gender dysphoria. Gender identity disorder first appeared as a diagnosis in the DSM-III (1980), where it appeared under "psychosexual disorders" but was used only for the childhood diagnosis. Adolescents and adults received a diagnosis of transsexualism (homosexual, heterosexual, or asexual type). The DSM-III-R (1987) added "Gender Identity Disorder of Adolescence and Adulthood, Non-Transsexual Type" (GIDAANT).[81][82][83]

Society and culture[edit]

A sign at a trans rights rally: "Gender is like that old jumper from my cousin: It was given to me and it doesn't fit."

Researchers disagree about the nature of distress and impairment in people with GD. Some authors have suggested that people with GD suffer because they are stigmatized and victimized;[14][84] and that, if society had less strict gender divisions, transgender people would suffer less.[85]

Some controversy surrounds the creation of the GD diagnosis, with Davy et al. stating that although the creators of the diagnosis state that it has rigorous scientific support, "it is impossible to scrutinize such claims, since the discussions, methodological processes, and promised field trials of the diagnosis have not been published."[25]

Some cultures have three defined genders: man, woman, and effeminate man. For example, in Samoa, the fa'afafine, a group of feminine males, are entirely socially accepted. The fa'afafine do not have any of the stigma or distress typically associated in most cultures with deviating from a male/female gender role. This suggests the distress so frequently associated with GD in a Western context is not caused by the disorder itself, but by difficulties encountered from social disapproval by one's culture.[86] However, research has found that the anxiety associated with gender dysphoria persists in cultures, Eastern or otherwise, which are more accepting of gender nonconformity.[87]

In Australia, a 2014 High Court of Australia judgment unanimously ruled in favor of a plaintiff named Norrie, who asked to be classified by a third gender category, 'non-specific', after a long court battle with the NSW Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages.[88] However, the Court did not accept that gender was a social construction: it found that sex reassignment "surgery did not resolve her sexual ambiguity".[88]: para 11 

Classification as a disorder[edit]

The psychiatric diagnosis of gender identity disorder (now gender dysphoria) was introduced in DSM-III in 1980. Arlene Istar Lev and Deborah Rudacille have characterized the addition as a political maneuver to re-stigmatize homosexuality.[89][90] (Homosexuality was removed from DSM-II in 1974.) By contrast, Kenneth Zucker and Robert Spitzer argue that gender identity disorder was included in DSM-III because it "met the generally accepted criteria used by the framers of DSM-III for inclusion."[91] Some researchers, including Spitzer and Paul J. Fink, contend that the behaviors and experiences seen in transsexualism are abnormal and constitute a dysfunction.[92] The American Psychiatric Association stated that gender nonconformity is not the same thing as gender dysphoria,[9] and that "gender nonconformity is not in itself a mental disorder. The critical element of gender dysphoria is the presence of clinically significant distress associated with the condition."[1]

Individuals with gender dysphoria may or may not regard their own cross-gender feelings and behaviors as a disorder. Advantages and disadvantages exist to classifying gender dysphoria as a disorder.[3] Because gender dysphoria had been classified as a disorder in medical texts (such as the previous DSM manual, the DSM-IV-TR, under the name "gender identity disorder"), many insurance companies are willing to cover some of the expenses of sex reassignment therapy. Without the classification of gender dysphoria as a medical disorder, sex reassignment therapy may be viewed as a cosmetic treatment, rather than medically necessary treatment, and may not be covered.[93] In the United States, transgender people are less likely than others to have health insurance, and often face hostility and insensitivity from healthcare providers.[94]

The DSM-IV-TR diagnostic component of distress is not inherent in the cross-gender identity; rather, it is related to social rejection and discrimination suffered by the individual.[86] Psychology professor Darryl Hill insists that gender dysphoria is not a mental disorder, but rather that the diagnostic criteria reflect psychological distress in children that occurs when parents and others have trouble relating to their child's gender variance.[92] Transgender people have often been harassed, socially excluded, and subjected to discrimination, abuse and violence, including murder.[4][85]

In December 2002, the British Lord Chancellor's office published a Government Policy Concerning Transsexual People document that categorically states, "What transsexualism is not ... It is not a mental illness."[95] In May 2009, the government of France declared that a transsexual gender identity will no longer be classified as a psychiatric condition,[96] but according to French trans rights organizations, beyond the impact of the announcement itself, nothing changed.[97] Denmark made a similar statement in 2016.[98]

In the ICD-11, GID is reclassified as "gender incongruence", a condition related to sexual health.[29] The working group responsible for this recategorization recommended keeping such a diagnosis in ICD-11 to preserve access to health services.[30]

Gender euphoria[edit]

Gender euphoria (GE) is a proposed term for the satisfaction or enjoyment felt by a person due to consistency between their gender identity and gendered features associated with a gender different to the sex they were assigned at birth. It is meant to be the positive counterpart of gender dysphoria.[77][99]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  44. ^ "Evidence review: Gonadotrophin releasing hormone analogues for children and adolescents with gender dysphoria". Retrieved 2 April 2021. The critical outcomes for decision making are the impact on gender dysphoria, mental health and quality of life. The quality of evidence for these outcomes was assessed as very low certainty using modified GRADE.
  45. ^ "Finnish guidelines for treatment of child and adolescent gender dysphoria (published march 2021)" (PDF). Council for Choices in Health Care (COHERE). Retrieved 22 April 2021. p. 6: ”Terveydenhuoltolain mukaan (8§) terveydenhuollon toiminnan on perustuttava näyttöön ja hyviin hoito- ja toimintakäytäntöihin. Alaikäisten osalta tutkimusnäyttöön perustuvia terveydenhuollon menetelmiä ei ole.”--- (Google translate:) “According to the Health Care Act (Section 8), health care activities must be based on evidence and good care and operating practices. There are no research-based health care methods for minors.”
  46. ^ Safer, Joshua D. (17 February 2020). "Controversial pubertal blocker legislation may bring unintended consequences for children". Healio. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  47. ^ "Endocrine Society urges policymakers to follow science on transgender health".
  48. ^ "AMA fights to protect health care for transgender patients".
  49. ^ "Criminalizing Gender Affirmative Care with Minors".
  50. ^ "AACAP Statement Responding to Efforts to ban Evidence-Based Care for Transgender and Gender Diverse Youth".
  51. ^ Schmidt, Samantha. "FAQ: What you need to know about transgender children". The Washington Post.
  52. ^ Siddique, Haroon. "Appeal court overturns UK puberty blockers ruling for under-16s 17 September 2021". Guardian. Guardian. Retrieved 17 September 2021.
  53. ^ a b Kaltiala-Heino, Riittakerttu; Sumia, Maria; Työläjärvi, Marja; Lindberg, Nina (2015). "Two years of gender identity service for minors: overrepresentation of natal girls with severe problems in adolescent development". Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health. 9: 9. doi:10.1186/s13034-015-0042-y. ISSN 1753-2000. PMC 4396787. PMID 25873995. "for the majority of adolescent-onset cases, GD presented in the context of severe mental disorders and general identity confusion. In such situations, appropriate treatment for psychiatric comorbidities may be warranted before conclusions regarding gender identity can be drawn.","There is still no clear consensus regarding hormonal treatment for adolescents because long-term data are unavailable;","In a nationwide long-term follow-up study of adult cases, psychiatric morbidity, suicide attempts and suicide mortality persisted as elevated after juridical and medical SR.
  54. ^ Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare (Feb 2020). "Development of the diagnosis gender dysphoria (Swedish)" (PDF). socialstyrelsen.se. Retrieved 13 March 2021.
  55. ^ Kozlowska, Kasia; Chudleigh, Catherine; McClure, Georgia; Maguire, Ann M.; Ambler, Geoffrey R. (2021-01-12). "Attachment Patterns in Children and Adolescents With Gender Dysphoria". Frontiers in Psychology. 11: 582688. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2020.582688. ISSN 1664-1078. PMC 7835132. PMID 33510668.
  56. ^ D’Angelo, Roberto; Syrulnik, Ema; Ayad, Sasha; Marchiano, Lisa; Kenny, Dianna Theadora; Clarke, Patrick (2021-01-01). "One Size Does Not Fit All: In Support of Psychotherapy for Gender Dysphoria". Archives of Sexual Behavior. 50 (1): 7–16. doi:10.1007/s10508-020-01844-2. ISSN 1573-2800. PMC 7878242. PMID 33089441.
  57. ^ a b George R. Brown, MD (July 20, 2011). "Chapter 165 Sexuality and Sexual Disorders". In Robert S. Porter, MD; et al. (eds.). The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy (19th ed.). Whitehouse Station, NJ, USA: Merck & Co., Inc. pp. 1740–1747. ISBN 978-0-911910-19-3.
  58. ^ a b Bockting, W; Knudson, G; Goldberg, J (January 2006). "Counselling and Mental Health Care of Transgender Adults and Loved Ones". International Journal of Transgenderism. 9 (3–4): 35–82. doi:10.1300/J485v09n03_03. S2CID 71503744. "As per Figure 1, delusions about sex or gender, dissociative disorders, thought disorders,or obsessive or compulsive features should be evaluated and treated prior to proceeding with hormone therapy or surgery. Thought disorders, dissociative disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorders can, rarely, cause a transient wish for sex reassignment which disappears or significantly lessens when the underlying mental health condition is treated. It is important to treat these disorders before proceeding with hormones or surgery to ensure that the desire for alteration of primary or secondary sex characteristics is not a temporary desire." See also WPATH Standards of Care, version 7, page 23:“The role of mental health professionals includes making reasonably sure that the gender dysphoria is not secondary to or better accounted for by other diagnoses.” And the paradigmatic Dutch model for consideration of comorbid conditions before proceeding with treatment for childhood onset.
  59. ^ "Standards of Care for the Health of Transsexual, Transgender, and Gender Nonconforming People" (PDF). World Professional Association for Transgender Health. pp. 28–29. Retrieved 15 March 2021.
  60. ^ Altinay, Murat; Anand, Amit (2019-05-27). "Neuroimaging gender dysphoria: a novel psychobiological model". Brain Imaging and Behavior. Retrieved 2021-10-16. A recently published study (Colizzi et al. 2014), where 118 patients were followed before and 12 months after HRT revealed that 14% of the patients had comorbid Axis-I psychiatric diagnosis. Psychiatric distress and impairment were found to be higher in the beginning phase of the study but after HRT, there was a significant improvement in major depressive disorder, anxiety and functional impairment. Similarly, Fisher and colleagues’ (Fisher et al. 2013) 2013 paper suggests that the dysfunction and impairment in the transgender population is highly associated with lack of HRT, which may suggest that at least a fraction of the impairment that was documented as comorbid Axis-I psychiatric disorders could in fact be impairment from GD. Finally, a metanalysis done by Dhejne and colleagues (Dhejne et al. 2016) reviewed 38 longitudinal studies that investigated psychiatric comorbidities pre and post gender affirmation treatments in transgender people with GD. The results of this analysis indicate that depression and GAD do have higher prevalence in transgender population but this finding was isolated to baseline (pre-gender affirmation treatments) where after gender affirmation therapies, rate of psychiatric comorbidities decreased to cisgender population levels
  61. ^ Baker, Kellan E.; Wilson, Lisa M.; Sharma, Ritu; Dukhanin, Vadim; McArthur, Kristen; Robinson, Karen A. (2021). "Hormone Therapy, Mental Health, and Quality of Life Among Transgender People: A Systematic Review". Journal of the Endocrine Society. 5 (4): bvab011. doi:10.1210/jendso/bvab011. PMC 7894249. PMID 33644622. This systematic review of 20 studies found evidence that gender-affirming hormone therapy may be associated with improvements in QOL scores and decreases in depression and anxiety symptoms among transgender people. Associations were similar across gender identity and age. The strength of evidence for these conclusions is low due to methodological limitations.
  62. ^ a b c Hembree, Wylie C; Cohen-Kettenis, Peggy T; Gooren, Louis; Hannema, Sabine E; Meyer, Walter J; Murad, M Hassan; Rosenthal, Stephen M; Safer, Joshua D; Tangpricha, Vin; T’Sjoen, Guy G (2017-11-01). "Endocrine Treatment of Gender-Dysphoric/Gender-Incongruent Persons: An Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline". The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 102 (11): 3869–3903. doi:10.1210/jc.2017-01658. ISSN 0021-972X. PMID 28945902. "In the future, we need more rigorous evaluations of the effectiveness and safety of endocrine and surgical protocols.Specifically, endocrine treatment protocols for GD/gender incongruence should include the careful assessment of the following: (1) the effects of prolonged delay of puberty in adolescents on bone health, gonadal function, and the brain (including effects on cognitive, emotional, social, and sexual development); [...] and (4) the risks and benefits of gender-affirming hormone treatment in older transgender people.” “Future research is needed to ascertain the potential harm of hormonal therapies (176).” "The satisfaction rate with surgical reassignment of sex is now very high (187).“Owing to the lack of controlled studies, incomplete follow-up, and lack of valid assessment measures, evaluating various surgical approaches and techniques is difficult." "Several postoperative studies report significant long-term psychological and psychiatric pathology (259–261).” "We need more studies with appropriate controls that examine long-term quality of life, psychosocial outcomes, and psychiatric outcomes to determine the long-term benefits of surgical treatment.”
  63. ^ Murad, Mohammad Hassan; Elamin, Mohamed B.; Garcia, Magaly Zumaeta; Mullan, Rebecca J.; Murad, Ayman; Erwin, Patricia J.; Montori, Victor M. (February 2010). "Hormonal therapy and sex reassignment: a systematic review and meta-analysis of quality of life and psychosocial outcomes". Clinical Endocrinology. 72 (2): 214–231. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2265.2009.03625.x. ISSN 1365-2265. PMID 19473181. S2CID 19590739. The evidence in this review is of very low quality9, 10 due to the serious methodological limitations of included studies. Studies lacked bias protection measures such as randomization and control groups, and generally depended on self-report to ascertain the exposure (i.e. hormonal therapy was self-reported as opposed to being extracted from medical records). Our reliance on reported outcome measures may also indicate a higher risk of reporting bias within the studies. Statistical heterogeneity of the results was also significant.
  64. ^ Sutcliffe, P. A.; Dixon, S.; Akehurst, R. L.; Wilkinson, A.; Shippam, A.; White, S.; Richards, R.; Caddy, C. M. (March 2009). "Evaluation of surgical procedures for sex reassignment: a systematic review". Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery: JPRAS. 62 (3): 294–306, discussion 306–308. doi:10.1016/j.bjps.2007.12.009. ISSN 1878-0539. PMID 18222742. The evidence concerning gender reassignment surgery in both MTF and FTM transsexism has several limitations in terms of: (a) lack of controlled studies, (b) evidence has not collected data prospectively, (c) high loss to follow up and (d) lack of validated assessment measures. Some satisfactory outcomes were reported, but the magnitude of benefit and harm for individual surgical procedures cannot be estimated accurately using the current available evidence.
  65. ^ Cohen-Kettenis, Peggy T.; Delemarre-van de Waal, Henriette A.; Gooren, Louis J. G. (2008). "The treatment of adolescent transsexuals: changing insights". The Journal of Sexual Medicine. 5 (8): 1892–1897. doi:10.1111/j.1743-6109.2008.00870.x. ISSN 1743-6109. PMID 18564158.
  66. ^ de Vries, Annelou L. C.; McGuire, Jenifer K.; Steensma, Thomas D.; Wagenaar, Eva C. F.; Doreleijers, Theo A. H.; Cohen-Kettenis, Peggy T. (2014). "Young adult psychological outcome after puberty suppression and gender reassignment". Pediatrics. 134 (4): 696–704. doi:10.1542/peds.2013-2958. ISSN 1098-4275. PMID 25201798. S2CID 18155489.
  67. ^ Zucker, Kenneth J. (2019-10-01). "Adolescents with Gender Dysphoria: Reflections on Some Contemporary Clinical and Research Issues". Archives of Sexual Behavior. 48 (7): 1983–1992. doi:10.1007/s10508-019-01518-8. ISSN 1573-2800. PMID 31321594. In the Dutch model, several factors were identified in deeming adolescent eligibility for early biomedical treatment. According to Cohen-Kettenis, Delemarre-van de Waal, and Gooren (2008), these included the following: (1) the presence of gender dysphoria from early childhood on; (2) an exacerbation of the gender dysphoria after the first signs of puberty; (3) the absence of psychiatric comorbidity that would interfere with a diagnostic evaluation or treatment; (4) adequate psychological and social support during treatment; and (5) a demonstration of knowledge of the sex/gender reassignment process. Several studies have reported on the benefits of this therapeutic protocol in reducing gender dysphoria (e.g., de Vries et al., 2014, which is the best study to date). Of course, one should bear in mind some of the limitation to these outcome studies, including the fact that not all assessed adolescents were deemed eligible for the treatment protocol (and thus we know relatively little about the longer-term outcomes of these youth) and that study designs have not included alternative treatment options (such as psychosocial therapy) or even being assigned to a wait-list control condition;
  68. ^ Haupt, Claudia; Henke, Miriam; Kutschmar, Alexia; Hauser, Birgit; Baldinger, Sandra; Saenz, Sarah Rafaela; Schreiber, Gerhard (2020-11-28). "Antiandrogen or estradiol treatment or both during hormone therapy in transitioning transgender women". Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 11: CD013138. doi:10.1002/14651858.cd013138.pub2. ISSN 1465-1858. PMC 8078580. PMID 33251587. We found insufficient evidence to determine the efficacy or safety of hormonal treatment approaches for transgender women in transition.
  69. ^ Georgas K, Beckman U, Bryman I, Elander A, Jivegård L, Mattelin E, et al. Gender affirmation surgery for gender dysphoria - effects and risks. [Könskonfirmerande kirurgi vid könsdysfori - effekter och risker]. Göteborg: Västra Götalandsregionen, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, HTA-centrum: 2018. Regional activity based HTA 2018:102. https://alfresco-offentlig.vgregion.se/alfresco/service/vgr/storage/node/content/workspace/SpacesStore/441006af-62a7-4f19-be73-6d698bf635f5/2018_102%20Rapport%20K%c3%b6nsdysfori.pdf?a=false&guest=true
  70. ^ Janssen, Aron; Leibowitz, Scott (2018-05-22). Affirmative Mental Health Care for Transgender and Gender Diverse Youth: A Clinical Guide. Springer. p. 8. ISBN 978-3-319-78307-9.
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  73. ^ Kyriakou, Andreas; Nicolaides, Nicolas C.; Skordis, Nicos (2020). "Current approach to the clinical care of adolescents with gender dysphoria". Acta Bio Medica : Atenei Parmensis. 91 (1): 165–175. doi:10.23750/abm.v91i1.9244. ISSN 0392-4203. PMC 7569586. PMID 32191677.
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  78. ^ Conron, KJ; Scott, G; Stowell, GS; Landers, S (January 2012), "Transgender Health in Massachusetts: Results from a Household Probability Sample of Adults", American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, 102 (1): 118–222, doi:10.2105/AJPH.2011.300315, ISSN 1541-0048, OCLC 01642844, PMC 3490554, PMID 22095354, Between 2007 and 2009, survey participants aged 18 to 64 years in the Massachusetts Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (MA-BRFSS; N = 28 662) were asked: "Some people describe themselves as transgender when they experience a different gender identity from their sex at birth. For example, a person born into a male body, but who feels female or lives as a woman. Do you consider yourself to be transgender?" […] We restricted the analytic sample to 28176 participants who answered yes or no to the transgender question (excluding n=364, 1.0% weighted who declined to respond. […] Transgender respondents (n=131; 0.5%; 95% confidence interval [CI]=0.3%, 0.6%) were somewhat younger and more likely to be Hispanic than were nontransgender respondents.
  79. ^ Clark TC, Lucassen MF, Bullen P, Denny SJ, Fleming TM, Robinson EM, Rossen FV (July 2014). "The health and well-being of transgender high school students: results from the New Zealand adolescent health survey (Youth'12)". The Journal of Adolescent Health. 55 (1): 93–9. doi:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2013.11.008. PMID 24438852. Whether a student was transgender was measured by the question, "Do you think you are transgender? This is a girl who feels like she should have been a boy, or a boy who feels like he should have been a girl (e.g., Trans, Queen, Fa’faffine, Whakawahine, Tangata ira Tane, Genderqueer)?" […] Over 8,000 students (n = 8,166) answered the question about whether they were transgender. Approximately 95% of students did not report being transgender (n=7,731; 94.7%), 96 students reported being transgender (1.2%), 202 reported not being sure (2.5%), and 137 did not understand the question (1.7%).
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  96. ^ "La transsexualité ne sera plus classée comme affectation psychiatrique". Le Monde. May 16, 2009.
  97. ^ "La France est très en retard dans la prise en charge des transsexuels". Libération (in French). May 17, 2011. En réalité, ce décret n'a été rien d'autre qu'un coup médiatique, un très bel effet d'annonce. Sur le terrain, rien n'a changé.
  98. ^ "Denmark will become first country to no longer define being transgender as a mental illness". The Independent. May 14, 2016.
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