A study conducted by the New England Journal of Medicine brings to light new information on transgender and nonbinary youth. It proves that gender affirming care can lead to better psychosocial functioning and appearance congruence.
The current global climate has invited several conversations on the acceptance of gender affirming care and hormone therapy for transgender and non-binary youth. With the rise of stronger coalitions of TERFs (Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists) and moral panic against the LGBTQ community, the New England Journal of Medicine’s study is significant in setting up a foundation for progress.
What is Gender Affirming Care?
Gender Affirming Care typically refers to surgical or hormonal procedures meant to aid a process of transition for transgender and nonbinary people. It is meant to course correct and help them express their gender through their body.
It also has physical implications as it combats gender dysphoria – a feeling that ranges from discomfort to pain in the body that has been assigned as a certain gender at birth. From anti – trans legislators to famous celebrities like J.K. Rowling, across the world people have painted hormone therapy as a negative influence on the youth with marginal statistics on de-transitioning.
Further, they have demonized the LGBTQ community on this basis to imply that they are indoctrinating the youth. Read further to see how this study has made a significant change in the fight for transgender rights.
The Findings of the Study
The study titled “Psychosocial Functioning in Transgender Youth after 2 years of Hormone Therapy” was conducted by nine doctors (Diane Chen et al.) and was published on 19th January 2023. Over a period of two years the study was conducted in the United States amongst a group of transgender and non-binary youth seeking hormone therapy with testosterone and estradiol.
The physical as well as psychosocial results were studied during this period and the participants were tested to check for levels of depression, anxiety, life satisfaction and appearance congruence. There were in total 315 transgender and nonbinary participants from 12 to 20 years of age.
The Significance of the Study
The results of the study demonstrated that over the two year period appearance congruence increased and so did psychosocial functioning as a whole. Particularly depression and anxiety symptoms decreased and life satisfaction increased. This puts to rest several harmful arguments that have been the source of denying gender affirming care to the youth.
The study is one among many which supports the right of those who chose to opt for gender affirming care. It also appears at a time where misinformation is high and such research is required in order to fight the ongoing battle that prevents safe transition for transgender and nonbinary people.