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94% of transgender, nonbinary young adults desire gender-affirming medical care before age 18

Nearly all (94.3%) indicated they desired GAMC before age 18. And over half (55.7%) of the respondents reported being out about their gender identity to a parent before age 18.

Many transgender and non-binary (TNB) young adults desire gender-affirming medical care (GAMC) in adolescence, even before they turn 18.

This is according to a study – “Desire for Gender-Affirming Medical Care Before Age 18 in Transgender and Nonbinary Young Adults” by Gina M. Sequeira, Nicole F. Kahn, Kacie M. Kidd, et al – that appeared in LGBT Health

Here, the researchers wanted to “understand TNB young adults’ desire to receive GAMC before age 18, and identify barriers and facilitators to receiving this care in adolescence.”

The researchers administered a cross-sectional survey to TNB young adults presenting for care between ages 18 and 20 in 2023. Descriptive statistics characterized the sample, χ2 tests with post hoc pairwise comparisons identified differences in desire for gender-affirming medications, outness, and parental consent by gender identity and sex assigned at birth, and t-tests evaluated differences in barriers and facilitators to receiving care by outness to parents.

With 230 TNB respondents completing the data, the researchers found:

  • Nearly all (94.3%) indicated they desired GAMC before age 18.
  • Over half (55.7%) of the respondents reported being out about their gender identity to a parent before age 18.
  • Outness, discussing desire for GAMC, and asking for consent to receive GAMC from a parent were significantly more common among participants who identified as men compared to those who identified as women and among those assigned female at birth compared to those assigned male at birth.
  • No such differences emerged when comparing nonbinary individuals to those who identified as men or women.
  •  Lack of parental willingness to consent for GAMC was cited as the primary contributor of not having received care in adolescence.

In a gist, “many TNB young adults desire GAMC in adolescence; however, lack of parental support is a key barrier to receiving this care,” the researchers noted. And so they suggested the “need for more readily available resources for parents to support TNB adolescents.”

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