A peer-reviewed study published by The Trevor Project in the Journal of Adolescent Health shows that gender-affirming hormone therapy significantly reduces depression, suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts in trans youth.
Medical-affirming care can include puberty blockers that postpone physical changes associated with puberty. Alternatively, hormone therapy allows transgender and nonbinary youth to develop physical characteristics that align with their gender identity.
Over 9000 transgender and nonbinary youths aged 13-24 responded to up to 142 questions. The respondents broke up into 63% nonbinary followed by 29% trans boy/man and 8% trans girl/woman.
Half of transgender and nonbinary respondents said they were not accessing hormone therapy but would like to. A further 36% had no interest in hormone therapy while 14% currently received it.
The researchers found that trans youth under 18 who took gender-affirming hormone therapy were almost 40% less likely to have suffered depression or attempted suicide in the last year compared to trans youth who want hormones but didn’t receive them.
The study also found parental support mattered. Nearly 80% of the youth accessing hormone therapy said at least one parent supported their gender identity.
The Trevor Project
The Trevor Project undertook the research as part of the 2021 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health.
CEO and executive director Amit Paley said the research demonstrated that gender-affirming care can reduce rates of depression and suicide attempts. He said banning the care and exposing young people to harmful political rhetoric can cause real harm.
“It’s critical that all transgender and nonbinary youth across the country have access to medical care that is affirming, patient-centred, and evidence-based.”
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