A new study has reaffirmed there are striking positive benefits to allowing transgender children to live as their preferred gender.
Critics of transgender children have recently been given a large profile in the media, with the BBC facing a wave of complaints over a documentary featuring a disgraced former doctor who had attempted to ‘cure’ trans kids.
However, this month a major study has reaffirmed the positive case for allowing transgender kids to live in their preferred gender.
The study, based on the data from the TransYouth Project, was published in Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry by researchers from the University of Washington, Seattle.
It found that while children prevented from socially transitioning have high rates of depression and other mental health issues, children who were allowed to transition showed marked improvements, with levels of self-worth that “did not differ from their matched-control or sibling peers”.
Researcher Lily Durwood told Medscape: “We found remarkably good mental health outcomes in socially transitioned transgender children in the present study.
“Previous standards of care for gender nonconforming children was to wait until puberty to socially transition, but these findings show normal mental health in younger children, indicating that early social transitions can be associated with good mental health.”
The researchers were also able to address concerns that parents could have systematically under-reported mental health problems in their transgender kids.
The report noted: “Previous research has shown that parents of socially transitioned transgender children reported normative levels of depression and slightly elevated anxiety.”
“We wanted to see if parents were under-reporting mental health problems in their socially transitioned children. We also wanted to study self-worth, which has not been studied in this population.
“We found good self-reported mental health outcomes in the transgender youth we studied, which dovetailed with parental reports.”