Trans health experts discuss new standards for teens

In another model, developed in Canada and now considered a form of “conversion therapy,” children were pressured to live with the gender assigned to them at birth, in order to avoid drugs or operations. in the future for those who might change their mind later.

In the late 2000s, American doctors proposed the “gender affirmation” method, which has since been backed up for various medical groups important. His basic philosophy is that minors should have the freedom to live their gender identity, without doctors or parents imposing unnecessary delays on them. Your path may include medications, operations, or no medical treatment at all.

“Children are not little adults, but they also have autonomy and can know their gender,” explained Diane Ehrensaft, director of mental health at the Center for Gender for Children and Adolescents at the University of California, San Francisco. Ehrensaft is one of the first promoters of the gender affirming model and helped write a new chapter on tweens in the draft guidelines.

Data on the number of transgender and gender nonconforming adolescents and adults in the United States is limited. About 1.8 percent of high school students surveyed in 19 state or urban school districts in 2017 described themselves as transgender, according to the CDC.

Adolescent gender clinics like Ehrensaft’s have seen rapid growth in referral rates and more sites have sprung up to meet the demand. There are now more than 50 such specialty clinics in the United States, he said, up from four in 2012.

Few studies have followed adolescents who received puberty blockers or hormones into adulthood. Ehrensaft and others are working on large-scale investigations and long-term of patients in the United States.

The new standards state that doctors should facilitate an “open exploration” of gender for teens and their families, without pushing them in one direction or another. However, the guidelines recommend restricting the use of medications and operations, in part because of their medical risks.

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