Trans teens benefit from early treatment, says new study

With the frequent debate around how soon is too soon to begin transitioning, a new study highlights the importance of early treatment.

Close up of a medical practitioner's hands holding a test tube with a sample in it. This story explores the medical treatment of Trans teens.

A study conducted in the USA has revealed the many benefits of providing treatment to Trans teens, the positive impacts of which extend into adulthood.

“Gender-affirming hormone treatment with estrogen or testosterone can help bring a Transgender person’s physical characteristics in line with their gender identity,” reads a statement from the Stanford University School of Medicine.

“In adolescence, hormone therapy can enable a Transgender teenager to go through puberty in a way that matches their gender identity.”

A child and adolescent psychiatrist at Stanford University School of Medicine took the lead in this new study in collaboration with The Fenway Institute, an LGBTQ+ health research centre in Boston, Massachusetts.

The paper, which has been published in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS-ONE, finds that Trans minors who undergo treatment as teens present fewer suicidal tendencies and other mental health struggles in their adult lives.

“We’re already seeing that so few transgender and gender-diverse people, and young people in particular, are able to access the support and medical care that they need,” said the author of the new study, Jack Turban.

“This study is particularly relevant now because many state legislatures are introducing bills that would outlaw this kind of care for Transgender youth,” Turban said.

In the US, a number of states including Alabama, Arizona, Indiana, Kentucky and Mississippi have introduced legal measures to prevent young Trans people from accessing treatment. Additionally, there is action being taken in several other states to pass similar bills, offering fewer and fewer protections to Trans teens throughout America.

If they come into effect, the bills will prevent medical practitioners from offering puberty-blocking drugs, hormones and gender-reassignment surgeries to their young Trans patients.

While many are concerned that hormones and puberty-blocking drugs are too accessible for young people, this study found that early treatment can be life-saving for Trans individuals.

“We are adding to the evidence base that shows why gender-affirming care is beneficial from a mental health perspective,” said Turban.

Research for this paper goes as far back as 2015, when the largest-ever survey of U.S. Transgender adults was conducted, resulting in data from over 27,000 participants.

© 2022 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

Support GCN

GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.

During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.

GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBTQ+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBTQ+ media.

0 comments. Please sign in to comment.