Health & Lifestyle

Gender dysphoria growing among younger adults amid ‘increasing acceptance,’ study finds

Individuals are receiving diagnoses of gender dysphoria (GD) — also known as gender identity disorder — at younger ages, according to a new study published in General Psychiatry, an open access journal that covers mental health issues and more. 

“Gender dysphoria” is defined as “psychological distress that results from an incongruence between one’s sex assigned at birth and one’s gender identity,” per the American Psychiatric Association.

It’s marked by a “desire and conviction to be the other gender,” said Dr. Ryan Sultan, director of integrative psych and a psychiatry professor at Columbia University in New York, in a statement to Fox News Digital.

INCREASING MAJORITY OF AMERICANS VIEW SEX AS BIOLOGICAL REALITY, NEW POLL REVEALS

The average age of those diagnosed was 26 years old in 2021, down from age 31 in 2017, a group of researchers led by the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine in Roanoke, Virginia, determined.

“​​Most of this change occurred because rates of GD increased among those between the ages of 15 and 30,” said Sultan.

Teen girl on phone

People are getting diagnosed with gender dysphoria (GD) — also known as gender identity disorder — at younger ages, a new study published in General Psychiatry has found. (iStock)

The study focused on 42 million patients — 66,078 of whom were identified to have gender dysphoria. 

Researchers reviewed data between 2017 and 2021 from the TriNetX database, which compiles medical records from multiple health care organizations.

Those who were born female were more likely to be diagnosed with gender dysphoria (58% versus 55% for males).

Females also reported experiencing the disorder at earlier ages than males. 

NEW YORK SCHOOLS TOLD TO KEEP CHILDREN’S GENDER IDENTITIES SECRET FROM FAMILIES IN SOME CASES

Among those born female, gender dysmorphia began to rise at an average age of 11, peaking between ages 17 and 19, the study found. 

Among those born male, diagnoses began to rise at age 13, peaking at the age of 23.

Boys generally enter puberty between 9 and 14 years of age; for girls, it usually begins between 8 and 13, per Cleveland Clinic.

That discrepancy could be part of the reason for girls’ gender dysphoria starting sooner, researchers said.

Men's and women's bathrooms

Those who were born female were more likely to be diagnosed with gender dysphoria (58% versus 55% for males), a new study determined, (iStock)

In terms of why diagnoses are occurring at younger ages for both males and females, researchers said it could be due to “increasing acceptance” and a wider availability of “specialty gender clinics.”

In a discussion of the study’s findings, the researchers wrote, “Gender identity development heavily leans on social processes, including exploration and experimentation with external feedback.”

They added, “There is now increasing acceptance of gender-neutral pronouns and gender-non-congruent chosen names.”

SPIKE IN TEEN DEPRESSION ALIGNS WITH RISE OF SOCIAL MEDIA, NEW POLL SUGGESTS: ‘IT’S NOT GOING ANYWHERE’

“The decreased mean age of GD suggests less oppression of gender minority youth and increased awareness of gender diversity,” they also wrote. 

‘Not a permanent diagnosis’

Gender dysphoria is “not a permanent diagnosis,” the researchers wrote in the journal article.

“It can be expected that gender identity will be fluid for some populations across the lifespan,” said Dr. Zachary Ginder, a psychological consultant and doctor of clinical psychology at Pine Siskin Consulting, LLC in Riverside, California, in a statement to Fox News Digital.

Teen boy and girl

“Gender dysphoria” is defined as “psychological distress that results from an incongruence between one’s sex assigned at birth and one’s gender identity,” per the American Psychiatric Association. (iStock)

“Gender-atypical behavior is common among young children and is considered part of normal development — thus it is hard to determine exactly how common gender dysphoria is,” Sultan told Fox News Digital. 

Other studies have shown that gender dysphoria has been increasing since at least 2011 in Europe and the U.S., Sultan noted.

Study had limitations

The study did have limitations, the researchers wrote.

The records from the large research database did not include precise location data, race or ethnicity. 

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR OUR HEALTH NEWSLETTER

“Most of the data stemmed from the United States, and it is not necessarily generalizable to populations outside the country,” said Ginder. “Within the U.S., it can be inferred that state-to-state prevalence data may vary.”

Additionally, the researchers were unable to confirm whether the genders listed in the records correlated to the sex assigned at birth or the “identified gender.”

“Although this research identifies a potential trend within this specific data set, findings like this require further study across populations, and necessitate the utilization of other sources of data before anything can be considered set in stone,” Ginder said.

Read More: World News | Entertainment News | Celeb News

Related posts

The Sad Truth About Paul McCartney’s Health

BBC Brk News

Cancer-stricken Charles could be having a ‘blend’ of alternative and traditional treatment, suggests King’s ex-communications secretary

BBC Brk News

Meet the ‘bra professor’ who has helped England’s Lionesses roar on the pitch – and can help you get the most out of exercise

BBC Brk News

Leave a Comment