Gender-Affirming Care Improves the Mental Health of Transgender Youth

Gender-affirming health care is the standard of care for transgender people in the U.S. It includes treatments that help people express their gender identity. Proposed restrictions on gender-affirming health care are part of a recent wave of legislation that some LGBTQ advocates say discriminates against transgender people.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1.8 percent of American high schoolers are transgender.  Transgender youth are more likely to have depression or anxiety and are at higher risk for suicide.

U.S. state legislation to curb minors’ access to gender-affirming health care has grown from 19 anti-transgender bills introduced in 2015 to 131 in 2021.  In April, Arkansas became the first state to ban gender-affirming care for minors.

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