How does the rising prevalence of gender dysphoria among those assigned female at birth and the decreasing average age of diagnosis inform our understanding of changing societal and developmental influences on gender identity?
The prevalence of gender dysphoria (GD) has seen a significant increase over recent years, especially among those assigned female at birth (AFAB). This study aims to shed light on these changing patterns and their potential influences.
- An increasing trend in the prevalence of GD, especially in those AFAB, is evident from the data analysed between 2017 and 2021.
- The study indicated a reversal in the traditionally predominant AMAB:AFAB ratio of GD.
- A total of 66,078 patients were diagnosed with GD out of 42 million study subjects.
- The average age of GD diagnosis dropped from 31.49 in 2017 to 26.27 in 2021.
- The peak prevalence of GD diagnosis for AFAB was at age 19, while for AMAB it was age 23.
- The onset and progression of puberty might explain different patterns of GD development by sex.
- Environmental factors such as social movements and media might also play a role in the increasing AFAB GD diagnosis.
- Greater accessibility to specialized gender clinics could contribute to the increasing number of GD diagnoses.
- Changing identity over time should not be pathologised due to the gender-fluid nature of certain populations.
- The study reveals an escalating prevalence of GD, predominantly among AFABs. It invites clinicians to ensure timely assessments for children and youth with GD concerns while encouraging the exploration of gender identity and public education on gender diversity.
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Did You Know?
According to a survey-based study, 600 per 100,000 youths under the age of 21 identified themselves as transgender, highlighting the need for expanded and accessible gender clinic services.