Teenagers across the United States are abandoning traditional gender labels instead choosing to identify as transgender or gender-fluid, according to a new study.
According to the study, published in the journal, Pediatrics, approximately 3 percent of Minnesota teens did not identify with traditional gender labels such as “boy” or “girl”. A UCLA study conducted in 2017 estimated that 0.7 percent of teens identified as transgender.
Nic Rider lead researcher on the study and a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Minnesota said that the main focus of this paper was to examine health differences between gender non-conforming teens (TGNC) and teens who are cisgender, meaning that their gender identity aligns with the sex assigned to them at birth.
The study revealed that transgender and TNGC youth had “significantly poorer health” than cisgender teens. More so, TNGC teens were likelier to visit their school nurse and less likely to get preventive health checkups.
What’s noteworthy, however, is the rising percentage of teenagers who do not identify with traditional gender labels.
Rider and his team examined data from a 2016 survey of approximately 81 thousand Minnesota students in the 9th and 11th grades. Out of all the surveyors, nearly 2.200 teens (2.7 percent) said they identified as either transgender, genderqueer, gender-fluid or were unsure about their gender identification. Genderqueer refers to a person who does not identify with conventional gender distinctions and may identify as boy, girl or both.
The UCLA study estimated that 0.7 percent of US teens between the age of 13 and 17 identified as transgender. This conclusion came after careful analysis of government data collected by 27 states in 2014 and 2015. While Rider’s new study was exclusive to Minnesota teens, researchers aim to make a national study to get more accurate data.
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