New study shows association of attempts to make transgender people cisgender to suicide and adverse mental health.
A new study published today in JAMA Psychiatry found that exposure to attempts by professionals to change a person’s gender identity is associated with a range of adverse mental health outcomes, including suicide attempts. The study was authored by researchers at The Fenway Institute, and the Harvard Medical School.
“The rate of previous suicide attempts among transgender people in the United States is extremely high, with 41 percent reporting that they have had that experience,” said Dr. Alex Keuroghlian, senior author of the study who directs the National LGBT Health Education Center at The Fenway Institute and the Massachusetts General Hospital Psychiatry Gender Identity Program. “What this new study shows is that transgender people who are exposed to conversion efforts anytime in their lives have more than double the odds of attempting suicide compared with those who have never experienced efforts by professionals to convert their gender identity from transgender to cisgender.”
“One of the most alarming findings from this study was the association between exposure to gender identity conversion efforts during childhood and a four-fold increased odds of lifetime suicide attempts,” said Dr. Jack Turban, resident physician in psychiatry at The Massachusetts General Hospital and McLean Hospital and lead author of the study. “This is important because some experts continue to advocate for gender identity conversion efforts for young children. We hope our findings contribute to ongoing legislative efforts to ban gender identity conversation efforts.”
In addition to suicide risk (with the caution that correlation is not necessarily a measure of causation), people who were subjected to conversion efforts are about 75% more likely to be unemployed than those who were not. As one might expect, people who were subjected to conversion therapy are nearly twice as likely to have unsupportive family regarding their gender identity than those who did not experience conversion therapy.