Breaking News
January 23, 2019 - Scientists reveal new mechanism that could lead to specific treatment of strokes and seizures
January 23, 2019 - Both educational level and occupational orientation predict mother’s smoking during pregnancy
January 23, 2019 - How to (gently) get your child to brush their teeth
January 23, 2019 - Short-term hospital readmissions for gun injuries cost $86 million a year | News Center
January 23, 2019 - New certified reference material for testing residual solvents in cannabis
January 23, 2019 - Gene-edited chickens could prevent future flu pandemic
January 23, 2019 - Cardiovascular disease risk begins even before birth
January 23, 2019 - Younger patients receiving kidney transplant more likely to live longer, shows data
January 23, 2019 - Skin samples hold early signs of prion disease, research suggests
January 23, 2019 - Researchers discover how body initiates repair mechanisms that limits damage to myelin sheath
January 23, 2019 - Fecal transplant from certain donors better than others
January 23, 2019 - Risk for Uninsurance in AMI Patients Reduced With Medicaid Expansion
January 23, 2019 - Readmissions reduction program may be associated with increase in patient-level mortality
January 23, 2019 - Fostering translation and communication in medicine and beyond
January 23, 2019 - To Fight Fatty Liver, Avoid Sugary Foods and Drinks
January 23, 2019 - TPU scientists develop new implants that double the rate of bone lengthening in kids
January 23, 2019 - New sessions at Pittcon 2019
January 23, 2019 - Insilico to present latest findings in AI for Drug Discovery at 3rd Annual SABPA FTD Forum
January 23, 2019 - Opioid overdose patients can be safely discharged an hour after administration of naloxone
January 23, 2019 - Scientists find bacterial extracellular vesicles in human blood
January 23, 2019 - Researchers gain new insights into development of necrotizing enterocolitis in preemies
January 23, 2019 - Medical expert advises people with epilepsy not to stockpile medicines
January 23, 2019 - Study outlines research priorities for improving pediatric patient care and safety
January 23, 2019 - Bedfont to exhibit NObreath FeNO monitor at Arab Health 2019
January 23, 2019 - Nicotinamide riboside supplementation confers significant physiological benefits to mothers and offspring
January 23, 2019 - Increasing temperatures may help preserve crop nutrition
January 23, 2019 - Many Oncologists in the Dark About LGBTQ Health Needs
January 23, 2019 - Epigenetic change causes fruit fly babies to inherit diet-induced heart disease
January 23, 2019 - Erasing memories could reduce relapse rates among drug addicts
January 23, 2019 - African Americans who smoke cigarettes are more likely to develop peripheral artery disease
January 23, 2019 - Unique data combination helps FinnGen researchers to fund links between genetic factors and health
January 23, 2019 - Parents’ mental health problems associated with reactive attachment disorder in children
January 23, 2019 - Graphene Flagship project studies impact of graphene and related materials on our health
January 23, 2019 - The connection between the Pope and contraceptive pills
January 23, 2019 - Prior dengue infection could protect children from symptomatic Zika
January 23, 2019 - Previous dengue virus infection associated with protection from symptomatic Zika
January 23, 2019 - VISTA checkpoint implicated in pancreatic cancer immunotherapy resistance
January 23, 2019 - The Tiny Camera That Could Revolutionize Cardiovascular Surgery
January 23, 2019 - Peptide isolated from soil fungi has antitumor and antibacterial properties
January 23, 2019 - TGen identifies polio-like virus as potential cause of Acute Flaccid Myelitis outbreak
January 23, 2019 - Migrants and refugees do not bring disease and are at greater health risk themselves says WHO
January 23, 2019 - Examing the effects of menopause in workplace
January 23, 2019 - Enemy number 1 – Air pollution and climate change top of WHO agenda
January 23, 2019 - Two Positive Phase III studies of Tafenoquine for the Radical Cure of Plasmodium vivax Malaria Published in The New England Journal of Medicine
January 23, 2019 - World Trade Center responders at increased risk for head and neck cancers
January 23, 2019 - Low-sugar diet leads to significant improvement in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in boys
January 23, 2019 - Chaos in bodily regulation can optimize our immune system, finds study
January 23, 2019 - Short, text-based exercises can increase happiness for adults recovering from substance use disorders
January 23, 2019 - Body size may have greater influence on women’s lifespan than men
January 23, 2019 - Groundbreaking tool helps visualize neuronal activity with near-infrared light
January 23, 2019 - Prior dengue immunity in children may be protective against symptomatic Zika
January 23, 2019 - Holocaust survivors with PTSD and their offspring exhibit more unhealthy behavior patterns
January 23, 2019 - Scientists discover new genetic mutations causing inherited deaf-blindness
January 23, 2019 - UC team designs new naloxone-dispensing smart device
January 23, 2019 - Torrent Pharmaceuticals Limited Issues Voluntary Nationwide Recall of Losartan Potassium Tablets, USP and Losartan Potassium and Hydrochlorothiazide Tablets, USP
January 23, 2019 - Brain activity shows development of visual sensitivity in autism
January 23, 2019 - Two hour gap between dinner and sleep is overrated says Japanese research
January 23, 2019 - Fear and embarrassment are causing smear test numbers to plummet
January 23, 2019 - Protein-secreting device implanted in epileptic rats reduces seizures, improves cognition
January 23, 2019 - Reintroduction project recovers current wild population of green turtle in Cayman Islands
January 23, 2019 - Cancer survivors face greater financial burden related to medical bills
January 23, 2019 - PSA screening reduces prostate cancer deaths by 30%
January 23, 2019 - LSTM receives grant to help improve health of people living in informal settlements
January 23, 2019 - Hemochromatosis Mutation Linked to Other Morbidity
January 23, 2019 - Why early diagnosis of autism should lead to early intervention
January 23, 2019 - Aspirin May Lower Stroke Risk in Women with History of Preeclampsia
January 23, 2019 - Exposure to certain chemicals may be linked to decrease in blood pressure during pregnancy
January 23, 2019 - Bowel cancer on the rise among younger Australians
January 23, 2019 - Scientists have reversed memory loss in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s
January 23, 2019 - Defective molecular master switch could lead to age-related macular degeneration
January 23, 2019 - Researchers identify how concussions may contribute to seizures
January 23, 2019 - Short interval between last meal of the day and bedtime may not affect blood glucose levels
January 23, 2019 - Still Too Many Highway Deaths Tied to Speeding
January 23, 2019 - Prenatal valproate exposure linked to increased ADHD risk
January 23, 2019 - Compound identified that may help treat heart failure
January 23, 2019 - Undiagnosed Asthma in Urban Adolescents May Be Common
January 23, 2019 - Study describes metabolism of intestinal microbiota in babies for the first time
January 22, 2019 - Study links concussions to development of epilepsy
January 22, 2019 - Specialist-led hospital bereavement service may help restrain legal action after difficult deaths
January 22, 2019 - Genetic study reveals possible new routes to treating osteoarthritis
Gender ‘nonconformity’ takes mental toll on teens

Gender ‘nonconformity’ takes mental toll on teens

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

(HealthDay)—American teens whose behavior, appearance or lifestyle do not conform to widely held views on what it is to be a “normal” male or female face a high risk for mental distress and drug abuse, new research warns.

The findings were culled from a national survey exploring the psychological risk profiles of teens who described themselves as “gender nonconforming.”

The poll enlisted more than 6,000 students enrolled in high schools in three large urban school districts across California and Florida.

“Gender nonconformity is gender expression that differs from societal expectations for feminine or masculine appearance and behavior,” explained study author Michelle Johns. As such, it’s an “area of adolescent health that is often linked to negative health outcomes.”

In fact, previous research has suggested that gender nonconforming individuals often struggle with “social stress,” due to stigma, discrimination, harassment and violence, noted Johns, a health scientist in the division of adolescent and school health at the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.

But this latest study, she said, “is among the first to examine mental distress and substance use among gender nonconforming youth.”

In the end, the team found that nonconforming girls and boys in high school faced a higher risk for feeling sad, feeling hopeless, and entertaining suicidal thoughts and/or suicidal behavior. Substance abuse risk also rose, investigators observed.

About 55 percent of those surveyed were Hispanic, while about 16 percent were white and 19 percent were black.

Students were asked to indicate how their peers would characterize their gender, based on their “appearance, style, dress, or the way they walk or talk.”

On that basis, about 1 in 5 said they were either “moderately” or “highly” gender nonconforming. Boys were more likely to say they were gender nonconforming than girls, as were younger students and those who were LGBTQ.

Among moderately nonconforming girls, half said they felt sad and hopeless, a figure that dipped to 45 percent among their highly nonconforming peers. That, said investigators, could reflect the particular difficulties of navigating a middle pathway when tackling gender identity.

Sadness and hopelessness was seen among about a third of moderate and highly nonconforming boys.

About a third of moderate and highly nonconforming girls said they seriously contemplated suicide; those figures dipped to 14 and 22 percent among boys.

Meanwhile, cocaine, marijuana, alcohol and prescription drug use all hovered around 20 percent among highly nonconforming boys, but ranged widely among highly nonconforming girls (from 7.5 percent cocaine use to 39 percent alcohol use).

That said, Johns acknowledged that her team “cannot determine whether these numbers are reflective of high school students across the United States,” given that the survey included a larger-than-average sample of minorities and city dwellers.

“However, these findings suggest that developing support systems within schools and other school-based interventions, such as safe spaces and supportive/knowledgeable staff for gender nonconforming students, may be an important avenue to improving mental health and reducing substance use in this population,” she said.

Along those lines Johns highlighted a number of potential resources already in place, including: “Gender Spectrum” (www.genderspectrum.org); the “Family Acceptance Project” (www.familyproject.sfsu.edu); and the “LA LGBT Center’s Supportive Families, Safe Homes Training” (www.lalgbtcenter.org/rise/lgbtq-training-coaching/lgbtq-training-for-families).

The findings were published Sept. 24 in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

Dr. Ellen Selkie, clinical lecturer of adolescent medicine in the department of pediatrics at the University of Michigan, had some additional suggestions, including the “Human Rights Campaign” (www.hrc.org/explore/topic/transgender-children-youth) and “The Trevor Project” (www.thetrevorproject.org).

And in an accompanying editorial, Selkie observed that the study adds some insight into an under-researched concern.

Much of the observed distress, said Selkie, seems likely to stem from a “lack of acceptance from family community,” with nonconforming youth facing a struggle for acceptance that can be as complex and nuanced as gender nonconformity itself.

For example, she noted that one’s gender identity is distinct from one’s sexuality, but “I have had gender nonconforming patients from conservative rural areas who have been very supported at school and home, and I have also had patients from liberal, urban areas who feel very unsupported and experience bullying at school.”

Much more research will be needed, Selkie said, to better appreciate the hurdles faced by nonconforming youth.


Explore further:
27% of California adolescents are gender nonconforming, study finds

More information:
Abstract/Full Text

Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

Journal reference:
JAMA Pediatrics

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles