Transgenders more distressed due to social rejection than gender identity: Study

Transgender people face psychological distress due to social rejection and violence and not due to their gender identity, reveals a study conducted in Mexico city. Evidence from the study points towards removal of transgender identity from the current classification of mental disorders in WHO's ICD-10 (International Classification of Disorders) and DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders).

This study is one of the first field trials that was conducted to evaluate a proposal to remove the diagnosis of transgender from ICD-10. The study was conducted on 250 transgenders at a clinic in Mexico city that specialized in transgender health care services. Most participants were transgender women, who were assigned male sex during birth. Researchers found that 83% of them faced psychological distress due to their transgender identity which they identified during adolescence. About 90% of them faced family, social, work or academic dysfunction during adolescence, while 73% reported social rejection due to their gender identity.

"Our findings support the idea that distress and dysfunction may be the result of stigmatization and maltreatment, rather than integral aspects of transgender identity," says lead investigator Dr Rebeca Robles, Mexican National Institute of Psychiatry. "The next step is to confirm this in further studies in different countries, ahead of the approval of the WHO revision to International Classification of Diseases in 2018," said Dr Robles, in this report.

The research was led by the National Institute of Psychiatry Ramón de le Fuente Muñizis, Mexico, and is published in the Lancet Psychiatry journal.

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