Transgender and gender nonconforming adolescent care: psychosocial and medical considerations

Carly Guss, Daniel Shumer, Sabra L Katz-Wise
Current Opinion in Pediatrics 2015, 27 (4): 421-6

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Transgender individuals display incongruence between their assigned birth sex and their current gender identity, and may identify as male, female, or being elsewhere on the gender spectrum. Gender nonconformity describes an individual whose gender identity, role, or expression is not typical for individuals in a given assigned sex category. This update highlights recent literature pertaining to the psychosocial and medical care of transgender and gender nonconforming (TGN) adolescents with applications for the general practitioner.

RECENT FINDINGS: The psychological risks and outcomes of TGN adolescents are being more widely recognized. Moreover, there is increasing evidence that social and medical gender transition reduces gender dysphoria, defined as distress that accompanies the incongruence between one's birth sex and identified gender. Unfortunately, lack of education about TGN adolescents in medical training persists.

SUMMARY: Recent literature highlights increased health risks in TGN adolescents and improved outcomes following gender dysphoria treatment. It is important for clinicians to become familiar with the range of treatment options and referral resources available to TGN adolescents in order to provide optimal and welcoming care to all adolescents.

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