Promoting Health Equality and Nondiscrimination for Transgender and Gender-Diverse Youth

  • The Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine


      Adolescent and young adult health-care providers often care for transgender and gender-diverse (TGD) youth—youth whose gender identity is incongruent with the gender assigned to them at birth. This patient population faces health challenges distinct from their cisgender peers (i.e., youth whose gender identity aligns with their assigned gender at birth), which include the health impacts from gender dysphoria and from societal stigma and discrimination. SAHM encourages adolescent and young adult health-care providers to receive training in providing culturally effective, evidence-based care for TGD youth; calls for more research on gender-affirming health care; and advocates for policies that protect the rights of TGD youth and minimize barriers to attaining healthcare. Consistent with other medical organizations, the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine promotes the call for gender affirmation as a mainstay of treatment and is opposed to the notion that diversity in gender is pathological.
      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to Journal of Adolescent Health
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • Wood H.
        • Sasaki S.
        • Bradley S.J.
        • et al.
        Patterns of referral to a gender identity service for children and adolescents (1976-2011): Age, sex ratio, and sexual orientation.
        J Sex Marital Ther. 2013; 39: 1-6
      1. Guidelines for psychological practice with transgender and gender nonconforming people.
        Am Psychol. 2015; 70: 832-864
        • Korpaisarn S.
        • Safer J.D.
        Gaps in transgender medical education among healthcare providers: A major barrier to care for transgender persons.
        Rev Endocr Metab Disord. 2018; 19: 271-275
        • Telfer M.M.
        • Tollit M.A.
        • Pace C.C.
        • Pang K.C.
        Australian standards of care and treatment guidelines for trans and gender diverse Children and adolescents version 1.1.
        The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne2018
        • Hembree Wylie C.
        • Cohen-Kettenis Peggy T.
        • Gooren Louis
        • et al.
        Endocrine treatment of gender-Dysphoric/gender-incongruent persons: An Endocrine society clinical practice guideline.
        J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2017; 102: 3869-3903
        • Coleman Eli
        • Bockting Walter
        • Botzer Marsha
        • et al.
        Standards of care for the health of Transsexual, transgender, and gender-nonconforming people, version 7.
        Int J Transgenderism. 2012; 13: 165-232
        • UCSF Transgender Care, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of California San Francisco
        Deutsch M.B. Guidelines for the Primary and Gender-Affirming Care of Transgender and Gender Nonbinary People. 2nd ed. 2016 (Available at:) (Accessed January 19, 2020)
        • Chang E.S.
        • Simon M.
        • Dong X.
        Integrating cultural humility into health care professional education and training.
        Adv Health Sci Educ Theor Pract. 2012; 17: 269-278
        • Drescher J.
        • Haller E.
        APA Caucaus of lesbian G, and bisexual psychiatrist, position statement on discrimination against transgender and gender variant individuals.
        (Available at:)
        • American Psychiatric Association
        Gender dysphoria. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of mental Disorders.
        5th ed. 2013 (Washington, D.C.)
        • Veale J.F.
        • Watson R.J.
        • Peter T.
        • et al.
        Mental health disparities among Canadian transgender youth.
        J Adolesc Health. 2017; 60: 44-49
        • Meyer I.H.
        Prejudice, social stress, and mental health in lesbian, gay, and bisexual populations: Conceptual issues and research evidence.
        Psychol Bull. 2003; 129: 674-697
        • Grant J.M.
        • Mottet Lisa A.
        • Tanis Justin
        • et al.
        Injustice at every Turn: A Report of the national transgender discrimination Survey.
        National Center for Transgender Equality and National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Washington2011
        • Olson K.R.
        • Durwood L.
        • DeMeules M.
        • et al.
        Mental health of transgender children who are supported in their identities.
        Pediatrics. 2016; 137: 1-8
        • Hill D.B.
        • Menvielle E.
        • Sica K.M.
        • et al.
        An affirmative intervention for families with gender variant children: Parental Ratings of child mental health and gender.
        J Sex Marital Ther. 2010; 36: 6-23
        • de Vries A.L.
        • Steensma T.D.
        • Doreleijers T.A.
        • et al.
        Puberty suppression in adolescents with gender identity disorder: A prospective follow-up study.
        J SexMed. 2011; 8: 2276-2283
        • White Hughto Jaclyn M.
        • Reisner Sari L.
        A systematic review of the effects of hormone therapy on psychological functioning and Quality of life in transgender individuals.
        Transgender health. 2016; 1: 21-31
        • Mallory C.
        • Brown T.N.T.
        • Conron K.J.
        Conversion therapy and LGBT youth.
        Williams Institute, 2018
      2. American Academy of child and adolescent Psychiatry sexual orientation and gender identity issues Committee. Conversion therapy.
        (Available at:)
        • Olson-Kennedy J.
        • Cohen-Kettenis P.T.
        • Kreukels B.P.
        • et al.
        Research priorities for gender nonconforming/transgender youth: Gender identity development and biopsychosocial outcomes.
        Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes. 2016; 23: 172-179
        • Mountz S.
        Juvenile justice system.
        in: Goldberg A.E. The SAGE Encyclopedia of LGBTQ Studies Thousand Oaks Thousand Oaks. SAGE Publications, Inc., California2016
        • McGuire J.K.
        • Anderson C.R.
        • Toomey R.B.
        • et al.
        School Climate for transgender youth: A Mixed method Investigation of student experiences and school Responses.
        J Youth Adolescence. 2010; 39: 1175-1188
        • Telfer M M.
        • Pang Ken C.
        • Pace C.
        • et al.
        The creation of the Australian standards of care and treatment guidelines for trans and gender diverse children and adolescents.
        J Adolescent Health. 2018; 62: S49-S50
        • Winter S.
        • Settle E.
        • Wylie K.
        • et al.
        Synergies in health and human rights: A call to action to improve transgender health.
        Lancet. 2016; 388: 318-321
        • Karasic D.H.
        Protecting transgender rights promotes transgender health.
        Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 140 Huguenot Street, 3rd Floor New Rochelle, NY 10801 USA2016
        • Divan V.
        • Cortez C.
        • Smelyanskaya M.
        • et al.
        Transgender social inclusion and equality: A pivotal path to development.
        J Int AIDS Soc. 2016; 19: 20803