New research published in the Journal of Adolescent Health by scholars at the University of Texas purports to show that the more transgender youth are called by their preferred name in society, it lowers their risk of suicide and depression. However, a top pediatrician denounced the research as “meaningless” and leading to “false” conclusions.
“Do not be fooled. This recent study, like all trans youth studies before it, is political agenda masquerading as science,” Dr. Michelle Cretella, president of the American College of Pediatricians, which publicly opposes gender transition procedures and treatments for children, told The Christian Post.
“As is customary of all trans youth research, this is a woefully small study that is not at all representative of children who self-identify as transgender nationwide. Consequently, the statistics derived from it are meaningless and the conclusions false.”
The study, conducted by Stephen T. Russell, chair of the school’s Department of Human Development and Family Sciences, and his team of researchers, claims to have found a noticeable link between the use of preferred names and reduced mental health risks such as depressive symptoms and suicidal behaviors in transgender individuals.
The team interviewed 129 youths ages 15 to 21 in three U.S. cities — one in the Northeast, one in the Southwest and one on the West Coast — and asked if people call them by their chosen name at school, work, home and while they are hanging out with their friends.
According to Russell, the sample is “remarkably ethnically and geographically diverse and diverse in terms of social class.”
Compared to peers who said they are not allowed to use their chosen name in any of the four societal settings, the study found that respondents who are allowed to use their name in all four areas experienced 71 percent fewer symptoms of severe depression, a 65 percent decrease in suicidal attempts and a 34 percent decrease in reported thoughts of suicide.
“Many kids who are transgender have chosen a name that is different than the one that they were given at birth,” Russell said in a statement. “We showed that the more contexts or settings where they were able to use their preferred name, the stronger their mental health was.”
The study also found that respondents who had only one social venue in which their chosen name is used is associated with a 29 percent decrease in suicidal thoughts.
“I’ve been doing research on LGBT youth for almost 20 years now, and even I was surprised by how clear that link was,” Russell stated.
Russell suggested that allowing transgender youths to use their chosen name instead of their name assigned at birth in places such as schools, hospitals, workplaces, financial institutions and other areas of society is a step that should be taken to help affirm a person’s transgender identity.
While a number of left-leaning media sites have picked up on the survey, Cretella is warning not to jump to conclusions based off of the findings in the new study.
Cretella, one of the most prominent critics of hormone therapy for children, told CP that only 74 respondents in the University of Texas study actually changed their birth name.
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Source: Christian Post