Diagnoses for gender dysphoria increased in every U.S. state except for South Dakota between 2018 and 2022, as per recent data from Definitive Healthcare.
South Dakota experienced a 23% decline in such diagnoses, while all other states reported a minimum increase of 6%.
In the previous year, South Dakota implemented restrictions on medical treatments for transgender minors. Similar prohibitions exist in at least 23 states, although they are actively enforced in only 14 of these states, the Daily Wire reports.
In 2020, legislators in South Dakota also advocated for a similar ban, which likely had significant implications. “The dual chilling effects of reduced access to sympathetic providers and the self-directed seeking of care in states where long-term access was protected,” Definitive Healthcare stated.
Virginia experienced the most dramatic increase in gender dysphoria diagnoses with a 274% surge. Indiana followed closely with a 247% increase, while Utah ranked third with a 193% rise.
On the other end, Hawaii reported the smallest increase at 6%, with Connecticut just above at a 10% increase.
The decline in gender dysphoria diagnoses in other states with bans also indicates that minors, who might have previously been receiving these diagnoses, are now possibly seeking transgender services in different locations.
Recently, numerous healthcare experts have strongly endorsed the use of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and in certain cases, surgical transitions for minors, including procedures like double mastectomies and genital surgeries.
Meanwhile, there has been growing concern among critics about the irreversible impacts of these treatments and surgeries, particularly when it comes to children.
According to a study published in JAMA Network Open in August, gender-affirming surgeries in the U.S. almost tripled from 2016 to 2019. The count rose from approximately 4,550 surgeries in 2016 to around 13,000 by 2019.
In recent years, numerous teenage girls in the U.S., with some as young as 12, have undergone elective double mastectomies for gender-related reasons, involving the removal of their healthy breasts.
Both puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones are associated with significant health hazards. Puberty blockers impact bone development and density and lead to sexual dysfunction, voice harm, infertility, and other problems. Cross-sex hormones carry risks of infertility, lethal blood clots, heart attacks, heightened risks of breast and ovarian cancers, liver problems, exacerbation of psychological disorders, and other severe health issues.
Currently, there is a growing trend among young people to embrace new gender identities.
As of 2022, it’s estimated that around 300,000 individuals aged 13 to 17 in the U.S. identify as transgender, and this number has been on the rise.
In 2018, minors accounted for 17.5% of gender dysphoria diagnoses. This figure increased to 20.4% by 2022, a rise that the report attributes to transgender identities becoming more “accepted by society.”
The proportion of young people within the transgender-identifying community has grown from 10% in 2016 to 18% recently. In contrast, the percentage of transgender-identifying adults has remained constant, as indicated by earlier research from The Williams Institute.
Approximately 1.6 million Americans aged 13 and older now identify as transgender, making up about 0.5% of the total U.S. population, based on the report from Definitive Healthcare.