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Study Finds Ignoring Sexual, and Gender Diversity Among Teens May Create Barriers to Essential Support



Researchers are concerned that surveys in schools or medical intake forms do not permit LGBTQteens to identify their gender identity and sexual orientation.

Surveys of demographics given to teens in schools and intake forms that are handed out at doctor’s offices don’t provide options that are in line with the way that teens today identify what they are and their sexuality, as per new research that was published on the 21st of March within the Journal of Pediatrics.

The authors of the study say that teenagers who could require special mental health services might not be being checked for the services.

The study, carried out by scientists from the University of Minnesota, included more than 60 percent of students from Minnesota public schools between 8-9 and 11, which is nearly 100,000 teenagers in total. Researchers discovered that 9.4 percent of students identified themselves as gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer (any sexual orientation other than heterosexual and transgender), and pansexual (attracted to any gender).

Researchers found the following: 1.4 percent of college students identified themselves as transgender and genderqueer (identities beyond the traditional male/female gender binary) or gender fluid (gender identities that can alter in time) more than half of them identified as nonbinary (a broad term that could be used to mean that you are either female or male, but not or neither, or a combination of both). Additionally, 2.1 percent admitted being uncertain of their gender or gender identity.

The previous research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) discovered an average of 11.2 percent of all high school students all over the nation identified as lesbian, gay, or bisexual in the year 2019, last year’s year which statistics are available. The CDC did not collect data about gender identity that went beyond males and females.

In comparison, 5.6 percent of American adults identified themselves as lesbians or bisexual, gay, or transgender in 2021, by Gallup.

Mental Health Concerns Vary by Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation

The Minnesota researchers found significant distinctions in mental health concerns emerged when adolescents were allowed to speak out about their sexual orientation and gender.

For example, pansexual teens had the most severe depression among adolescents of different sexual orientations, as transmasculine and nonbinary teens who identified their sexual orientation as female compared to students of all genders.

Lesbian and gay teens have experienced more emotional distress and discrimination based on gender than pansexuals. Genderqueer, nonbinary, and gender-fluid students reported the most discrimination based on sexual orientation, and transgender males were the most affected by gender-based bullying.

Clinicians have missed a significant opportunity to test these people for mental health concerns and provide them with affirmation and special care, according to the lead study’s writer, Amy L. Gower Ph.D., a doctoral research associate at Pediatrics in the Department of the University of Minnesota.

Forms for medical intake and school questionnaires that provide options beyond gender or race could significantly differ.

“At the end of the day, the biggest piece is for us to say these terms are being used widely by young people,” Dr. Gower says, “and for adults to really understand and take the time to self-educate about what these terms are, and mean, and what they mean for young people so that we can create safe and affirming spaces where young people can belong for who they truly are.”

Research That Ignores Diversity May End Up Stifling Meaningful Mental Health Interventions

It’s also the right time for researchers to understand better the variety of ways adolescents self-identify as they see themselves, according to Renato “Rainier” M. Liboro Ph.D., an associate professor in psychology at the University of Nevada in las vegas news.

“The role and responsibility of all researchers are to stay current,” the Dr. Liboro, “and therefore be more relevant to that time.” Mainly when research is often used to inform practices and policies that affect the lives of LGBTQ and teens, these kinds of studies are vital to uncovering the gaps in how we meet teens’ needs. Being well-informed can assist researchers in gaining the trust of youth, which may be more comfortable with similar studies in the future.

RELATED: Young and Figuring Out LGBTQ+ Identity

“This kind of research relies heavily on self-reporting, so it really depends on the participation of people,” Liboro declares. The latest report “highlights the fact that in order for us to be able to get the most accurate, the most representative data that we can, in order to support young people of diverse sexual and gender identities, we need to be able to have them come forward, have their voices heard, and have their experiences recognized.”

Considerations for Future Research

Gower admits the Minnesota study had its limitations. In particular, the form of the question “What is your biological sex?” could pose a problem for transgender teens who might have responded with the gender they are close to instead of the gender they were born with, which is a crucial distinction to ensure that data is accurately captured.

“It is really important to talk to young people and bring their voices in,” Gower states. “Survey research gets us started on this, but we’re now doing work with young people in qualitative interviews to understand how they think about their identity, and how other important identities, like their racial and cultural identity, play into that.”

In the 2021 Trevor Project National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health, Half of LGBTQ youngsters of color had experienced discrimination due to race or ethnicity during the last year, not to mention discrimination due to gender, sexual orientation, or identity.

Gower states that LGBTQand teens believe they are more comfortable and enjoy better mental health if adults around them take more time to learn about the terms they are using in defining themselves. “We hear from many LGBTQ young people in other work we’ve done that it gets tiring to explain what their identity means,” Gower states. “One of the messages we want to get out is that supporting young people means doing some of your own work to learn on your own, rather than putting that on young people all the time because it becomes exhausting.”

Gower suggests the youth-led group Trans Student Educational Resources as an excellent place to begin.

Mental Wellness

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Helpful Tips Before Going For A Transgender Hair Transplant



A surgical hair implant is an intuitive way for transgenders to get gender identity. This is a viable treatment that helps them to adjust and reshape their hairlines. Male-to-female folks can seek the feminine look of hair. Female-to-male transgenders can get masculine hair with a transgender hair transplant. Simply put, this surgery works to thicken the existing hairs on the scalp and restore the new ones. However, male and female hairs have distinguished characteristics that define their genders. So, it is important to form shape and position as per the natural flow of hairs. Though it could be somewhat challenging to create a natural hairline in the case of MTF implants. The male DHT hormone can interrupt the procedure with male pattern baldness. Therefore, surgery must be performed by a skilled hair surgeon. Here is some useful information to consider if you are planning to undergo transgender hair implants.

Consult with the hair surgeon

The foremost thing is that you must visit a good hair restoration clinic before the treatment. It helps you get the right treatment recommendation by the surgeon per your specific needs. The surgeon will evaluate the quality of your existing hair, which is most important. You will get new hairs from what you have since hair transplant transgender is not magical. Your donor hairs will be used for creating a hairline as per your new gender. In the case of MTF, the DHT factor will be essential to consider. It’s a male hormone that causes hair loss and can pose a challenge for hair transplant for transgenders.

Know your treatment options

Well, it is essential that you know your treatment options before getting one. In this hair implant surgery, the surgeon would have to follow the right path to attain expected outcomes. FUE and FUT are two viable solutions for hair transplantation. In the case of the transgender community, FUE is the best option to carry out the extraction of donors’ hairs individually. This helps the surgeon to get healthy grafts from the back and sides of your head. The removed hairs will be then implanted in bald sites to create a natural hairline. For example, in MTF transgender hair transplant, more hairs will be needed to implant in front of the scalp. This would create a feminine look by using a round-shaped hairline.

Cost of treatment

Cost is an essential element to consider before getting surgical hair implants. In the case of transgender hair restoration, the cost might vary as per the need for new hair. Thus, it is crucial to discuss with your hair surgeon before getting the treatment done. It will help you to know exactly the number of grafts needed for overall hair implants. You can make a personalized consultation with the surgeon to know about cost estimation. It would strictly depend on the extent of baldness you have at the time of gender transformation. Before hair transplant transgender, you might also need to have non-surgical treatment with medicines. This can work to reduce the impact of male pattern baldness for surgical hair restoration ahead.

Know what to avoid before surgery

If you are about to get surgery for transgender hair restoration, you need to follow some post-op instructions. You must ask the surgeon what to avoid and how to take care of your hair. It is crucial to avoid anti-inflammatory medicines at least ten days prior to surgery. You must also avoid consuming blood thinners and alcohol since they can increase the risk of bleeding. Before a day, you must get adequate sleep and avoid using hair spray and gel. It is also necessary to remain stress-free before and during the surgery.

The hair surgeon would begin surgery with Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). During the procedure, your hairs will be extracted from donor sites and will be implanted in bald areas. Transplantation of hairs might take 5-6 hours to complete full hair restoration to provide you with fuller scalp coverage. After completion, you can return to your home and must follow post-operative instructions. This would help you to achieve expected outcomes with a transgender hair transplant.

What to look for transgender hair transplant?

As mentioned earlier, males and females have distinct hairline characteristics. So, a hair surgeon would consider several factors such as: 

  • Shape of hairline
  • Position of hairline
  •  Flow of hairs
  •  Baldness pattern

This helps the surgeon to provide you with a natural hairline as per the gender.

 To sum up

 With the evolution of new hair transplantation techniques, it is now possible to get hair transplant transgender successfully. FUE and FUT are the smarter techniques that can overcome the challenges of this hair implant. So, you can have a natural hairline to get a masculine and feminine look. It’s vital to consult with an experienced hair surgeon to attain the best results. You must keep these tips in mind to achieve fuller satisfaction with hair transplantation.

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