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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, September 14, 2018 - Volume 46 Issue 37
Half of FTM Trans teens attempted suicide in a three-year period, study says
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Half of FTM Trans teens attempted suicide in a three-year period, study says

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Half of female-to-male Transgender teens in the US have attempted suicide in the last three years, according to a new report published by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The study, titled 'Transgender Adolescent Suicide Behavior,' investigates suicidal behavior in six gender identities among youth, authors Russell B. Toomey, Amy K. Syvertsen, and Maura Shramko wrote.

Included in their study were Transgender male-to-female, Transgender female-to-male, nonbinary, questioning, cisgender female, and cisgender male teens.

The authors used data from the Profiles of Student Life: Attitudes and Behaviors survey of 617 teens between the ages of 11 and 19. The data were gathered from June 2012 to May 2015.

According to the authors, their primary objective was to examine prevalence rates of suicide behavior across the listed gender identities. Their secondary objective was to examine any associations between key sociodemographic characteristics and suicidal behavior across gender identity groups.

Two findings jump out at the reader:

o First, an astonishingly large proportion of gender-nonconforming teens attempt suicide, and

o Second, there appeared to be a large discrepancy among the different gender identities in suicide attempts.

During the period under investigation, 50.8% of Transgender female-to-male-identifying teens reported attempted suicide. This was the highest number among all groups.

Next, 41.8% of nonbinary people and 29.9% of Transgender male-to-female-identifying people reported suicide attempts.

Finally, 27.9% of questioning teens, 17.6% of cisgender females, and 9.8% of cisgender males reported attempts.

A total of 14% of all the teens in the study reported a suicide attempt, highlighting the much higher proportion of gender-nonconforming teens who attempt to take their own lives.

'Identifying as nonheterosexual exacerbated the risk for all adolescents, except for those who did not exclusively identify as male or female (i.e., nonbinary),' the study found.

'For transgender adolescents, no other sociodemographic characteristic was associated with suicide attempts.'

'These harrowing statistics lay bare the urgency of building welcoming and safe communities for LGBTQ young people, particularly for transgender youth,' said the director of the HRC's Children, Youth, and Families Program, Ellen Kahn, in response to the study.

'The distressing reality reflected in this study is preventable, and our nation's schools, political leaders, and communities can take concrete steps to combat this epidemic.'

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Half of FTM Trans teens attempted suicide in a three-year period, study says
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