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Science confirms that being transgender is not a mental disorder

The life choices and sexual orientation of transgender people is not the result of a mental disorder, confirms a new study, urging the World Health Organization to drop transgender identity from its list of diseases.

sex and relationships Updated: Jul 29, 2016 10:33 IST
Violence and social rejection are the cause of mental distress and impairment among transgender people, not their gender identity.
Violence and social rejection are the cause of mental distress and impairment among transgender people, not their gender identity.(Shutterstock)

The life choices and sexual orientation of transgender people is not the result of a mental disorder, confirms a new study, urging the World Health Organization to drop transgender identity from its list of diseases.

The study, published in the journal The Lancet Psychiatry and presented in Mexico on Thursday, claims that violence and social rejection are the cause of mental distress and impairment among transgender people, not their gender identity.

Read: The struggle for transgender rights

“If it’s not a disease now, then it never was. This should be clear,” Eduardo Madrigal, president of the Mexican Association of Psychiatry, said at a news conference.

The field study was conducted between April and August 2014 among 250 transgender adults who were receiving health care services at the Condesa Specialized Clinic in Mexico City.

Being transgender is a choice, neither a disease nor a punishable offence. (Shutterstock)

The group went through an interview which found that 83% had experience distress over their gender identity during adolescence.

It is the first in a series of similar studies that will be conducted in Brazil, France, India, Lebanon and South Africa.

Read: Meet the members of India’s first transgender music band

The results will be presented at the 11th revision in 2018 of the WHO’s International Classification of Diseases, a diagnostic tool for health care providers around the world.

“This reclassification will not only promote discussions for new health policies for the trans community to have better access to health services, but it will also help to reduce the stigma and rejection that they are victims of,” said Ana Fresan, one of the study’s authors.

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