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Health disparities between genderqueer, transgender, and cisgender individuals: An extension of minority stress theory.

Research Youth Mental Health & Wellbeing
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Authors: Lefevor, G. T., Boyd-Rogers, C. C., Sprague, B. M., & Janis, R. A.

Date of publication: 2019

Journal: Journal of Counseling Psychology

Summary: This US study looked at experiences of minority stress and health outcomes for non-binary college students compared with gender diverse students who identified as a binary gender (i.e., either male or female) and cisgender (i.e., not gender diverse) students. Minority stress theory suggests that members of a minority group experience unique stresses due to being ‘different’ to the mainstream culture. This difference can result in stressors such as stigma, prejudice, rejection and discrimination which, in turn, can cause physical and mental health difficulties. The researchers looked at data from 3,568 college students, of which 892 identified as non-binary.

They found that non-binary students were harassed, sexually abused, and subjected to traumatic events at higher rates than were either cisgender or binary transgender individuals. Approximately 50% of non-binary participants reported at least one of these events. The researchers also found that non-binary participants experienced more anxiety, depression, psychological distress, and eating concerns than did binary transgender and cisgender individuals and more social anxiety than did cisgender individuals. Non-binary participants also reported more frequent self-harm and suicidality than did any other group, with approximately 2/3 of participants having contemplated suicide and nearly 50% making a suicide attempt. The researchers concluded that a number of factors account for non-binary individuals experiencing negative events and having poorer health outcomes than their peers including others’ lack of knowledge about non-binary experiences and pronouns, poor access to legal and medical resources, and systemic discrimination.

You can read a summary of the study only here