Study: More U.S. Teens Identify as Transgender Than Previously Thought

More American teens identify as transgender or gender nonconforming than previously known, according to a new study that analyzed a 2016 statewide survey of nearly 81,000 teens in Minnesota in ninth and 11th grades. About 2,200 in that group—or 3 percent—identified as transgender or gender nonconforming. Previous studies estimated that 0.7 percent of teens aged 13 to 17 are transgender. According to the latest study, published in Pediatrics on Monday, the kids who identified as transgender or gender nonconforming have also been reporting worse mental and physical health than others. Those findings are similar to previous research, which has determined that bullying and discrimination are likely contributing factors. “Diverse gender identities are more prevalent than people would expect,” said the study’s chief author, Nic Rider. “With growing trans visibility in the United States, some youth might find it safer to come out and talk about gender exploration.”