Scientists have urged the World Health Organization (WHO) to remove the transgender identity from its current classification as a mental health disorder. Being a transgender does not satisfy the definitional requirements of mental disorders, they say.
The scientists have made their point on the basis of a study that was conducted at Condesa Specialised Clinic in Mexico, and published in the journal, Lancet Psychiatry. The study analysed 250 transgender adults to determine whether mental distress in these people is a result of their transgender identity or the social rejection and violence they face.
The research said that of the 250 transgender persons that were enrolled in the study during the period between April 1, 2014 and Aug 17, 2014, 202 were assigned a male sex at birth.
"Participants reported first awareness of transgender identity at a mean age of 5·6 years whereas 74 percent had used health interventions for body transformation, most commonly hormones with the first such intervention at a mean age of 25·0 years. 84 percent of those who had used hormones did so initially without medical supervision," it added.
As many as 84 percent of the participants experienced distress during adolescence while most of them reported encountering family, social, work or scholastic dysfunction related to their gender identity. They experienced distress and all types of dysfunction as a result of them facing rejection from society.
The study argued that there is a need to classify the transgender identity as a health-related category outside the mental health disorders. The move would help in shaping informed and educated opinions about transgenders in society, which could assist in framing public health policies for reducing marginalisation and victimisation of this community.