Cincinnati, Ohio – Some 2.7% of US teens may be gender-nonconforming, according to a new study published in the journal Pediatrics. The term “gender-nonconforming” includes teens that identified as transgender, genderfluid, and nonbinary.

The study was based on a 2016 survey of nearly 81,000 teens in Minnesota. Of those included in the survey, some 2,200 reported that they were gender-nonconforming, about four times the figure reported in a similar study conducted by UCLA last year. Nic Rider, a University of Minnesota postdoctoral fellow who is the new study’s lead author, said that the results can be used to estimate numbers across the US. “Diverse gender identities are more prevalent than people would expect,” he added. The higher number of teens willing to self-identify as gender-nonconforming could be explained by changing attitudes, according to Rider. “With growing trans visibility in the US, some youth might find it safer to come out and talk about gender exploration,” he said.

Dr. Daniel Shumer, a specialist in trans medicine at Michigan University, wrote in an accompanying Pediatrics article that the study supported other research. He said that when put together, all the findings suggest that the trans teen population has previously been “underestimated by orders of magnitude.” “Youth are rejecting this binary thinking and are asking adults to keep up,” Shumer added. The study also found that trans teens report worse mental and physical health than other children. This conclusion is also supported by other research. A 2016 study, for example, found that 40% of trans people in the US have attempted suicide. In 2017 at least 25 trans people were murdered in the US, the largest number in a decade. Most were African-American women. (Seattle Gay News – Mike Andrew at Sgn.org)