Transgender youth who take puberty-delaying hormone treatments are more likely to be happier when they fully transition, according to a new study.
The study found that starting on hormone replacements around age 14 resulted in better mental health for trans youth, and that they had an easier time transitioning into their lived and true gender identity later on.
“The first thing this study shows is that transgender young people, with appropriate treatment, can function at the same psychological level as the rest of the population,” Jenifer McGuire, co-author of the study, told BuzzFeed News. “They have the same distribution as everyone else when they’re treated properly.”
The Dutch study, which involved 22 transgender men and 33 transgender women, found that because of the early hormone treatment, the participants ultimately had no more emotional distress, anxiety, or issues with body image than their peers in the general population after they had transitioned. They also required less gender reassignment surgery, as physical characteristics that develop during puberty were suppressed.
Studies like this are so, so important because they add another layer of credibility to the work we already know is important. We know one of the ways to help trans youth become their true selves as happily and healthily as possible, and the research clearly shows that we should keep doing it.