Pittsburgh study finds 1 in 10 teens identify as gender diverse

Pittsburgh study finds 1 in 10 teens identify as gender diverse
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Nearly one in 10 high school students surveyed in more than a dozen public high schools identified as gender diverse, according to a new study.

Pittsburg researchers analyzed nearly 3,168 student surveys from 13 Pittsburgh high schools, finding that the number of teens who identified as gender diverse, including transgender, nonbinary and genderqueer, in the city was five times higher than the national estimate.

The American Psychological Association defines gender diversity as referring to people whose gender identity or expression differs from the sex they were assigned at birth.

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Over 9 percent of the survey participants reported identifying differently than with their sexes that were assigned at birth. Nearly 30 percent of those students surveyed reported transmasculine identities and nearly 39 percent reported transfeminine identities. Nearly 31 percent identified as nonbinary, according to the survey.

Most national estimates report only about 2 percent, according to NBC News.

Dr. Kacie Kidd, a pediatrician and adolescent medicine fellow at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, explained to the news outlet that the disparity exists due to early researchers not having the proper terminology or methodology.

"Of course, not everyone who is gender-diverse identifies as transgender," Kidd said. "We worried that that language didn't encompass the breadth of gender-diverse identities we see, particularly in young people." 

The study comes as lawmakers nationwide have pushed to pass legislation that limits or restricts gender-affirming care for minors and prevents transgender students from participating in certain sports.

"We need to support young people who have questions or who may experience things like gender dysphoria,"Kidd told NBC News. "More importantly, we need to be advocates, asking questions and sharing information without waiting to be asked about it."