Psychiatrists find gender identity ‘conversion therapy’ leads to suicidal ideation

A study published Wednesday said psychiatrists found that people who go through gender identity “conversion therapy” are associated with suicide ideation and attempts.

The study published in JAMA Psychiatry studied the impacts of conversion therapy, methods used to attempt to change a transgender person’s gender identity to cisgender, NBC News reported

The lead author for the study, Jack Turban, told NBC News this study was original in investigating gender identity conversion therapy as other research has looked into conversion therapy for sexual orientation.

“This study is the first to show that gender identity conversion efforts are associated with adverse mental health outcomes, including suicide attempts,” Turban, a resident physician in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, told NBC News.

More than 27,000 transgender people participated in the study’s survey, with 71 percent communicating with a religious or secular adviser about their gender identity. Of those, about 20 percent said the conversations included pushes for gender identity conversion, NBC News reported.

Participants who experienced conversion therapy before age 10 were four times more likely to report suicide attempts than other respondents, Turban told NBC News.

“This is important because some experts continue to advocate for gender identity conversion efforts for young children,” Turban said in a statement obtained by NBC News. “We hope our findings contribute to ongoing legislative efforts to ban gender identity conversion efforts.”

Eighteen states and the District of Columbia have banned the practice of gay conversion therapy on minors.


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