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Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

Drexel: Transgender Adults Holding Gender-Affirming IDs Have Better Mental Health

Having gender-affirming documents, such as a passport, driver’s license, or birth certificate, may improve mental health among transgender adults, according to new findings published in The Lancet Public Health from researchers at the Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health.

“Having IDs that don’t reflect how you see yourself, and how you present yourself to the world, can be upsetting,” said lead author Dr. Ayden Scheim, an assistant professor at Dornsife. “It can also potentially expose people to harassment, violence, and denial of service. Despite this, the relationship between gender-concordant ID and mental health had not previously been examined in the U.S.”

The study used data from 22,286 adults in the United States who participated in the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey — conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality — and were living day-to-day in a gender different from the one assigned at birth. Just under half – 45 percent – did not have their preferred name and gender designation on any identification documents, 44 percent had limited gender-affirming identification and just 10 percent had their preferred information on all documentation.

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