Updated Feb 14, 2024 - Health

Report retracted: Gender dysphoria diagnoses rise in California

Editor's note: After this article was published Jan. 16, 2024, the company that was the source of the data, Definitive Healthcare, retracted its report and removed the link to the findings.

  • Axios pressed Definitive Healthcare for an explanation multiple times. On Feb. 2, the company sent Axios a statement: "Upon review, we determined that the analysis cited in the referenced article was below our standards, so we elected to retract the article."
  • Based on that statement, Axios is no longer confident in the report. For transparency, the original article remains below. The map has been removed.

Gender dysphoria diagnoses in California rose 102% between 2018 and 2022, according to a new Definitive Healthcare analysis.

The big picture: Such diagnoses rose in nearly every state in that time frame — falling only in South Dakota, which last year became the sixth state to restrict gender-affirming care for minors.

Be smart: Gender dysphoria is a form of psychological distress felt by people who believe their assigned sex fails to match their gender identity.

  • Not all transgender people experience or are diagnosed with gender dysphoria.
  • But such a diagnosis is often a first step when seeking gender-related mental health care or gender-affirming care in order to access treatment and activate insurance coverage.

State of play: Conservative leaders and lawmakers nationwide have been seeking to restrict gender-affirming care in recent years — in some cases, forcing those seeking such care to travel out-of-state to receive it.

  • But not all those who want such care have the means to travel.

Zoom in: California, last year, became a refuge for parents seeking gender-affirming care for their kids following the implementation of Senate Bill 107.

  • If parents and their children travel to California from a state that restricts gender-affirming care, the law is designed to protect parents from being criminally prosecuted for supporting their transgender children's access to such care.

Zoom out: Nationwide, it appears that young Americans are increasingly open to seeking gender-affirming care.

  • The share of gender dysphoria diagnoses among patients under 18 increased from 17.5% to 20.4% from 2018 to 2022 — perhaps a reflection of trans identities and gender identity ideas becoming "more accepted by society," per the report.
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