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Lisa Black

In a statewide surveillance survey, students used a broader set of sexual and gender identity terms to describe themselves than the response options typically provided in surveys and forms. The study, “Diverse Sexual and Gender Identity, Bullying, and Depression Among Adolescents,” published in the April 2022 Pediatrics (published Mon. March 21) found that pansexual and queer youth, as nonbinary youth and transmasculine youth who reported their sex as female, carry a particularly high burden of bias and discrimination. Research was based on results of the 2019 Minnesota Student Survey, which included 124,778 students in grades 8, 9 and 11. A similar proportion of students indicated they were pansexual (1.7%) as gay or lesbian (1.6%). About 43% of transgender and gender diverse youth identified as nonbinary. Respondents reported depressive symptoms, in addition to their experiences of bullying based on sexual orientation and gender. Rates of depression and bias-based bullying differed by identity, sometimes dramatically, demonstrating the importance of examining specific sexual and gender identities in clinical practice and research, the authors determined. They support the inclusion of a broader set of sexual and gender identity response options, such as pansexual and nonbinary, in epidemiologic surveys and patient forms. They also recommend that clinicians screen for additional services and supports these youth may need in order to thrive.


The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 67,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults.

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