Author Interviews, Gender Differences, JAMA, Pediatrics / 25.03.2019 Interview with: Dr. David Klein MD MPH Associate Program Director National Capital Consortium (NCC) Family Medicine Residency Fort Belvoir Community Hospital Dr. Elizabeth Hisle-Gorman MSW, PhD Assistant Professor, Uniformed Services University What is the background for this study?  Response: Our study, “Transgender Children and Adolescents Receiving Care in the U.S. Military Healthcare System: A Descriptive Study,” sought to analyze the number of military dependent children and adolescents who have a transgender or gender-diverse identity and receive medical care in the Military Health System (MHS), recognizing that the number has been increasing, but not knowing to what extent. Ultimately, in studying this data, we hoped to document the needs of transgender children in military families to support provision of adequate and appropriate high-quality care. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, HIV, Sexual Health / 09.11.2017 Interview with: Adrian Juarez, PhD, RN Assistant Professor The State University of New York School of Nursing Department of Family, Community and Health Systems Sciences Buffalo, New York 14214 What is the background for this study? Response: HIV testing is considered the initial component of HIV eradication strategies such as “seek, test, treat, and retain.” This study examines the characteristics of an urban, transgender population in western New York when volunteering for an HIV test. The use of an intersectional lens was observed in order to determine the level of influence of sexual partnership types, previous HIV and STD testing, substance use, housing status referral source and racial/gender identification on HIV testing. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, Sexual Health / 17.08.2017 Interview with: Traci K. Gillig Doctoral Candidate Annenberg School of Communication and Erica L. Rosenthal Senior Research Associate Hollywood, Health & Society University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA 90211 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Time magazine declared America reached a “transgender tipping point” in 2014, with the media visibility of transgender people reaching new levels. While research has shown that entertainment shapes viewers' attitudes, no prior studies had explored the cumulative effects of exposure to media portrayals of transgender people. To address this gap, we worked with the TV show Royal Pains (USA Network) to assess how viewers’ attitudes toward transgender people and related policy issues were influenced by seeing a brief fictional portrayal of a transgender teen as well as other transgender TV characters and up until a few years ago the only transgender many had even heard of were the lady boy shows in Thailand, or shemales on shemale hd sex. We had advance notice of the storyline through Hollywood, Health & Society (HH&S), an organization affiliated with the USC Annenberg School of Communication. HH&S serves as a free resource to the entertainment industry, providing accurate health (and other) information through consultation with subject matter experts. Royal Pains assisted us in recruiting viewers for our study through their social media accounts. A total of 391 viewers who saw the episode featuring a transgender teen participated in our study, and we supplemented this sample with Royal Pains viewers who had not seen the episode, accessed through market research panels. Findings of our study showed that viewers who saw the Royal Pains episode featuring a transgender character had more supportive attitudes toward transgender people and related policies, compared to viewers who did not see the episode. Additionally, cumulative exposure to transgender entertainment narratives improved viewers' attitudes toward transgender people and policies. Neither exposure to transgender issues in the news nor Caitlyn Jenner’s story influenced attitudes. Further, aligning with prior research, viewers who were more politically conservative reported more negative attitudes toward transgender people and less support for transgender-affirming policies. However, seeing multiple such storylines reduced the strength of this link by one half. Political ideology also influenced viewers’ responses to the Royal Pains episode. Those who were politically liberal were more likely to feel hope or identify with the transgender character in the episode, while those who were politically conservative were more likely to react with disgust. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, JAMA, Johns Hopkins, Mental Health Research, Pediatrics / 21.02.2017 Interview with: Julia R.G. Raifman, ScD Post-doctoral fellow Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health What is the background for this study? Response: Suicide is the second leading cause of death among adolescents between the ages of 15 and 24 years old in the United States. Gay, lesbian, and bisexual adolescents have elevated rates of suicide attempts. In our study, we found that 29% of gay, lesbian, and bisexual adolescents reported attempting suicide in the past year relative to 6% of heterosexual adolescents. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, Sexual Health, University of Michigan / 31.12.2016 Interview with: Halley Crissman, MD, MPH University of Michigan Resident Physician Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology University of Michigan Ann Arbor, Michigan What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: There has been very little data on the epidemiology of the transgender population in the U.S., including basic information regarding the proportion of adults that identify as transgender. Transgender is an identity term for individuals whose gender expression and gender identity does not align with culture expectations and gender norms associated with sex assigned at birth. Our study used data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2014 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System to estimate the demographic characteristics of the U.S. adult transgender population compared to the non-transgender population. We found that 0.53% of U.S. adults identified as transgender. Transgender individuals were more likely to be non-white and below the poverty line, were less likely to attend college, and were as likely to be married, living in a rural area, and employed, compared to non-transgender individuals. (more…)
Author Interviews, Autism, Gender Differences / 08.11.2016 Interview with: Dr. John Strang, PsyD Division of Pediatric Neuropsychology Children's National Health System. What is the background for this study? What are the main findings Response: Gender dysphoria or transgenderism (GD) and autism spectrum disorders (ASD) often co-occur. Between 9 and 25% of youth referred for gender dysphoria concerns have co-occurring ASD. Autistic transgender youth often require significant supports; their autism symptoms alone present challenges, but when combined with gender dysphoria, the clinical needs and complexities increase significantly. For example, an autism spectrum disorder, with its resulting social and communication challenges, can make it more difficult for a transgender teen to advocate for their needs around gender. Specialists from youth gender clinics from around the world have years of experience working with autistic transgender youth. This study used an international search process to identify experts in co-occurring ASD and GD. Twenty-two experts were identified and participated in this multi-stage consensus building study. A set of initial clinical guidelines for the evaluation and care of youth with co-occurring ASD and GD were produced. (more…)
Author Interviews, Endocrinology, Sexual Health / 15.02.2015

Joshua D. Safer MD, FACP Director, Endocrinology Fellowship Training and Endocrinology Education Boston University Medical Center Associate Professor of Medicine and Molecular Medicine Boston University School of Medicine Interview with: Joshua D. Safer MD, FACP Director, Endocrinology Fellowship Training and Endocrinology Education Boston University Medical Center Associate Professor of Medicine and Molecular Medicine Boston University School of Medicine   Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Safer: This is a review of the current medical literature in favor of the biologic nature of gender identity.  The main barrier to medical care for transgender patients is lack of physicians with the knowledge and willingness to provide that care. A major concern of physicians is that this is a mental health issue, meaning that transgender hormone therapy and surgery may be too drastic a response to an individual who should be counseled instead.  The review lays out the evidence to make it clear that a major component of gender identity is biologic even if we don’t have the exact details worked out.  Therefore, counseling alone cannot address the disconnect between transgender individuals’ gender identity and their physical bodies. (more…)