A survey of transgender and non-binary people from six continents and in thirteen languages shows that during the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic, many faced reduced access to gender-based resources and this reduction was related to worse mental health. Brooke Jarrett of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, and colleagues present the findings in the open access journal PLOS ONE on July 9th.
Resources that affirm gender, which they can include health care such as surgery and / or hormone therapy In addition to gender-based services and products, they are known to significantly increase the mental health and quality of life of transgender and non-binary people. However, factors such as transphobia, lack of proper training of physicians, and individual economic insecurity can hinder access to these resources.
Meanwhile, increasing evidence suggests that measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 exacerbated these challenges. For example, people may have had to cancel surgeries that claimed gender were considered elective. Or they may have had to move in with unsupportive relatives and spend more time living according to their assigned sex at birth rather than their actual gender.
To better understand the global impact of the COVID-19 crisis on transgender and non-binary people, Jarrett and colleagues surveyed 964 adults living in 76 countries using Hornet and Her social networking applications. The survey, conducted between April and August 2020, asked participants how the pandemic had affected their access to resources that assert gender, mental health and financial stability.
Statistical analyzes of survey responses showed that approximately half of the participants faced reduced access to resources that asserted gender during the study period. Nearly 40% said the pandemic reduced their ability to live by gender. Many also reported anticipation financial difficulties, such as the possible reduction in income and the possible loss of health insurance. Those who reported reduced access to resources that assert gender also had an increased prevalence of depressive symptoms, anxiety, and suicidal ideation.
The researchers say their findings highlight the need to increase and ensure access to gender-based resources to improve the health of transgender and non-binary people, during and outside the COVID-19 pandemic.
The authors add: “Transgender communities, which already face a myriad of health inequalities, experienced even more health burdens due to restrictions imposed during COVID, such as reduced access to treatments that claim the gender i mental health resources. To move forward, we need to support trans communities with the policies they make genre– affirming affordable, accessible and recognized healthcare as essential “.
Brooke A. Jarrett et al, Attention Gender, Mental Health, and Economic Stability in COVID-19 Time: A Multinational Cross-sectional Study of Transgender and Non-Binary People, PLOS ONE (2021). DOI: 10.1371 / journal.pone.0254215
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Citation: COVID-19 pandemic related to reduced access to gender care in 76 countries (2021, July 10) recovered on July 10, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-07 -covid-pandemic-linked-access- gender statement.html
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