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Study Says Youth Don’t Identify as Trans Because of “Social Contagion”

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Pediatrics, researchers found that the percentage of adolescents identifying as transgender actually declined between 2017 and 2019.

That finding challenges the claim, often repeated by skeptics of gender identity, that the number of people identifying as transgender is climbing due to broader societal acceptance, the influence of social media, and peer pressure.The findings were based on data collected from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey, a biennial national survey distributed to high school students asking them about the environment they face at school, their mental well-being, and their health habits, including drug or alcohol use.

Although the CDC survey does not require states to record students’ gender identity, questions about sexual orientation have been administered since 2015, and 16 states opted to include questions asking students about their gender identity in 2017 and 2019. (Data for 2021 is not yet available.)Using the data from those states, researchers found the most trans youth were assigned male at birth — a finding that runs counter to claims that females with poor self-image, autism or lack of social skills are more likely to identify as transgender due to social media or peer pressure.

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