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Nord J Psychiatry. 2020 Jan;74(1):40-44. doi: 10.1080/08039488.2019.1667429. Epub 2019 Sep 26.

Time trends in referrals to child and adolescent gender identity services: a study in four Nordic countries and in the UK.

Author information

1
Department of Adolescent Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine and Health Technoloy, Vanha Vaasa Hospital, Tampere, Finland.
2
Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
3
Gender Identity Development Service, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK.
4
Sexological Clinic, Psychiatric Centre Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.
5
Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
6
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Division of Paediatric and Adolescent Medicine, Gender Identity Clinic for Children, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway.
7
Department of Adolescent Psychiatry, Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland.

Abstract

Purpose: To explore whether the increase observed in referrals to child and adolescent gender identity services (GIDSs) has been similar in four Nordic countries and in the UK.Materials and methods: Numbers of referrals per year in 2011-2017 were obtained from all GIDS in Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and the UK and related to population aged <18.Results: A similar pattern of increase in referral rates was observed across countries, resulting in comparable population adjusted rates in 2017. In children, male:female birth sex ratio was even; in adolescents, a preponderance of females (birth sex) was observed, particularly in Finland.Conclusions: The demand for GIDSs has evolved similarly across Nordic countries and the UK. The reasons for the increase are not known but increased awareness of gender identity issues, service availability, destigmatization as well as social and media influences may play a role.

KEYWORDS:

Gender identity; children and adolescents; referral rates; time trends

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