The National Institutes of Health is spending over $400,000 for a study that compares "gender variant" kids with "straight cisgender" kids and cisgender lesbian, gay, and bisexual kids.
The University of Minnesota has received the funding for the study, which involves a survey of 1,200 adolescents who identify as transgender.
"Gender variant individuals—that is, those whose experience of their gender doesn't match their biological sex—are experiencing an unprecedented moment in the spotlight of American culture," reads the grant for the project. "However, this group is poorly understood, particularly its youth."
The researchers claim transgender kids face higher levels of "victimization, suicide involvement, substance use and high risk sexual behaviors compared to cisgender people (i.e., matching biological sex and gender identity)."
Project aims include an "extensive analysis" of 1,200 "gender variant youth," which will be compared with their "cisgender" peers.
The researchers are comparing drug use, sexual activity, bullying, "prejudiced-based victimization," as well as the family support and school connection of transgender teens to that of "straight cisgender youth and youth who are cisgender and lesbian, gay, bisexual and questioning (LGBQ, with whom transgender youth are often grouped for services and resources)."
"Findings will provide rich information about the health needs of gender variant youth and the training or material needs of health care providers," the grant explains. "This information will be used to create youth-focused educational modules and materials to be used in training programs for health professional students and health care providers in clinical and school settings, with the ultimate goal of improving the well-being of this vulnerable population of young people."