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Characteristics and Mental Health of Gender Nonconforming Adolescents in California

December 13, 2017

Fact Sheet

Authors: Bianca D.M. Wilson, Soon Kyu Choi, Jody L. Herman, Tara Becker, PhD, Kerith J. Conron

This fact sheet reports representative data on gender expression collected from California youth during the 2015-2016 data cycle of the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) and describes findings related to the demographics and mental health of gender nonconforming (GNC) youth as compared to gender conforming youth. The study finds that GNC youth make up a significant segment (27 percent) of the adolescent population in California. GNC and gender conforming youth did not statistically differ in their rates of lifetime suicidal thoughts.

However, GNC youth were significantly more likely to report severe psychological distress in the past year compared to gender conforming youth. This fact sheet, a collaboration of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, is the first representative survey of the adolescent population of California that included a measure of gender expression.

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