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Transgenderism, transsexualism, and gender identity

Statements by professional associations

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American Medical Association (AMA) policies concerning gender identity:

The AMA has published many resolutions that promote the acceptance of human diversity, and oppose discrimination against individuals and groups, whether based on race, gender, religion, color, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, ethnic origin, national origin, age, "or any other basis that would constitute invidious discrimination." 1 Examples are:

  • "H-65.992: "Our AMA continues
    1. to support the dignity of the individual, human rights and the sanctity of human life, and
    2. to oppose any discrimination based on an individual's sex, ... gender identity, and any other such reprehensible policies. ..."
  • H-65.983: "The AMA affirms that it has not been its policy now or in the past to discriminate with regard to sexual orientation or gender identity. ..."

  • H-65.990: "The AMA reaffirms its long-standing policy that there is no basis for the denial to any human being of equal rights, privileges, and responsibilities commensurate with his or her individual capabilities and ethical character because of an individual's sex, ... gender identity, or transgender status, ..." 1
  • B-1.50: "Membership in any category of the AMA or in any of its constituent associations shall not be denied or abridged because of sex, ... gender identity, ... or for any other reason unrelated to character, competence, ethics, professional status or professional activities."

  • B-6.524: "Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs. To receive appeals filed by applicants who allege that they, because of sex, ... gender identity, ... or for any other reason unrelated to character or competence have been unfairly denied membership in a component and/or constituent association, to determine the facts in the case, and to report the findings to the House of Delegates. ..."

  • E-9.03 Civil Rights and Professional Responsibility. Opportunities in medical society activities or membership, medical education and training, employment, and all other aspects of professional endeavors should not be denied to any duly licensed physician because of race, ... gender identity ... ."

  • E-9.12: "... physicians who offer their services to the public may not decline to accept patients because of race, ... gender identity or any other basis that would constitute invidious discrimination."

  • H-200.951: Our AMA supports increased diversity across all specialties in the physician workforce in the categories of race, ... sexual orientation/gender identity... ."

  • G-630.130 "It is the policy of our AMA not to hold meetings or pay member, officer or employee dues in any club, restaurant, or other institution that has exclusionary policies based on gender, ... gender identity ... ."

  • H-295.969: "Our AMA urges:
    1. the Liaison Committee on Medical Education to amend the Standards for Accreditation of Medical Education Programs Leading to the MD Degree, Part 2, Medical Students, Admissions to read: 'In addition, there must be no discrimination on the basis of sex, ... gender identity ...' and
    2. the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education to amend the 'General Essentials of Accredited Residencies, Eligibility and Selection of Residents' to read: 'There must be no discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity... '."

  • H-310.919: "Our AMA:
    1. opposes questioning residency or fellowship applicants regarding marital status, ... gender identity, ... ."

  • H-295.878 "Our AMA:
    1. supports the right of medical students and residents to form groups and meet on-site to further their medical education or enhance patient care-without regard to their gender, gender identity,...;
    2. supports students and residents who wish to conduct on-site educational seminars and workshops on health issues in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender communities; and
    3. encourages the Liaison Committee on Medical Education and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education to include Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender health issues in the cultural competency curriculum for medical education."
  • H-160.991 § 3: Our AMA will use the results of the survey being conducted in collaboration with the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association to serve as a needs assessment in developing such tools and online continuing medical education (CME) programs with the goal of increasing physician competency on gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender health issues. ..."

  • H-65.976: "Our AMA encourages physician practices, medical schools, hospitals, and clinics to broaden any nondiscriminatory statement made to patients, health care workers, or employees to include 'sexual orientation, sex, or gender identity' in any nondiscrimination statement."

  • -65.996: "Our AMA will encourage and work with state medical societies to provide a sample printed nondiscrimination policy suitable for framing, and encourage individual physicians to display for patient and staff awareness-as one example: "This office appreciates the diversity of human beings and does not discriminate based on race, ... or gender identity."

  • D-65.995 Health Disparities Among Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Families. Our AMA will work to reduce the health disparities suffered because of unequal treatment of minor children and same sex parents in same sex households by supporting equality in laws affecting health care of members in same sex partner households and their dependent children."

  • H-60.940: "Our AMA will collaborate with the US Surgeon General on the development of a comprehensive report on youth violence prevention, which should include such issues as bullying, racial prejudice, discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, and similar behaviors and attitudes."

  • H-65.979: "Our AMA asks youth oriented organizations to reconsider exclusionary policies that are based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

  • H-180.980: "The AMA opposes the denial of health insurance on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity."

  • H-185.950: "Our AMA supports public and private health insurance coverage for treatment of gender identity disorder as recommended by the patient’s physician."

  • H-440.885: "Our AMA supports a national health survey that incorporates a representative sample of the U.S. population of all ages (including adolescents) and includes questions on sexual orientation, gender identity, and sexual behavior. 1
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The American Psychological Association's policies concerning Gender Dysphoria:

The APA has issued a policy statement titled: "Transgender, Gender Identity, & Gender Expression Non-Discrimination." It was adopted on 2008-AUG. Excerpts from the report include the APA noting that:

  • "... transgender and gender variant people frequently experience prejudice and discrimination."

  • "... psychologists can, through their professional actions, address these problems at both an individual and a societal level."

  • "... transgender and other gender variant people benefit from treatment with therapists with specialized knowledge of their issues."

  • "... discrimination and prejudice against people based on their actual or perceived gender identity or expression detrimentally affects psychological, physical, social, and economic well-being."

  • "... transgender people may be denied basic non-gender transition related health care despite evidence that appropriately evaluated individuals benefit from gender transition treatments."

  • "... gender variant and transgender people may be denied basic civil rights and protections including:
    • the right to civil marriage which confers a social status and important legal benefits, rights, and privileges;
    • the right to obtain appropriate identity documents that are consistent with a post-transition identity; and
    • the right to fair and safe and harassment-free institutional environments such as care facilities, treatment centers, shelters, housing, schools, prisons and juvenile justice programs."

  • "... transgender and gender variant people experience a disproportionate rate of homelessness ... unemployment ... and job discrimination, disproportionately report income below the poverty line and experience other financial disadvantages."

  • "... transgender and gender variant people may be at increased risk in institutional environments and facilities for harassment, physical and sexual assault, ... and inadequate medical care including denial of gender transition treatments such as hormone therapy."

  • "... many gender variant and transgender children and youth face harassment and violence in school environments, foster care, residential treatment centers, homeless centers and juvenile justice programs,"

  • "... psychologists are in a position to influence policies and practices in institutional settings, particularly regarding the implementation of the Standards of Care published by the World Professional Association of Transgender Health (WPATH, formerly known as the Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association) which recommend the continuation of gender transition treatments and especially hormone therapy during incarceration."

  • "... psychological research has the potential to inform treatment, service provision, civil rights and approaches to promoting the well-being of transgender and gender variant people."

  • " APA has a history of successful collaboration with other organizations to meet the needs of particular populations, and organizations outside of APA have useful resources for addressing the needs of transgender and gender variant people."

The APA resolves that, for persons of all gender identities and expressions, their Association supports:

  • "... the passage of laws and policies protecting ... [their] rights, legal benefits, and privileges."

  • "... full access to employment, housing, and education."

  • "... access to civil marriage and all its attendant benefits, rights, privileges and responsibilities."

  • "... efforts to provide fair and safe environments for gender variant and transgender people in institutional settings such as supportive living environments, long-term care facilities, nursing homes, treatment facilities, and shelters, as well as custodial settings such as prisons and jails.

  • "... efforts to provide safe and secure educational environments, at all levels of education, as well as foster care environments and juvenile justice programs, that promote an understanding and acceptance of self and in which all youths, including youth of all gender identities and expressions, may be free from discrimination, harassment, violence, and abuse."

  • "... the provision of adequate and necessary mental and medical health care treatment for transgender and gender variant individuals."

  • "... access to appropriate treatment in institutional settings ... including access to appropriate health care services including gender transition therapies."

  • "... the creation of educational resources for all psychologists in working with individuals who are gender variant and transgender."

  • "... the funding of basic and applied research concerning gender expression and gender identity."

  • "... the creation of scientific and educational resources that inform public discussion about gender identity and gender expression to promote public policy development, and societal and familial attitudes and behaviors that affirm the dignity and rights of all individuals."

  • "... cooperation with other organizations in efforts to accomplish these ends."

Finally, the APA:

  • "... calls upon psychologists in their professional roles to provide appropriate, nondiscriminatory treatment to transgender and gender variant individuals and encourages psychologists to take a leadership role in working against discrimination towards transgender and gender variant individuals."

  • "... encourages legal and social recognition of transgender individuals consistent with their gender identity and expression, including access to identity documents consistent with their gender identity and expression which do not involuntarily disclose their status as transgender for transgender people who permanently socially transition to another gender role."

  • "... recognizes the efficacy, benefit and medical necessity of gender transition treatments for appropriately evaluated individuals and calls upon public and private insurers to cover these medically necessary treatments."

  • "... opposes all public and private discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived gender identity and expression and urges the repeal of discriminatory laws and policies."2

 

Report of the APA's task force on gender identity and gender variance:

The American Psychological Association's (APA) task force published a report, also during 2008-AUG. They noted that:

".... many transgender and gender variant people experience stigmatization and discrimination as a result of living in a gendered culture into which they often do not easily fit. They may not only experience an inner sense of not belonging, but may also experience discrimination, harassment, sometimes lethal violence, and denial of basic human rights. These issues, too, often bring transgender people into contact with mental health professionals. ..."

"The stigmatization and discrimination experienced by transgender people affect virtually all aspects of their lives, including physical safety, psychological well-being, access to services, and basic human rights. ..."

"A disproportionate number of violent and sometimes lethal acts are directed against transgender and other gender variant people. Gendered facilities such as restrooms, athletic facilities, college dormitories, group homes, shelters, and prisons sometimes pose extraordinary barriers for transgender people. ..."

"As these examples illustrate, the needs of transgender people are inextricably linked to broader issues of human rights and social justice, issues with which APA is greatly concerned." 3

References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. GLBT Advisory Committee, "AMA Policy Regarding Sexual Orientation," American Medical Association, at: http://www.ama-assn.org/
  2. "APA Policy Statement: Transgender, Gender Identity, & Gender Expression Non-Discrimination," American Psychological Association, 2008-AUG, at: http://www.apa.org/
  3. "APA Task Force on Gender Identity and Gender Variance, American Psychological Association, 2008-AUG, at: http://www.apa.org/ This is a PDF file and is no longer online.

Original posting: 2011-AUG-28
Latest update: 2015-DEC-21
Compiler: B.A. Robinson

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