The number of gender confirmation surgeries is increasing in the US
(Mirror Daily, United States) – A new report shows that gender confirmation surgeries in the US increased in the last year by almost 20 percent. The study, published by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), tracked the number of such operations and found that, in 2016, there were more than 3,200 transmasculine and transfeminine surgeries.
Gender confirmation surgeries
A gender confirmation surgery, also known as sex reassignment surgery, is a procedure performed on a transgender person to change the functions and physical appearance of their sexual characteristics. This is part of the treatment for gender dysphoria, when a person is born with a sex but identifies with another. This type of procedure can also be performed on infants born as intersex.
People who choose to undergo gender confirmation surgeries also need medical assistance from a specialist. For instance, they need to undergo hormone therapy for the change to be complete. Also, mental health therapy is an important step in the change.
The rise in the number of sex reassignment surgeries shows that people understand the fact that this is not a cosmetic procedure, but rather a corrective procedure to help transgender people attain the physical appearance that matches their gender identity.
Broader access to sex reassignment procedures
One of the factors which influenced the rise of the gender confirmation surgeries is the increasing access to the procedure. Before 2014, coverage for these surgeries was banned. Now, Medicare has started covering some of these operations. A surgery like this can cost thousands of dollars, making it hard for uninsured people to pay for it.
The Affordable Care Act also made it easier for transgender people to undergo such procedures. Now that the Republicans want to repeal ObamaCare, people are concerned that gender confirmation will become inaccessible again, and the social stigma against trans people will return.
“People aren’t taking their lives because they are trans. It’s the stigma and the pressure from society that creates the overwhelming despair that drives people to end their lives,” mentioned Gearah Goldstein, advocate for transgender people.
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