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APA resolves to play leading role in improving treatment for gender-variant people
Date:8/17/2008

programs and graduate internships to welcome and support transgender and gender-variant people;
  • APA should develop separate practice guidelines for transgender clients;
  • APA should encourage more research into gender identity and expression, including the reliability and validity of diagnostic criteria for gender identity disorders;
  • APA should advocate for antidiscrimination protection for transgender people in jurisdictions that lack such laws.

    With regard to research, the task force listed a series of recommended areas of focus, including social stigma and public attitudes toward gender identity; identity development, including prospective studies of children and adolescents; the process and outcome of transgender-specific health care; and the variables associated with the efficacy of sex reassignment.

    As a direct result of the task force's work, APA added gender identity to its nondiscrimination policy earlier this year. This builds upon prior adoption of gender identity nondiscrimination language in APA's bylaws, Code of Ethics and its Guidelines and Principles for Accreditation of Professional Programs in Psychology.

    In addition, the task force developed a brochure, Answers to Your Questions about Transgender Individuals and Gender Identity (http://www.apa.org/topics/transgender.html), which APA published in 2006 and has made available on its Web site.

    The task force recommended that APA take no position with respect to the diagnosis of gender identity disorder, which is sometimes required for transgender clients to obtain needed care. "Psychologists who work with clients with gender identity issues are not of one mind on this issue," task force members wrote. They noted that the psychiatric profession publishes the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, which contains GID, "and thus revision is their responsibility."

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  • Contact: Kim I. Mills
    kmills@apa.org
    202-336-6048
    American Psychological Association
    Source:Eurekalert

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