Year: 2020 Source: The International Journal of Transgenderism. (2017). 20(2-3), 230-240 DOI: 10.1080/15532739.2017.1370627 SIEC No: 20200953

Background : Little research has compared the mental health and victimization experiences of non-binary youth depending on their sex assigned at birth (SAAB), or compared these two groups with binary transgender youth. Aims : To compare mental health, self-harm and suicidality, substance use and victimization experiences between non-binary and binary transgender young adults, both male assigned at birth (MAAB) and female assigned at birth (FAAB). Methods : Online survey data from 677 participants from the “Youth Chances” community study of 16 to 25¬†year olds in the United Kingdom was analyzed, comparing across binary participants (transgender females (n = 105) and transgender males (n = 210)) and non-binary participants (MAAB (n = 93) and FAAB (n = 269)). Results : Female SAAB participants (binary and non-binary) were more likely to report a current mental health condition and history of self-harm than male SAAB participants (binary and non-binary). Similarly, female SAAB participants (binary and non-binary) were more likely to report childhood sexual abuse than male SAAB participants (binary and non-binary); the reverse pattern was found for lifetime physical assault relating to being LGBTQ. Non-binary MAAB participants were less likely than the other groups to report past suicide attempts and previous help-seeking for depression/anxiety. Binary participants reported lower life satisfaction than non-binary participants. For all four groups, mental health problems, self-harm, suicidality, alcohol use and victimization experiences were generally higher than that of youth in general population studies. Conclusions : These findings highlight the importance of considering both non-binary versus binary gender identity and SAAB in relation to mental health problems, self-harm, suicidality and substance use in transgender youth. The roles of sexual abuse, other abuse and discrimination in contributing to increased rates of mental illness and self-harm in non-binary and binary transgender individuals, particularly those who were assigned female at birth, relative to those assigned male, require investigation.