Researcher says bill harms trans youth

A researcher at KU who studies mental health in transgender and LGBTQ youths said there is ample research showing how bills like the one being advanced in Kansas have a negative mental health impact on trans kids.

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March 22, 2021 - 4:12 PM

LAWRENCE — When the Kansas Senate debated and then passed the bill aimed at preventing transgender girls from participating in sports, a focus of the 2.5-hour debate was whether or not this kind of legislation harms transgender and LGBTQ children.

But a researcher at the University of Kansas who studies mental health in transgender and LGBTQ youths said there is ample research showing how bills like this have a negative mental health impact on trans kids. 

Megan Paceley, an assistant professor at the KU School of Social Welfare, has been researching the connection between hostile policies and trans youths’ wellbeing and has found that states with more hostile policies lead to worse mental health outcomes for trans and LGBTQ youths. Paceley’s study focused on interviewing transgender youths in two midwestern states and asked them about the rhetoric in their communities and states. 

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