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Sexual health service providers' perceptions of transgender youth in England

Lefkowitz, A; Mannell, JC; (2017) Sexual health service providers' perceptions of transgender youth in England. Health and Social Care in the Community , 25 (3) pp. 1237-1246. 10.1111/hsc.12426. Green open access

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Abstract

Transgender youth often face difficulties when accessing sexual health services. However, few studies investigate health service providers’ perceptions of transgender youth, and fewer focus on sexual health. To fill this gap, our study draws on social representations theory to examine sexual health service providers’ perceptions of transgender youth and how this influences the provision of health services for this marginalized population in England. A thematic analysis of 20 semi-structured interviews with service providers, conducted between March and June 2014, resulted in five main themes centred on: binary representations of transgender; transgender as homosexuality; uncertain bodies; unstable mental states; and, too young to know. Of the service providers interviewed, many understood transgender within a male/female binary, and perceived being transgender to be synonymous with being gay. There was confusion among service providers regarding transgender youths’ sexual organs, and most of those interviewed saw transgender youth as mentally unstable and confused. Finally, many service providers perceived that transgender youth are too young to know that they are transgender and make decisions about their body. Some of these representations were potentially stigmatizing and many conflicted with transgender youths’ representations of themselves. Training by transgender people is recommended to help address these misunderstandings.

Type: Article
Title: Sexual health service providers' perceptions of transgender youth in England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/hsc.12426
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/hsc.12426
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Sexual Health, Young People, Service Provision, Transgender
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1532819
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