Transgender Students, Bathroom Access and Suicide

April 21, 2016

A new North Carolina law bars public institutions, including public colleges and universities, from letting transgender people use bathrooms that don't reflect their assigned gender at birth. A new study by a Georgia State University professor suggests that such policies are linked to suicide attempts by transgender students. The study used data from the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, focusing on 2,300 people who identified as transgender when in college. Nearly one-fourth of those said that they had been denied access to appropriate bathrooms or dormitory rooms while in college. The attempted suicide rate of all people in the study (consistent with other studies showing very high rates for transgender people) was 46.5 percent. The rate for those denied bathrooms or living spaces that reflected their gender identities was 60.5 percent.

The study was conducted by Kristie Seelman, assistant professor of social work at Georgia State, and was published in The Journal of Homosexuality.

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