Research finds no correlation between gender anxiety and suicide risk among Finnish youth

A recent study published in BMJ Mental Health has shed light on the relationship between suicide risk and sexual anxiety in young people seeking gender identity treatment. The research, led by doctoral researcher Sami-Matti Ruuska from the University of Tampere, found that the suicide risk related to sexual anxiety may have been overestimated.

The study focused on suicide rates among young Finnish individuals who sought treatment for gender dysphoria at gender identity clinics. While suicides were rare, those who had serious mental health problems were at a slightly higher risk compared to a control group. However, the researchers emphasized that psychiatric illness was a significant factor in predicting suicidal mortality in young people, rather than gender anxiety.

The study included individuals under 23 who sought gender identity assessment between 1996 and 2019, with a total of 2,083 participants. When mental health problems requiring specialized care were taken into account, the suicide risk did not significantly differ between those with gender anxiety and the control group. This suggests that the necessity of gender reassignment treatments in preventing suicides may not be as crucial as previously thought.

Furthermore, the researchers emphasized the need to identify and treat mental health disorders in young people as a crucial step in suicide prevention. The study cautioned against rushing into transgender treatments solely based on the presence of suicidal thoughts, emphasizing the importance of a comprehensive approach to mental health care. Overall, the findings suggest that a deeper understanding of the factors contributing to suicide risk in young people with sexual anxiety is essential for effective prevention strategies.

By Riley Johnson

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