More teens than expected aren’t identifying with ‘boy’ or ‘girl’ gender labels, study says

More teenagers than expected aren't identifying with traditional gender labels such as "boy" or "girl," a new study has found. (Image source: YouTube screenshot)

Dave Urbanski

More teenagers than expected aren’t identifying with traditional gender labels such as “boy” or “girl,” a new study has found.

The research was published this month in the journal, Pediatrics, and revealed that almost 3 percent of Minnesota teens aren’t identifying as boys or girls — a significant jump from a UCLA study a year ago that estimated just 0.7 percent of teens identified as transgender, CNN reported.

More teens are identifying with nontraditional gender labels such as transgender or gender-fluid, the network noted, citing the new study.

What else did the new study say?

Lead researcher Nic Rider is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Minnesota’s Program in Human Sexuality, CNN said, adding that his team examined a 2016 survey of almost 81,000 Minnesota students in the 9th and 11th grades.

The network said nearly 2,200 of these teens — about 2.7 percent — answered yes to the question: “Do you consider yourself transgender, genderqueer, gender-fluid or unsure of your gender identification?”

Someone who’s “genderqueer” doesn’t identify with conventional gender labels and may identify with neither, both or a combination of male and female identities, CNN said.

What else did the earlier UCLA study say?

The aforementioned UCLA study, published in January 2017, estimated that 0.7 percent of American teens — ages 13-17 — identify as transgender, the network said.

That study was based on government data on adults collected by 27 U.S. states in 2014 and 2015, CNN reported, adding that researchers used the adult data to estimate the percentage of transgender teens.