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CommonHealth: Study Finds Kids Who Don't Conform To Gender At Higher Risk Of Abuse

On Monday the Harvard School of Public Health published research that takes a closer look at children who don’t conform to gender stereotypes.

A press release from Harvard summarizes the study’s findings:

Men who ranked in the top 10th percentile of childhood gender nonconformity reported a higher prevalence of sexual and physical abuse before age 11 and psychological abuse between ages 11 and 17 compared with those below the median of nonconformity. Women in the top 10th percentile reported a higher prevalence of all forms of abuse as children compared with those below the median of nonconformity. Rates of PTSD were almost twice as high among young adults who were gender nonconforming in childhood than among those who were not.

Andrea Roberts, the lead author of the study titled “Childhood Gender Nonconformity: A Risk Indicator for Childhood Abuse and Posttraumatic Stress in Youth,” joined Radio Boston to further discuss the study’s findings.

“Our research basically says that kids who are nonconforming in childhood need a lot of support and protection,” Roberts explained. “That they are potentially a vulnerable group and that their parents can do a lot to provide the support and attention by giving them positive attention, by paying attention to what is going on in their lives, and by accepting them as they are.”

Guests:

  • Aayesha Siddiqui, CommonHealth contributor
  • Andrea Roberts, research associate at the Harvard School of Public Health, lead author of “Childhood Gender Nonconformity: A Risk Indicator for Childhood Abuse and Posttraumatic Stress in Youth”

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