Results of Member Survey on Gender Incongruence of Childhood (GIC) Diagnosis for ICD-11

As WPATH members may recall, a survey was conducted in last December and January to tap members’ views on WHO proposals for a Gender Incongruence of Childhood diagnosis, to be employed with children below the age of puberty, and to be placed in ICD-11 (alongside a Gender Incongruence of Adolescence and Adulthood diagnosis) in a chapter called ‘Conditions Related to Sexual Health.” You may recall that much of the debate on the GIC proposal has focused on whether there should be a disease diagnosis for young children exploring their identity, and learning to become comfortable expressing it. The survey examined members’ views concerning the GIC proposal, as well as on an alternative framework employing non-pathologising Z Codes.

Two hundred and forty one members completed the survey. The survey indicated an even split among members regarding the GIC proposal (51.1% opposing and 47.7% supporting the proposal). However, non-US members were overall opposed to the proposal (63.9% opposing, 36.1% supporting).  In the event of the proposed diagnosis entering ICD, members were in favor of the proposed name (51.0% versus 13.7% opposed) and the proposed location (41.1% versus 7.5% supporting the idea that it is classified as a mental disorder). Among those expressing a view about Z Codes, there was substantial overall support for their use in healthcare provision for children with gender issues (35.7% of the sample supporting, versus 8.3% rejecting). Support was evident, not only among those who oppose the WHO GIC proposal, but also among those who support it. The support was evident regardless of geographical location, time spent working in trans healthcare, or client age group. WPATH will take account of the results of the membership survey in future communications with WHO on this matter.

A paper including discussion of these results has been submitted for journal publication. If and when the full paper is published, the WPATH Office will issue an announcement to the membership with details.

WPATH Members may also be interested to know that on September 8, 2015, the European Parliament adopted a report (the Ferrara Report on the situation of fundamental rights in the European Union, available at which calls on the European Commission and Member States to provide better models to protect human rights, including the human rights of LGBTI people. In particular, the Commission is called to prevent gender variance in childhood from becoming a new ICD diagnosis. The report also “deplores the fact that transgender people are still considered mentally ill in the majority of Member States and calls on them to review national mental health catalogues, while ensuring that medically necessary treatment remains available for all trans people;” (89), among other provisions that protect the rights and dignity of transgender people.

The press release PDF from Transgender Europe (TGEU) concerning this report and the European Parliament’s position will be posted on the WPATH web site for download, and is available through the link below. Welcomes Adoption of Ferrara Report.pdf

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