Standards of Care for Gender Nonconforming People
On September 25, 2011, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) released a newly-revised edition of the Standards of Care for the Health of Transsexual, Transgender, and Gender Nonconforming People (SOC). The SOC is considered the standard document of reference on caring for the transsexual, transgender, and gender nonconforming population. The SOC focuses on primary care, gynecologic and urologic care, reproductive options, voice and communication therapy, mental health services and hormonal and surgical treatment. Eli Coleman, PhD, served as the chair of the international SOC revision committee, and in his presentation he will outline what is new and different in this version. Revisions include the recognize that gender nonconformity in and of itself is not a disorder and that many people live comfortable lives without having to seek therapy or medical interventions for gender confusion or unhappiness. The new SOC also provides more detailed clinical guidelines to address the health care needs of children, adolescents, and adults with gender dysphoria who need assistance with psychological, hormonal, or surgical care. In addition to clearly articulating the collaborative relationship needed between transsexual, transgender, and gender nonconforming individuals and health care providers, the new standards provide for new ways of thinking about cultural relativity and culture competence.
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