Over 22,000 transgender patients visited medical facilities in 2015: study

SAPPORO —

The number of transgender people visiting medical institutions in Japan totaled 22,435 by the end of 2015, a survey by a doctors’ association shows, marking a roughly 45% increase from the previous study three years earlier.

The Japanese Society of Psychiatry and Neurology, which compiled data through a survey covering 26 medical institutions across the country, estimates the actual number of transgender people exceeds 25,000, as some may not have been treated at the designated institutions.

The number of people diagnosed with gender identity disorder who visited hospitals rose by some 7,000, compared to the estimate as of the end of 2012, according to the association.

One expert indicated the number of transgender people could increase further when accounting for people including children, students and elderly who cannot go to medical institutions.

Of the 22,435 patients, 14,747 are those registered female at birth but identifying as male, and 7,688 vice versa, according to data provided by Katsuki Harima, a doctor on the association’s gender identity disorder committee.

Mikiya Nakatsuka, a professor at the Graduate School of Health Sciences, Okayama University and the head of the Japanese Society of Gender Identity Disorder, said, “It is important to share the number of patients as it could lead to deeper understanding for them and the elimination of secondary damage such as discrimination and bullying.”

A special act enacted in 2004 paved the way in the country for transgender people to change their registered sex under certain conditions. About 6,000 people subsequently changed their sex by the end of 2015.

The number of the patients who see doctors is on the rise, but some are believed to be reluctant to do so due to a lack of social understanding or financial reasons.

According to the Okayama University professor Nakatsuka, gender reassignment surgery, which is one of the criteria for official recognition of sex change, costs more than 1 million yen ($8,900), partly because it is not covered by government medical insurance.

Some experts have estimated the number of people with gender identity disorder at 46,000 nationwide.

© KYODO

  • 1

    Yubaru

    And here's to hoping that any and all who need assistance will get it without discrimination.

  • -1

    John-San

    In western countries These people are referred to and prefer to be knows has WBYSRLP community, I think it is something like that. Why can,t they just be referred to the same has myself "a person".

  • 3

    Educator60

    "Of the 22,435 patients, 14,747 are those registered female at birth but identifying as male, and 7,688 vice versa"

    Interesting as nearly all that we see on TV or in other media are those born male but identifying as female.

  • 2

    gokai_wo_maneku

    Gokai is totally gay, but even I'm confused about this. I identify totally as totally male even though in my mind "male" and "female" are cultural constructs.

  • 1

    MsDelicious

    According to the Okayama University professor Nakatsuka, gender reassignment surgery, which is one of the criteria for official recognition of sex change, costs more than 1 million yen ($8,900), partly because it is not covered by government medical insurance.

    Much cheaper than I thought.

  • 3

    Wakarimasen

    46000 out of 126 million is less than 0.0004%. Not what I would call massive social trend or issue

  • -6

    clamenza

    I identify totally as totally male even though in my mind "male" and "female" are cultural constructs.

    "male" and "female" are biological constructs. Always will be.

    Transgenders are deeply troubled people who need psychotherapy, not sex change operations which are permanent. Its no secret why a full 40% attempt suicide at some point.

  • 3

    gokai_wo_maneku

    @clamenza, transgenders could live happy lives if we let them. I doesn't bother me at all, and I can be friends without any problems. They harm nobody. There are too many people who think you are sick if you are not JUST LIKE ME!!! I AM NORMAL!!! BE LIKE ME!!!

  • 3

    John-San

    No Gokai. I feel undermined by their insistence of being refer to as a seperate group of people. That they feel that their feelings are more important then another's due to their sexuality. This is just self-centred attitude. They should just build a bridge and get over it, million of others have over millennium.

  • 0

    Robert pearce

    Exactly John-San...the "ME" attitude gets me...your a human being so get on with it and stop trying to draw attention to your self. .. I was a male once caught up in a female body. ...9 months later all was good !

  • 0

    clamenza

    @clamenza, transgenders could live happy lives if we let them. I doesn't bother me at all, and I can be friends without any problems. They harm nobody. There are too many people who think you are sick if you are not JUST LIKE ME!!! I AM NORMAL!!! BE LIKE ME!!!

    @gokai - transgendered don't bother me in the least. Thats not my point. My point is they are deeply troubled and in need of psychotherapy, as their devastating suicide rate shows.

  • -1

    gokai_wo_maneku

    @clamenza my point is that they would not be deeply troubled and in need of psychotherapy and have high suicide rates if we just treated them like everyone else and let them have a chance at happiness in this brief life of ours. What's wrong with a little variety? People used to say the same thing about gays (and some still do). We minorities have every right and need to push back.

  • 2

    Tsuchifumazu

    As long as tax payers don't have to foot the bill I don't care and wish them the best of luck.

  • -6

    clamenza

    @gokai - their suicide rates have nothing to do with not being accepted by society and everything to do with deep-rooted mental sickness. Look it up.

  • 1

    Suzanne Starr

    @clamenza

    I'm sure their high death rates (non-suicide) "have nothing to do with not being accepted by society" too. In my home area, it's common for transgenders to be curb-stomped in parking lots.

  • 0

    John-San

    Suzanne Starr: No the government should not pay for the surgery. This is a ecstatic processor.What about people how are not transgender and are visional off putting. Just plan ugly. I hope funds are put towards this section of the community if sex change surgery is support by government.

  • -1

    clamenza

    @clamenza

    I'm sure their high death rates (non-suicide) "have nothing to do with not being accepted by society" too. In my home area, it's common for transgenders to be curb-stomped in parking lots.

    A shocking statement if true, Suzanne Starr. May I ask where your home area is so that I can do a little research where transgendered are being routinely murdered in such brutal fashion? It must be in the news.

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