About the organization:
The American Psychological Association is the largest association of psychologists worldwide.
APA RESOLUTION on Gender Identity Change Efforts
"WHEREAS APA opposes discrimination on the basis of gender identity, gender expression, and transgender and gender nonbinary identities, and actively opposes the adoption of discriminatory legislation (APA, 2008) .... BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the APA opposes the dissemination of inaccurate information about gender identity, gender expression, and the efficacy of GICE, including the claim that gender identity can be changed through treatment, the characterization of transgender or gender nonbinary identity as a mental disorder and the promotion of treatments that prescribe gender identity or expression consistent with one’s birth-assigned sex as effective for clients with gender dysphoria..."
Date: February 2021
APA adopts resolution opposing biased or coercive efforts to change individuals’ gender identity
"The American Psychological Association has adopted a resolution opposing efforts to change people’s gender identity, citing scientific research showing that such actions may be harmful.
The resolution, adopted by APA’s governing Council of Representatives on Feb. 26, aligns with the association’s stance against similar efforts aimed at changing people’s sexual orientation.
“There is a growing body of research that shows that transgender or nonbinary gender identities are normal variations in human expression of gender,” said APA President Jennifer F. Kelly, PhD. “Attempts to force people to conform with rigid gender identities can be harmful to their mental health and well-being.”
The Resolution on Gender Identity Change Efforts (PDF, 105KB) emphasizes that “individuals who have experienced pressure or coercion to conform to their sex assigned at birth or therapy that was biased toward conformity to one’s assigned sex at birth have reported harm resulting from these experiences, such as emotional distress, loss of relationships, and low self-worth.”
At the same meeting, the council also adopted an updated Resolution on Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (PDF, 222KB), which reiterates APA’s opposition to using nonscientific explanations to frame same-gender and multiple-gender orientations as unhealthy. APA adopted its first resolution discouraging efforts to change people’s sexual orientation in 1997 and a second in 2009, when it also issued a task force report with a systematic review of research on the topic. The new resolution now specifically opposes those efforts."
Date: March 2021
APA Comments on Nondiscrimination in Health and Health Education Programs or Activities
The APA opposed the repeal of transgender-specific protections under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act noting: "We are especially concerned about the discrimination many transgender people experience in the healthcare system because the proposed rule eliminates the general prohibition of discrimination based on gender identity, as well as specific health insurance coverage protections for transgender people. ...
APA practice guidelines recognize that care for transgender persons can include assessment, psychotherapy or surgery." Even though these treatments may be clinically necessary, providers or insurance plans under the proposed rule may refuse to provide or pay for them. ...
Additionally, after publication of the rule implementing Section 1557, one study showed that over 95% of insurers removed exclusions for gender dysphoria treatments from their 2017 plans, ensuring that a greater number of transgender consumers can have access to treatment. If the proposed rule were implemented, positive gains made in improving transgender health outcomes in recent years would be lost."
Transgender, Gender Identity & Gender Expression Non-Discrimination
Anton, B. S., Proceedings of the American Psychological Association for the legislative year 2008: Minutes of the annual meeting of the Council of Representatives. American Psychologist, 64, 372–453 (2009).
"Therefore be it resolved that APA opposes all public and private discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived gender identity and expression and urges the repeal of discriminatory laws and policies; ...
Therefore be it further resolved that APA calls upon psychologists in their professional roles to provide appropriate, nondiscriminatory treatment to transgender and gender variant individuals and encourages psychologists to take a leadership role in working against discrimination towards transgender and gender variant individuals; ...
Therefore be it further resolved that APA supports the provision of adequate and necessary mental and medical health care treatment for transgender and gender variant individuals;
Therefore be it further resolved that APA recognizes the efficacy, benefit and medical necessity of gender transition treatments for appropriately evaluated individuals and calls upon public and private insurers to cover these medically necessary treatments;
Therefore be it further resolved that APA supports access to appropriate treatment in institutional settings for people of all gender identities and expressions; including access to appropriate health care services including gender transition therapies; ..."
Updated on Jul 3, 2023