Original Paper

Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 41, Issue 4, pp 759-796

First online:

Report of the American Psychiatric Association Task Force on Treatment of Gender Identity Disorder

  • William ByneAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, JJ Peters VA Medical CenterDepartment of Psychiatry, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine Email author 
  • , Susan J. BradleyAffiliated withGender Identity Service, Child, Youth, and Family Program, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
  • , Eli ColemanAffiliated withDepartment of Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Minnesota
  • , A. Evan EylerAffiliated withDepartments of Psychiatry and Family Medicine, University of Vermont College of Medicine
  • , Richard GreenAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, University of California
  • , Edgardo J. MenvielleAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Children’s National Medical Center, The George Washington University
  • , Heino F. L. Meyer-BahlburgAffiliated withNew York State Psychiatric Institute/Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University
  • , Richard R. PleakAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine Glen OaksDepartment of Clinical Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
  • , D. Andrew TompkinsAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

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Both the diagnosis and treatment of Gender Identity Disorder (GID) are controversial. Although linked, they are separate issues and the DSM does not evaluate treatments. The Board of Trustees (BOT) of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), therefore, formed a Task Force charged to perform a critical review of the literature on the treatment of GID at different ages, to assess the quality of evidence pertaining to treatment, and to prepare a report that included an opinion as to whether or not sufficient credible literature exists for development of treatment recommendations by the APA. The literature on treatment of gender dysphoria in individuals with disorders of sex development was also assessed. The completed report was accepted by the BOT on September 11, 2011. The quality of evidence pertaining to most aspects of treatment in all subgroups was determined to be low; however, areas of broad clinical consensus were identified and were deemed sufficient to support recommendations for treatment in all subgroups. With subjective improvement as the primary outcome measure, current evidence was judged sufficient to support recommendations for adults in the form of an evidence-based APA Practice Guideline with gaps in the empirical data supplemented by clinical consensus. The report recommends that the APA take steps beyond drafting treatment recommendations. These include issuing position statements to clarify the APA’s position regarding the medical necessity of treatments for GID, the ethical bounds of treatments of gender variant minors, and the rights of persons of any age who are gender variant, transgender or transsexual.


Gender identity disorder Gender dysphoria Transsexualism Disorders of sex development American Psychiatric Association