Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 41, Issue 4, pp 759–796 | Cite as

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

  • William ByneEmail author
  • Susan J. Bradley
  • Eli Coleman
  • A. Evan Eyler
  • Richard Green
  • Edgardo J. Menvielle
  • Heino F. L. Meyer-Bahlburg
  • Richard R. Pleak
  • D. Andrew Tompkins
Original Paper


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 



This report, chaired by William Byne, was approved by the Joint Reference Committee, July 2011 and by the APA Board of Trustees, September 2011. The findings, opinions, and conclusions of this report do not necessarily represent the views of the officers, trustees, all members of the task force, or all members of the APA. The views expressed are those of the authors of the individual chapters. Task Force Reports are considered a substantive contribution of the ongoing analysis and evaluation of problems, programs, issues, and practices in a given area of concern. We would like to thank the following for reading and providing comments on the initial draft of the report: Peggy T. Cohen-Kettenis, Ph.D., Jack Drescher, M.D., Sharon Preves, Ph.D., and Nada Stotland, M.D. This report is published in Archives of Sexual Behavior with permission from the American Psychiatric Association.


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Copyright information

© American Psychiatric Association 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • William Byne
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Susan J. Bradley
    • 3
  • Eli Coleman
    • 4
  • A. Evan Eyler
    • 5
  • Richard Green
    • 6
  • Edgardo J. Menvielle
    • 7
  • Heino F. L. Meyer-Bahlburg
    • 8
  • Richard R. Pleak
    • 9
    • 10
  • D. Andrew Tompkins
    • 11
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryJJ Peters VA Medical CenterBronxUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryMt. Sinai School of MedicineNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Gender Identity Service, Child, Youth, and Family ProgramCentre for Addiction and Mental HealthTorontoCanada
  4. 4.Department of Family Medicine and Community HealthUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA
  5. 5.Departments of Psychiatry and Family MedicineUniversity of Vermont College of MedicineBurlingtonUSA
  6. 6.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  7. 7.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Children’s National Medical CenterThe George Washington UniversityWashingtonUSA
  8. 8.New York State Psychiatric Institute/Department of PsychiatryColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  9. 9.Department of PsychiatryHofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine Glen OaksNew YorkUSA
  10. 10.Department of Clinical Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesAlbert Einstein College of MedicineBronxUSA
  11. 11.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesJohns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA

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