Body Image

Elsevier, Psychiatric Clinics of North America, Volume 40, June 2017
Although sexual minority women (SMW) and transgender women have become increasingly visible in recent years and have made progress in achieving civil rights, they continue to face significant levels of discrimination, stigma, and physical violence. As a result, each group faces a wide variety of health disparities, including mental illness and substance use disorders. Overall, both SMW and transgender women experience higher rates of mood and anxiety disorders, suicidality, and substance use disorders than their heterosexual and cisgender counterparts.
Treatment of gender-identity disorders is guided by standards set forth by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH). Although not absolute, WPATH's eligibility criteria for hormone therapy and/or genital-reconstructive surgery include participation in psychotherapy. In addition, applicants for genital-reconstructive surgery are required to live at least one year full-time in the preferred gender role, a period referred to as the real-life experience (RLE).