Abstract for: Gender-Affirming Care surgery units development

In the USA, it is estimated that 1.4 million adults, or 0.6% of the total population, identify as transgender as of 2018. Recent reports indicate this number to be increasing. Many transgender people seek gender affirming surgery to align their gender identity with their physical reality and thereby decreasing or resolving their gender dysphoria. Studies show that gender dysphoria diagnoses are increasing and that the average age of clients seeking gender-affirming surgery is decreasing. However, there are several reasons for believing that demand for gender-affirming care and consequently gender-affirming units will flatten or even decline in coming years. In this work in progress presentation, we draw on data from a major Cleveland hospital to explore current and future demand for gender-affirming care units in the United States to inform the development of a preliminary system dynamics simulation model. The model represents demand for gender-affirming care as an endogenous variable influenced by the prevalence of gender dysphoria, stigma, awareness of surgical options, technology, access and affordability of surgical options, discrimination, and conformity to gender binarism.