Dean’s Statement About Gender Affirming Care

Friday, Feb 25, 2022

By Dean Scott Ryan
School of Social Work


The UTA School of Social Work strongly opposes any efforts to redefine child abuse to include gender affirming care. 


Ongoing endeavors to change the definition of child abuse to include medically-indicated care based on best clinical and research evidence is in opposition to the UTA SSW values and to the Code of Ethics governing professional behavior of social workers. 


Gender-affirming care has been shown to reduce suicidal ideation and attempts in transgender individuals, as well as increase social support, familial support, while reducing discrimination.   Any attempts to change the definition of child abuse to include gender affirming care poses a significant danger to the health and well-being of vulnerable youth and their families in Texas.


We stand strongly with individuals of all gender identities, their families, and the professionals that support them.

In solidarity,

 Dean Scott Ryan

Scott D. Ryan
Dean and Professor
School of Social Work
The University of Texas at Arlington


Watch resource below video presentation and panel discussion produced by UTA School of Social Work – May 24, 2021.


Working with LGBTQ+ Youth and Families Through the Lifespan



Dr. Micki Washburn (She/her), UTA SSW Assistant Professor


Panel of Experts:

Dr. Brittanie Atteberry Ash (She/her), UTA SSW Assistant Professor

Dr. De’An O. Roper (She/her), UTA SSW Assistant professor of Practice

Devyn Box (They/them), MSW SSW UTA graduate

Dr. Adam McCormick (He/him), St. Edward University

Angela Faith Tankard (She/her) Director at YMCA of the Triangle Durham, NC


Some recommended resources and information to expand your knowledge:


  1. Allen, L. R., Watson, L. B., Egan, A. M., & Moser, C. N. (2019). Well-being and suicidality among transgender youth after gender-affirming hormones. Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology, 7(3), 302–311. 
  2. American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (2019). Statement Responding to Efforts to ban Evidence-Based Care for Transgender and Gender Diverse Youth. Available at: 
  3. American Psychiatry Association (2018). Position Statement on Access to Care for Transgender and Gender Variant Individuals Available at: 
  4. American Psychological Association. (2015). Guidelines for psychological practice with transgender and gender nonconforming people. American Psychologist, 70, 832– 864. 
  5. Bauer G.R., Scheim A.I., Pyne J., Travers R., Hammond R. (2015).Becerra-Culqui T.A., Liu Y., Nash R., et al. (2018). Mental health of transgender and gender nonconforming youth compared with their peers. Pediatrics141(5),e20173845. 
  6. Chew, D., Anderson, J., Williams, K., May, T., & Pang, K. (2018). Hormonal treatment in young people with gender dysphoria: a systematic review. Pediatrics, 141(4), e20173742. 
  7. Costa R., Dunsford M., Skagerberg E., Holt V., Carmichael P., & Colizzi M. (2015). Psychological support, puberty suppression, and psychosocial functioning in adolescents with gender dysphoria. Journal of Sexual Medicine,12, 2206–2214. 
  8. de Vries A.L., McGuire J.K., Steensma T.D., Wagenaar E.C., Doreleijers T.A., & Cohen-Kettenis P.T. (2014). Young adult psychological outcome after puberty suppression and gender reassignment. Pediatrics, 134, 696-704. 
  9. de Vries A.L., Steensma T.D., Doreleijers T.A., and Cohen-Kettenis P.T. (2011). Puberty suppression in adolescents with gender identity disorder: A prospective follow-up study. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 8, 2276–2283. 
  10. Durwood L., McLaughlin K.A., & Olson K.R. (2017). Mental health and self-worth in socially transitioned transgender youth. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 56, 116-123. 
  11. Hatzenbuehler M.L. (2009). How does sexual minority stigma “get under the skin”? A psychological mediation framework. Psychological Bulletin, 135(5),707–730.Hatzenbuehler, M. (2010). Social factors as determinants of mental health disparities in LGB populations: Implications for public policy. Social Issues and Policy Review4(1):31-62. 
  12. Hill, B.J., Crosby, R., Bouris, A. et al. (2018). Mental health of transgender children who are supported in their identities. Pediatrics, 137(3), e20153223. 
  13. Ryan C., Huebner D., Diaz R.M., & Sanchez J. (2009). Family rejection as a predictor of negative health outcomes in white and Latino lesbian, gay, and bisexual young adults. Pediatrics, 123(1), 346–352.
  14. Ryan C., Russell S.T., Huebner D., Diaz R., & Sanchez J. (2010) Family acceptance in adolescence and the health of LGBT young adults. Journal of Child & Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing, 23(4):205–213. 
  15. Russell S.T., Pollitt A.M., Li G., & Grossman A.H. (2018). Chosen name use is linked to reduced depressive symptoms, suicidal ideation, and suicidal behavior among transgender youth. Journal of Adolescent Health, 63(4), 503–505. 
  16. Testa R.J., Michaels M.S., Bliss W., Rogers M.L., Balsam K.F., Joiner T. (2017). Suicidal ideation in transgender people: Gender minority stress and interpersonal theory factors. Journal of Abnormal Psychology,126(1), 125–136. 
  17. The Trevor Project. (2019a). National Survey on LGBTQ Mental Health. New York, New York: The Trevor Project.The Trevor Project. (2019b). The Trevor Project research brief: Fostering the mental health of LGBTQ youth. Available at: 
  18. Turban, J.L., King, D., Carswell J.M., & Keuroghlian, A.S. (2020). Pubertal suppression for transgender youth and risk of suicidal ideation. Pediatrics, 145(2), e20191725 
  19. WPATH (2020). Standards of Care for the Health of Transsexual, Transgender, and Gender-Nonconforming People Version 8. 
  20. WPATH (2016). Position Statement on Medical Necessity of Treatment, Sex Reassignment, and Insurance Coverage in the U.S.A. Available at: