DPA - Delaware Psychological Association

A statement from the Delaware Psychological Association on recent legislation targeting LGBTQIA+ youth and families:

February 13, 2024 12:21 PM | Kelly Wetzel (Administrator)

Recent proposed legislation and guidance from state governments has directly targeted LGBTQ+ youth and their families in many states. The American Psychological Association (APA) recently addressed the impact of this type of legislation. The Delaware Psychological Association (DPA) supports APA’s position, which condemns legislation discriminating against the LGBTQ+ community. 

Regarding proposed legislation in Florida, APA stated:

“Prohibiting classroom discussion on these topics sends the message that identifying as LGBTQ is inherently wrong, stigmatizing, and marginalizing children who may realize their difference at a young age. Psychological research has shown that increased social isolation and stigma can lead to depression, anxiety, self-harm and even suicide.

Psychological research has also demonstrated that variations in sexual and romantic attraction and behavior, as well as gender identity and gender expression, are normal variations of human sexuality. Sexual orientation isn’t just about sex; it includes romantic, emotional, mental and spiritual attraction to other people -- personal relationships that meet deeply felt needs for love, attachment and acceptance.”

Regarding recent legislation in Texas, APA stated:

“This ill-conceived directive from the Texas governor will put at-risk children at even higher risk of anxiety, depression, self-harm, and suicide. Gender-affirming care promotes the health and well-being of transgender youth and is provided by medical and mental health professionals, based on well-established scientific research. The peer-reviewed research suggests that transgender children and youth who are treated with affirmation and receive evidence-based treatments tend to see improvements in their psychological well-being.

Asking licensed medical and mental health professionals to ‘turn in’ parents who are merely trying to give their children needed and evidence-based care would violate patient confidentiality as well as professional ethics. The American Psychological Association opposes politicized intrusions into the decisions that parents make with medical providers about caring for their children.”

In addition, there is proposed legislation in Delaware that would affect this community: Senate Bill 227 would prohibit transgender athletes from participation on school teams consistent with their gender and bases team participation based on biological sex. This serves to further alienate and isolate LGBTQ+ youth and DPA opposes this bill.

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