Sex change operations are on the rise in the United States, according to a study released by the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The JAMA Network site published a paper on Wednesday by Joseph K. Canner, et al., that examined trends among Americans who identify as transgender and opt to have gender reassignment surgeries.
According to the data, researchers found that the percentage of so-called "gender affirming procedures" that involved genital removal and reconstruction had gone up between 2000 and 2014.
"The incidence of genital surgery increased over time: in 2000–2005, 72.0 percent of patients who underwent gender-affirming procedures had genital surgery; in 2006–2011, 83.9 percent of patients who underwent gender-affirming procedures had genital surgery," noted the study's abstract.
"Most patients (2,319 of 4,118 [56.3 percent]) undergoing these procedures were not covered by any health insurance plan. The number of patients seeking these procedures who were covered by Medicare or Medicaid increased by threefold in 2014 (to 70) compared with 2012–2013 (from 25)."
Researchers also concluded that past studies analyzing the percentage of transgender individuals seeking gender reassignment surgery have been underestimated.
"... although some studies have estimated that only 20 percent to 40 percent of transgender individuals seek [gender reassignment] surgery, these estimates are only based on surveys of convenience samples of transgender individuals, which limits their generalizability," noted the study's Introduction.
"As transgender individuals have become more visible in mainstream society, we hypothesize that an increasing number of [gender reassignment] surgical procedures have occurred over time."
The study used the National Inpatient Sample to analyze approximately 37,800 individuals who were identified by a diagnosis code of either transsexualism or gender identity disorder. Of that number, an estimated 4,100 had a surgery.
In recent years, there has been an increased focus on transgender issues in western countries, with some evidence indicating that the number of self-identified transgenders is on the rise.
In July, The Telegraph found that the number of British children being referred to "gender identity clinics" had increased over the past five years.
The Telegraph said that statistics it obtained from the Gender Identity Development Service showed that 84 children aged between 3 and 7 were referred to the clinic in 2016, while only 20 received such a referral from 2012–2013.
"It has become an industry, people are making a career out of encouraging children to question gender at an age when they need to be left to be children," said Chris McGovern, a former adviser to the Department for Education, to The Telegraph last year.
"When teachers raise these issues children can become confused or unhappy and traumatized by it."
According to a 2003 study conducted in Sweden, transsexuals who change their gender through body mutilation or hormone therapy have a higher suicide rate than the general population.
The study, which followed 191 male-to-female gender reassignments and 133 female-to-male gender reassignments from 1973–2003, found that suicide attempts and in-patient psychiatric treatment actually increased in Sweden among those who had a sex change.
To read The Christian Post's six-part series on transgender issues, click here.