Health

Surgeons Are Going To Make Bank On Sex Change Operations In The Next Decade, Market Report Finds

(ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP via Getty Images)

Dylan Housman Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent
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A market report from Grand View Research projects that the industry for transgender sex change operations will grow to a size of $5 billion in the next decade.

The sex reassignment market in the United States was worth $1.9 billion in 2021, and could grow by as much as 11% annually due to increases in levels of gender dysphoria, the report found. The growth is particularly driven by young people, who are opting to undergo sex changes more than ever before.

Nearly 1.5% of Americans aged 13 to 24 identify as transgender, the report stated, citing The New York Times. It also cited a study claiming that 78% of transgender males experienced gender dysphoria by the age of seven, with an average age of onset of 6.2 years old. The report did not clarify what qualifies as “experience gender dysphoria.”

More insurers are beginning to offer coverage for sex changes and more transgender patients are becoming eligible for coverage under Medicaid, according to the report. The increased ease of reimbursement is expected to provide a boon to the industry.

Corporate incentives are also paving the way to wider access to sex change procedures. “Companies are investing in LGBTQ+ healthcare and are accredited on Health Care Equality Index,” the report states. “For instance, in September 2020, Cedars Sinai achieved a score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2020 Health Care Equality Index.”

Transgender surgeries first saw a major surge in popularity after the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In 2016, a rule was passed as part of the ACA which drastically expanded health insurance coverage for sex reassignment surgeries, leading to a more than 150% increase in the number performed the following year.

Cost can often be a barrier to getting a sex reassignment surgery, as bills can run into the tens of thousands of dollars depending on the specifics of the procedure. The ACA rule, overturned by the Trump administration before being reimplemented by President Joe Biden, is currently facing a court challenge. (RELATED: TransTape, Chest Binders And Packers: The ‘Gender-Affirming’ Gear Public Schools Are Stocking Up On)

In recent months, journalists and activists have continued to expose hospitals and universities supportive of sex changes for minors. Experts in the medical community disagree on how much weight to put into a child’s feeling of gender dysphoria and whether or not it is appropriate to conduct processes like hormone therapy as a treatment.