The Impact of Chest Binding in Transgender and Gender Diverse Youth and Young Adults

J Adolesc Health. 2021 Jun;68(6):1129-1134. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2020.09.029. Epub 2020 Oct 27.


Purpose: There is a sparsity of information on chest binding practices among transmasculine and gender diverse people regardless of age and even less information pertaining to adolescents and young adults (AYA). The purpose of this study was to understand binding trends in AYA and to recognize how chest binding impacts chest dysphoria and life satisfaction.

Methods: Data were collected from eligible participants via a national online survey. In this national, cross-sectional study, 684 surveys from AYA aged 13-24 years compared those who bind and those who do not bind.

Results: Most participants reported learning to bind online and were not connected to any type of gender care or community center. Participants in the binding cohort reported less "misgendering" than the nonbinding cohort, and there was a significant correlation between increased chest dysphoria and lower scores on life satisfaction.

Conclusions: This study provides insight into how AYA obtain information about binding and how binding impacts their life. It also indicates that transmasculine and gender diverse AYA will continue to bind their chest to benefit from the protective factors experienced with chest binding. This study also highlights the importance of improved education for medical providers as well as parents/guardians regarding binding to support those who experience chest dysphoria or discomfort.

Keywords: Gender dysphoria; Gender-affirming treatment; Social media; Transgender.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Gender Dysphoria*
  • Gender Identity
  • Humans
  • Parents
  • Transgender Persons*
  • Young Adult