The National Institutes of Health announced on Friday that taxpayers will fund numerous new studies on transgender issues to the tune of $200,000 each.
Two announcements saying the agency will soon begin accepting applications for transgender studies to begin next year came right after the Republican-controlled Senate approved a $2 billion spending increase for the agency.
“This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) calls for exploratory or developmental research on the health of transgender and gender nonconforming people,” according to a grant announcement.
“Transgender and gender nonconforming people encompass individuals whose gender identity differs from the sex on their original birth certificate, including individuals who are making or who have made a transition from being identified as one gender to the other, as well as individuals who are questioning their gender identity, who identify with more than one gender, or whose gender expression varies significantly from what is traditionally associated with or typical for that sex.”
The NIH added that in the document, the group will be referred to as “transgender and gender nonconforming people.”
The agency will award grants of up to $200,000 per year and will begin accepting applications next month.
Research topics will include studies on “understanding the impact of stigma,” “minority stress,” and “diversity in gender identity and expression,” as well as transgender employment and incarceration.
“More information is needed on relationships with partners and family, as well as on sexual and reproductive health,” the NIH said.
Studies may also examine the “biological underpinnings of gender and gender identity,” “how estrogen hormone treatments affect the male reproductive tissues,” and studies on puberty blockers for adolescents. They also want to study the impact on brain development of hormonal therapy and surgical interventions, such as removal of testes and ovaries.
The NIH said the number of studies it funds would be dependent on its budget and the number of “meritorious applications” the agency receives. But this is worrisome considering past studies that were accepted, such as one that seeks to give jailed trans women “gender affirmation” which cost taxpayers $675,715, and a $393,790 study of trans women in Uganda.
Here is a list of other research projects on which the NIH is spending taxpayer funds:
- A researcher who believes having a “vagina does not equal woman” was awarded $43,576 to study the health status of transgender individuals.
- A study to find out why gay men and transgender individuals get syphilis in Peru has now cost $1,082,833.
- A grant to research how trans women use Facebook has cost $351,608.
- A recent study is paying $438,699 to look at whether “gender norms” make LGBTQ people drink.
The NIH doesn’t genuinely have to work around budget constraints. The Republican-controlled Congress is set to increase the NIH’s budget by another $2 billion for the fiscal year 2018, against the Trump administration’s proposal to cut the agency’s funding. The agency budget will be raised to $36.1 billion.
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