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  1. #1
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    Gender Dysphoria in Children

    “Psychology Works” Fact Sheet: Gender Dysphoria in Children
    Canadian Psychological Association
    June 22, 2014

    Note that our understanding of gender and gender dysphoria continues to evolve. What is presented below is a summary of current thinking and research. This fact sheet will be periodically revised to include new theories and evidence.

    What is gender dysphoria?

    Most people experience little doubt about their gender, seeing themselves as either male or female.
    However, others experience an inconsistency between their internal sense of gender (their gender identity) and their physical sex (which generally matches the sex they were assigned at birth). Gender dysphoria refers to the unhappiness that some people feel with their physical sex and/or gender role. For children, this generally means that they think of themselves as or desire to be of the opposite sex.

    It is important to note, however, that many people question the idea that male and female are fixed opposites. Theorists have suggested that it may be more appropriate to think of gender as lying on a continuum or having multiple categories. Others have proposed a position of gender transcendence, arguing that traits, behaviours, and roles should be divorced from gender.

    Regardless, a desire to be of the opposite to their physical/assigned sex is a common experience for both girls and boys (Bailey & Zucker, 1995; Dunne, Bailey, Kirk, & Martin, 2000). Moreover, studies suggest that this is a frequent reason children are referred to school counsellors (Haldeman, 2000).

    Gender dysphoria in children
    Gender dysphoria is much more common in children than in adults. However, the majority of children with gender dysphoria do not grow up to be adults with gender dysphoria: They seem to outgrow it. Studies that have followed children with a strong desire to be of the opposite sex have found that only avery small proportion of these children continue to have gender dysphoria when they grow up (Zucker & Bradley, 1995). Indeed, some researchers argue that since cross-gender behaviour in childhood is so common, it represents a normal part of development.

    Nonetheless, gender dysphoria may cause problems or distress for affected children and their families. In such cases, a psychologist may help the child cope with any difficulties resulting from expressing their gender differently from their peers. Psychologists may also provide support to parents in terms of helping them figure out how best to manage their child’s gender expression and live with the uncertainty of its course.

    Children with gender dysphoria may be more likely than other children to have problems with anxiety and depressed mood. It is not clear if these problems cause, are the result of, or are unrelated to the gender dysphoria. Regardless, children and the families of children with gender dysphoria may benefit from psychological treatments aimed at helping them with any mood- and anxiety-related problems.

    Continue reading article in the PDF attached. See also changes to this diagnosis in the DSM V fact sheet PDF attached.

  2. #2
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    Re: Gender Dysphoria in Children

    This reminds me of a beautiful story I read recently... I wonder if this boy born a girl will change back, because in this case, it sounds like he wants to remain a boy...

    This Is What Happens When Parents Love Their Kids Unconditionally. A Must See. | PetFlow Blog - The most interesting news for pet parents around the world.
    (Formerly JollyGreenJellyBean)

    My dog is a human whisperer.

  3. #3
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    Re: Gender Dysphoria in Children

    Quote Originally Posted by make_art View Post
    Gender dysphoria refers to the unhappiness that some people feel with their physical sex and/or gender role. For children, this generally means that they think of themselves as or desire to be of the opposite sex.
    I always wished I was a boy when I was a child.I even dressed like one for awhile.My mother would get so upset with me for it,thought I was gay and I got punished for it.I believed boys didn't have things happen to them that were happening to me,so I definitely didn't want to be a girl.

    That's probably different than what this article is talking about though....

  4. #4
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    Re: Gender Dysphoria in Children

    It is pretty unsurprising to have gender dysphoria when there is a terrible gender imbalance of power / safety / fairness nearby. I guess there are two sides to it, an organic side within people, and also a reactionary side, and probably sometimes a combination...

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