All About Gender Dysphoria

All About Gender Dysphoria

Last update: 28 December, 2018

People with gender dysphoria feel very out of place. They don’t identify with the sex they were assigned at birth and instead identify with the opposite sex. This may make them feel a lot of discomfort or distress.

Consequently, their discomfort isn’t limited to a desire to be of the opposite sex. It may also include the desire to be of an alternative sex, as long as it’s different from the one they were assigned. Their worry or desire to be of the opposite sex may manifest at the age of 2-3 and it often interferes with their daily activities.

In older children, the inability to acquire the necessary skills to communicate with people of their same sex can lead to social isolation.

Gender dysphoria in girls

Gender dysphoria manifests differently in different age groups. Prepubescent girls with gender dysphoria can express their desire to be a boy. They may state that they’re a boy or insist that they’ll be a man when they grow up.

They prefer boys’ clothes and hairstyles. Due to how they dress or act, strangers perceive them as boys. They may ask to be called a boy’s name. Typically, they show intense negative reactions toward their parents’ attempts to make them wear dresses or other feminine garments. Some may refuse to go to a school or social events where such clothing is required.

These girls can show a marked identification with the other sex in role-playing games, dreams, and fantasies. They often prefer contact sports and games. Thus, they prefer boys as their playmates.

They show little interest in toys or costumes for girls. Occasionally, they refuse to urinate in a seated position. Some girls may manifest the desire to have a penis or claim that they have a penis or will have one when they grow up. They may also say that they don’t want to develop breasts nor menstruate.

Both boys and girls can experience gender dysphoria.

Gender dysphoria in boys

Prepubescent boys with gender dysphoria can express their desire to be a girl, claim that they’re a girl, or insist that they’ll be a woman when they grow up. They prefer to wear girls’ clothes.

These boys like playing the role of female figures (for example, mothers). They often have an intense interest in female fantasies. In addition, they often prefer activities, games, and hobbies for girls, such as playing house.

They also prefer to make female drawings and watch TV shows or movies with a lot of female characters. Dolls may be their favorite toys and girls make their favorite playmates.

These boys usually avoid competitive games. Some may pretend they don’t have a penis and insist on sitting down to urinate. Less often, they claim to find their penis or testicles unpleasant. They may want to cut them off or have a vagina.

Gender dysphoria in adults

In adults with gender dysphoria, the discrepancy between the sex they identify with and their physical sexual characteristics is often accompanied by a desire to be free of their primary or secondary sexual characteristics.

In varying degrees, adults with gender dysphoria can adopt the behavior and mannerisms of the sex they identify with. They feel uncomfortable when others identify them as the sex marked by their physical features.

Some adults may have a strong desire to be a different sex and to be treated as such. They can have enough inner certainty to feel and respond according to the sex they identify with without seeking medical treatment to alter their body.

Gender dysphoria occurs when there is a difference between one's assigned gender and the gender they experience or express.

These adults can find other ways to cope. They do this by living partially in the desired role or adopting a sexual role that is neither conventionally male nor conventionally female.

As we can see, gender dysphoria is the distress a person experiences when they don’t identify with the sex they were assigned at birth.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.