Evidence needed to understand gender identity: Commentary on Turban & Ehrensaft (2018)

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

Abstract

Turban and Ehrensaft (2018) have provided a thoughtful review of transgender identity in children and adolescents, emphasizing the benefits of the affirmative approach in maintaining positive psychological health in transgender individuals. The review reveals significant gaps in our understanding of gender identity regarding its nature, development, plasticity, causes, and links with other aspects of gender, and of the long-term benefits and costs of childhood social transitions. A full understanding of transgender identity requires studying cisgender identity too, and recognition that gender identity is continuous, develops across time and is not synonymous with gender expression or variations in gender-typed characteristics. Considerable evidence is needed before we can be confident that we are providing optimal treatment for children who are gender variant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1244-1247
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines
Volume59
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2018

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Transgender Persons
Cost-Benefit Analysis
Psychology
Health
Therapeutics

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

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abstract = "Turban and Ehrensaft (2018) have provided a thoughtful review of transgender identity in children and adolescents, emphasizing the benefits of the affirmative approach in maintaining positive psychological health in transgender individuals. The review reveals significant gaps in our understanding of gender identity regarding its nature, development, plasticity, causes, and links with other aspects of gender, and of the long-term benefits and costs of childhood social transitions. A full understanding of transgender identity requires studying cisgender identity too, and recognition that gender identity is continuous, develops across time and is not synonymous with gender expression or variations in gender-typed characteristics. Considerable evidence is needed before we can be confident that we are providing optimal treatment for children who are gender variant.",
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