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Dev Psychol. 2009 Jul;45(4):895-900. doi: 10.1037/a0016163.

Toward an LGBT-informed paradigm for children who break gender norms: comment on Drummond et al. (2008) and Rieger et al. (2008).

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Surrey, England.


In this commentary, the author reviews methodological and conceptual shortcomings of recent articles by K. D. Drummond, S. J. Bradley, M. Peterson-Badali, and K. J. Zucker (see record 2007-19851-005) as well as G. Rieger, J. A. W. Linsenmeier, L. Gygax, and J. M. Bailey (see record 2007-19851-006), which sought to predict adult sexual identity from childhood gender identity. The author argues that such research needs to incorporate a greater awareness of how stigmatization affects identity processes. Multidimensional models of gender identity that describe variation in children's responses to pressure to conform to gender norms are particularly useful in this regard (S. K. Egan & D. G. Perry, 2001). Experiments on the interpretation of developmental data are reviewed to evidence how cultural assumptions about sexuality can impact theories of sexual identity development in unintended ways. The author concludes that understanding the development of children presumed most likely to grow up with sexual minority identities requires a consideration of the cultural contexts in which identities develop and in which psychologists theorize.

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