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Arch Sex Behav. 2010 Apr;39(2):477-98. doi: 10.1007/s10508-009-9540-4.

The DSM diagnostic criteria for gender identity disorder in children.

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Gender Identity Service, Child, Youth, and Family Program, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, 250 College Street, Toronto, ON M5T 1R8, Canada.


In this article, I review the diagnostic criteria for Gender Identity Disorder (GID) in children as they were formulated in the DSM-III, DSM-III-R, and DSM-IV. The article focuses on the cumulative evidence for diagnostic reliability and validity. It does not address the broader conceptual discussion regarding GID as "disorder," as this issue is addressed in a companion article by Meyer-Bahlburg (2009). This article addresses criticisms of the GID criteria for children which, in my view, can be addressed by extant empirical data. Based in part on reanalysis of data, I conclude that the persistent desire to be of the other gender should, in contrast to DSM-IV, be a necessary symptom for the diagnosis. If anything, this would result in a tightening of the diagnostic criteria and may result in a better separation of children with GID from children who display marked gender variance, but without the desire to be of the other gender.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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