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Horm Behav. 2013 Jul;64(2):288-97. doi: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2013.02.020.

Gender identity development in adolescence.

Author information

1
Center of Expertise on Gender Dysphoria, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. t.steensma@vumc.nl

Abstract

This article is part of a Special Issue "Puberty and Adolescence".This article aims to provide an outline of what is currently known on trajectories, and contributing factors to gender identity development in adolescence. We give a historical overview of the concept of gender identity, and describe general identity development in adolescence, gender identity development in the general population and in gender variant youth. Possible psychosocial (such as child and parental characteristics) and biological factors (such as the effects of prenatal exposure to gonadal hormones and the role of genetics) contributing to a gender variant identity are discussed. Studies focusing on a number of psychosocial and biological factors separately, indicate that each of these factors influence gender identity formation, but little is known about the complex interplay between the factors, nor about the way individuals themselves contribute to the process. Research into normative and gender variant identity development of adolescents is clearly lagging behind. However, studies on persons with gender dysphoria and disorders of sex development, show that the period of adolescence, with its changing social environment and the onset of physical puberty, seems to be crucial for the development of a non-normative gender identity.

KEYWORDS:

Adolescence; Disorders of sex development; Gender dysphoria; Gender identity; Gender non-conformity; Gender variance; Identity development; Puberty

PMID:
23998673
DOI:
10.1016/j.yhbeh.2013.02.020
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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