How to Identify Gender Dysphoria in Children

by | Mar 29, 2023 | Transgender Surgeons


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Gender dysphoria in children is a feeling of distress that results from a discrepancy between the gender you identify with and the gender others perceive you to be. Although it’s most often associated with transgender individuals, it can also affect children who aren’t transgender but experience persistent cross-gender behavior or discomfort with their bodies.

What Are the Symptoms?

The symptoms of gender dysphoria in children may include:

  • Wanting to be the opposite sex
  • Wearing clothes associated with the opposite sex
  • Feeling unhappy about the genitalia they have and wanting surgery to change it

Diagnosing Gender Dysphoria

Diagnosing gender dysphoria in children should be done by a mental health professional. The diagnosis must be confirmed by another professional who has no financial or personal interest in the outcome of your child’s case. In addition, your child must have been living as their preferred gender for at least six months before they receive an official diagnosis of gender identity disorder.

How Should You Respond?

If your child has gender dysphoria, listening to them is critical. Many parents respond by dismissing their feelings or trying to change their minds. This response isn’t helpful and may make things worse. Instead of ignoring the issue, try talking with your child about their feelings and wants from life without making assumptions about their gender identity or sexual orientation.

If you suspect gender dysphoria in children, visit The International Center for Transgender Care website.

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