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What Is Gender Identity Disorder in Children?

Learn about gender identity disorder in children from Dr. Kimberly Williams in this Howcast video.


Gender identity disorder occurs when a child feels their physical gender is very different and in conflict with the desired gender that they would like to have for himself or herself. For example a child who is born a girl may really wish and desire to be a boy. This creates distressing, emotional conflict because the child is frustrated with how they are perceived, how they are perceived by others and within their family because the child's self esteem and self confidence are greatly impacted. They never feel satisfied within themselves. Children with identity gender disorder also have conflicts related to relationships and how they perceive their own body. Children with gender identity disorder dislike the physical features of their body, they are in conflict about their future and their adult life further creating more difficulties for them in day-to-day life. Treatment for gender identity disorders is controversial. Typically for children its individual therapy and family therapy. So everyone can be educated and understand the child's feelings and emotions and conflicts that they are dealing with. Some of the complications of gender identity disorder include depression, anxiety and feelings of worthlessness. If not treated appropriately these are extreme risk factors for other more significant clinical disorders. We don't know the cause of gender identity disorders. Research indicates that its a combination of hormones, biological factors and sometimes even environmental factors of parenting. While gender identity disorder is multi-faceted and complex these are just some of the key factors regarding this clinical issue.

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