Gender-atypical behaviour

Some children do not identify with the biological sex or gender assigned at birth.

This may include adopting mannerisms, or taking a strong interest in subjects, dress or activities, that are usually not associated with children of that sex, and a preference for playmates of the 'opposite' sex. Such behaviour usually becomes noticeable by the age of five.

In some children this passes, or persists as 'gender nonconformity' not involving dysphoria or distress. Gender nonconformity implies intentionally choosing to ignore or reject one or more 'gender norms'.

In other children it persists and can develop into 'gender dysphoria', a feeling of unahappiness, discomfort or distress at having a gender identity that does not align with their biological sex.

While gender-atypical behaviour, gender nonconformity and gender dysphoria may have a biological component, there is no identifiable genetic cause or anatomical basis, and they are not dealt with further here.



Last updated:7 August 2021 PK

Edit history: Author P. Koopman 9/2012; revised PK 5/2013, 9/2013