A follow-up study of girls with gender identity disorder

Dev Psychol. 2008 Jan;44(1):34-45. doi: 10.1037/0012-1649.44.1.34.


This study provided information on the natural histories of 25 girls with gender identity disorder (GID). Standardized assessment data in childhood (mean age, 8.88 years; range, 3-12 years) and at follow-up (mean age, 23.24 years; range, 15-36 years) were used to evaluate gender identity and sexual orientation. At the assessment in childhood, 60% of the girls met the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders criteria for GID, and 40% were subthreshold for the diagnosis. At follow-up, 3 participants (12%) were judged to have GID or gender dysphoria. Regarding sexual orientation, 8 participants (32%) were classified as bisexual/homosexual in fantasy, and 6 (24%) were classified as bisexual/homosexual in behavior. The remaining participants were classified as either heterosexual or asexual. The rates of GID persistence and bisexual/homosexual sexual orientation were substantially higher than base rates in the general female population derived from epidemiological or survey studies. There was some evidence of a "dosage" effect, with girls who were more cross-sex typed in their childhood behavior more likely to be gender dysphoric at follow-up and more likely to have been classified as bisexual/homosexual in behavior (but not in fantasy).

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Bisexuality / psychology
  • Child
  • Child Behavior / psychology
  • Child, Preschool
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Fantasy
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gender Identity*
  • Homosexuality, Female / psychology
  • Humans
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales / statistics & numerical data
  • Psychosexual Development
  • Sex Factors
  • Sexual Behavior / psychology
  • Sexuality / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Wechsler Scales