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  • Friday, June 17, 2016
  • 0706-000355 Poster 58 - RECALLED GENDER-RELATED PLAY BEHAVIOR AND PEER GROUP PREFERENCES IN CHILDHOOD AND ADOLESCENCE AMONG ADULTS APPLYING FOR GENDER-AFFIRMING TREATMENT

    June 19, 2016 8:00 AM - June 19, 2016 6:00 PM

    • Andreas Koehler, B.Sc. ;
    • Hertha Richter-Appelt, PhD ;
    • Susanne Cerwenka, PhD ;
    • Baudewijntje Kreukels, PhD ;
    • Meike Watzlawik, PhD ;
    • Peggy Cohen-Kettenis, PhD ;
    • Griet De Cuypere, MD, PhD ;
    • Ira. Hebold Haraldsen, PhD ;
    • Timo Nieder, PhD

    Purpose

    Psychosocial experiences in childhood are influenced by stereotyped expectations based on both traditional female and male gender role behaviors. Especially in childhood, play behavior and peer relations are important in a child's social world and are supposed to be influenced by norms and stereotypical expectations (e.g. expectations regarding male or female typical behaviors). Deviations from gender-related norms are often perceived negatively by the social environment and are often associated with an increased risk of social ostracism. However, some children consistently act gender non-conform, prefer opposite-sex toys and/or peers and experience a gender incongruent to the assigned sex at birth.

    The objective of this study was to investigate the recalled play behavior and peer-group preferences in childhood and adolescence of adults applying for gender-affirming treatment. Differences between individuals who applied for transition from female to male (FtMs) and those who applied for transition from male to female (MtFs) and between age of onset subgroups were explored.

    Materials and Methods

    Data collection took place as part of the European Network for the Investigation of Gender Incongruence (ENIGI). The total sample consisted of N = 634 participants (mean age=30.6) with the first clinical presentation between 2007 and 2012, and were diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder according to DSM-IV-TR. Participants answered two questions regarding recalled play behavior and three questions on peer preferences.

    Results

    Cross-gender behavior was more frequently recalled in FtMs than MtFs. FtMs mostly recalled masculine behavior and peer preferences, whereas MtFs reported both feminine and masculine preferences. Within gender-groups, individuals who were categorized as early onset recalled cross-gender behaviors more frequently than individuals who were categorized as late-onset.

    Conclusion

     The results of the study are in line with previous findings about EO and LO individuals applying for gender-affirming treatment indicating different developmental pathways. Different gender-related characteristics of social judgment and rejection for the violation of gender norms are discussed as explanation for differences in recalled childhood cross-gender play behavior and peer preferences.




    Category: Identity Development and Theory