Diagnosis of Gender Dysphoria & Transsexualism

A diagnosis is made via a medical professional’s evaluation, based on specific criteria.

Most children with gender dysphoria are not evaluated until they are 6 to 9 years old.

Medical professionals diagnose gender dysphoria when individuals (children or adults) do the following:

  • Feel that their anatomic sex does not match their gender identity and have felt that way for six (6) months or longer;
  • Feel greatly distressed or cannot function normally because of this feeling; and
  • Have certain other symptoms, which vary by age group.

The other symptoms required for a medical professional to diagnose gender dysphoria are slightly different in children and in adolescents and adults.

Children must also have at least six (6) of the following symptoms:

  1. A strong, persistent desire to be or insistence that they are the other gender (or some other gender).
  2. A strong preference for dressing in clothing of the opposite gender and, in girls, resistance to wearing typically feminine clothing.
  3. A strong preference for pretending to be the opposite gender when playing.
  4. A strong preference for toys, games, and activities typical of the other gender.
  5. A strong preference for playmates of the other gender.
  6. A strong rejection of toys, games, and activities typical of the gender that matches their anatomic sex (for example, boys refuse to play with trucks or footballs).
  7. A strong dislike of their anatomy.
  8. A strong desire for the sex characteristics that match their gender identity.

Adolescents and adults must also have one or more of the following symptoms:

  1. A strong desire to be rid of their sex characteristics and, for young adolescents, to prevent the development of secondary sex characteristics (those that occur during puberty).
  2. A strong desire for the sex characteristics that match their gender identity.
  3. A strong desire to be the other gender (or some other gender).
  4. A strong desire to live or be treated as another gender.
  5. A strong belief that they feel and react like another gender.

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