What is Gender Identity Disorder? Gender identity is one's internal sense of being male or female. Therefore, Gender Identity Disorder is an individual's ongoing discomfort about their biological sex. People with this disorder strongly identify with the sex opposite theirs. Causes for Gender Identity Disorder are not known, however, it is believed to have genetic and biological causes. Gender Identity Disorder is very common in children age two to four. Gender Identity Disorder is also often referred to as Cross Gender Identification or Transsexualism. Other terms you may hear in reference to Gender Identity Disorder are Gender Dysphoria (feeling of pain and anguish when gender identity and physical sex do not match), transgender (people questioning their gender identity including crossdressers, transsexuals, and intersexed individuals), intersexed (individuals born with ambiguous genitalia), hermaphrodites (individuals with both ovarian and with testicular tissues), sex reassignment surgery (surgical procedure to change ones external sex organ to that of the opposite gender), and crossdresser (a person who enjoys wearing clothes identified with the other gender on a temporary basis, very different from a transsexual).
Boys with this disorder tend to play with traditional girl toys like dolls and avoid boy toys. They tend to feel uncomfortable with the rough and tough play that is often associated with boy behavior. Also, they often like to dress in girl clothing, act out the female rolls in play and, at times, they are convinced that they will grow up to become a woman. Girls with Gender Identity Disorder behave the opposite. They prefer playing with boys and traditional boy toys. Their behavior is what we often think of as tomboy behavior. Some of these girls refuse to sit down on the toilet and are convinced that one day they will grow a penis. As these children grow up,