It is frequently suggested that gender role norms influence certain expectations towards a child's gender related behavior and that deviations are perceived negatively by the social environment. Gender-dysphoric individuals experience a strong and persistent cross-gender identification and discomfort about the assigned sex and the associated gender role behaviors.
The objective of this study was to investigate how adult gender dysphoric individuals recall play and peer-group preferences in childhood according to stereotypical expectations regarding the assigned sex.
Differences between individuals who transition from female to male (FtMs) and those who transition from male to female (MtFs) as well as differences with regard to subgroups based on the age of onset (early onset: during childhood, EO; late onset: with begin of puberty development, LO) are tested.
Data collection took place as part of the European network for the investigation of gender incongruence (ENIGI), a multicenter cooperation between European gender clinics in Amsterdam (NL), Ghent (BE), Hamburg (GER) and Oslo (NO). Play behavior and peer preferences were measured as part of the Biographic Questionnaire on Transsexualism.
The total sample of N=634 participants was collected between 2006 and 2012. Participants were prescribed a diagnosis according to DSM-IV-TR criteria of Gender Identity Disorder.
The results show, that cross-gender behavior was more frequently recalled in FtMS than MtFs. Within the gender-groups, individuals who were assessed as having an early onset recalled cross-gender behaviors more frequently than individuals who were assessed as having a late-onset.
The results will be discussed in line with actual research findings.