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Historically, gender identity development was believed to follow a fairly straightforward trajectory. Developmental psychologists and other scholars understood gender identity to be solidified for most individuals in early childhood, with one of two likely outcomes: girl or boy. It was assumed that almost all people possessed a gender identity that aligned with their sex assigned at birth (e.g., male, female), now referred to as cisgender. Children (and older individuals) whose affirmed gender identity did not align with their assigned sex were considered to have a psychopathology that required treatment to help them embrace their assigned sex and gender identity. Early in the 21st century, practitioners and scholars recognized that an increasing number of children were experiencing discomfort with their assigned gender and the body ...

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