Gender Identity

Gender identity in childhood can be conceptualized within many differing epistemological perspectives but broadly can be defined as a child’s internal sense of gender identification based on their sense of being either within or outside of the gender binary (i.e., “male/female”). Gender identity is usually utilized in relationship with one’s personal identity, but gender, as a construct, is commonly applied to many differing facets of life (i.e., emotions, toys, colors). Many facets of the self can contribute to a child’s sense of gender identity, including apparel, embodiment, personal interests, and/or social and peer groups. Many children are beginning to identify outside of the male/female binary (developmental psychologist Diane Ehrensaft terms these children “gender creative children”). Whether identifying within the male/female gender binary, or outside, children ...

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