Skip to main content

Gender Identity in Adolescents

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 7, 2024.

What is gender identity?

Gender identity is a term used to describe feeling like a boy or like a girl. Your sex refers to being born as a boy or as a girl. Gender refers to how society expects boys and girls to act and appear. For example, girls may be expected to wear dresses and play with dolls. Boys may be expected to play more roughly, or with toy trucks. You may be born as one sex but feel more like the other sex.

What terms are used to describe gender identity?

You may identify with more than one of the following terms. You may feel that none of the terms apply. Even if the terms do not apply to you, they can help you understand your exploration of gender identity. The terms can also help you talk with your parents, friends, classmates, and teachers.

What treatment is available?

The goal of treatment is to help you understand and feel comfortable with your gender identity. Treatment is not meant to change you or force you to act the way society expects for your birth sex.

What can I do to help others know how to support me?

What are the risks of gender identity problems?

You may become depressed or anxious if you do not feel accepted in exploring gender identity. You may be bullied for dressing or acting a certain way. You may feel left out or discriminated against. This may cause you to become withdrawn. Gender identity problems increase your risk for suicide or self-harm.

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

When should I call my healthcare provider?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your child. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

© Copyright Merative 2024 Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.