A University of Washington, Seattle (UW) study recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has found that transgender children will gravitate toward the toys, clothing and friendships stereotypically associated with the gender they identify as, regardless of how long they have actually lived as a member of that gender.
The findings stem from the largest study of socially-transitioned transgender children in the world, conducted by researchers at UW, and show that gender identity and gender-typed preferences manifest similarly in both cis- and transgender children, even those who recently transitioned.
Cisgender is a term for people whose gender identity matches the sex that they were assigned at birth. For example, someone who identifies as a woman and was assigned female at birth is a cisgender woman. The term cisgender is the opposite of the word transgender.
For the study, more than 300 transgender children from across the United States, as well as nearly 200 of their cisgender siblings and about 300 unrelated cisgender children as a control group were followed. The study is believed to be the first to report on all of the participants in the TransYouth Project, launched in 2013 by UW professor of psychology Kristina Olson.
The transgender children in the study, all of whom enrolled between the ages of 3 and 12 years of age, had socially — but not medically — transitioned when they participated: they had changed their pronouns and often their first names, as well as dressing and playing in ways associated with a gender other than their sex at birth. …