GID and Homosexuality Gender Identity Disorder vs. Homosexuality in Adolescents •Exploring the differences and similarities in the development of gender and sexual identities in pre-adulthood Amanda Decker Camden County College Professor Chad Leonard Definitions and Explanations Gender Identity Disorder and Homosexuality Gender Identity Disorder (GID) The developmental phenomenon where an individual truly feels that their physical, biological gender is incorrect. (1) Homosexuality The sexual attraction to the same sex; also known as LGB (2) (1) Simonelli, C., Rossi, R., Tripodi, M. F., De Stasio, S., & Petruccelli, I. (2006, September 25). Gender identity and preadolescence: a pilot study. Sexologies, 16-1, 22-28 (2) Rosario, M., Schrimshaw, E., & Hunter, J. (2008, October 30). Predicting Different Patterns of Sexual Identity Development Over Time Among Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Youths: A Cluster Analytic Approach. American Journal of Psychology, 42-3,4, 266-282. Research Topic Comparing the development of homosexuality and gender identity disorder in pre/post adolescents. How do they differ? How are they recognized? Are there age differences when they appear? Homosexuality 156 youths from New York City area. 14-21 (Mean age was 18.3) 49% female, 51% male 34% low SES, 66% high SES Self-defined Sexual Orientations 66% Lesbian or Gay 31% Bisexual 3% Unsure Homosexuality Interview/Survey Study Interviewed two times- one year apart Utilized “Sexual Risk Behavior Assessment – Youth (SERBAS-Y)” and Identity Integration Checklist Identity Formation vs. Identity Integration Homosexuality Identity Formation SERBAS-Y Asked ages of participants during six psychosexual developmental milestones 1) Age when first erotically attracted to the same sex 2) Age when first fantasized about the same sex 3) Age when first aroused by fantasizing or erotica of the same sex 4) Age when first thought they might be LGB 5) Age when they knew for sure they were LGB 6) Age when first experienced any same sex activities Homosexuality Identity Integration Identity Integration Checklist (28 questions) Measured involvement in LGB social and recreational activities Applied at both interviews; observe any change in the sample group’s overall rate of integration as their sexual identities grew and strengthened Other Factors The participants’ opinions of their sexual identity What other people’s opinions were (+/-) History of childhood sexual abuse Support from family and friends Homosexuality All LGB youths undergo all of the psychosexual milestones but at different rates Early development vs. Late development LGB children that were sexually abused were two times more likely to form their LGB identities earlier (early development) than those with non-abusive pasts Overall Identity integration & involvement decreased with time Rate of disclosure increased Individuals’ comfort with their identities increased Overall attitude towards their sexuality increased Homosexuality GID 246 preadolescent Italian children from Rome 9-13 (Majority were 10) 55.3% female, 44.7% male Average participants were of middle-low SES GID Survey/Interview Study Completed questionnaires in class Children Gender Identity Interview for Children (GII) Big Five Questionnaire (BFQ-C) * Teachers * Gender Identity Questionnaire Parents * Child Behaviour Checklist GID GII Questionnaire Gender cognitive confusion vs. Affective gender confusion Gender cognitive confusion Are you a boy/girl? When you grow up with you be a Mommy or a Daddy? Affective gender confusion Do you ever get mixed up and are not really sure if you are a boy/girl? GID Possible GID individual if they answered three or more survey questions atypically. Most common atypical answer 40.2% did not feel as if there were any positive elements to their biological sex 11 participants (all female) could have been considered possible GID individuals (5%) Did not answer more atypically than typically, so cannot be definitely labeled GID Could indicate flexible gender identity Another explanation is that those female participants may have answered as they did because they live in a society that generally favors the male sex. Conclusion Age Differences of Studies GID 9-13 Homosexuality 14-21 Nature vs. Nurture Necessary to consider culture as a factor Conclusion GID and Homosexuality may seem very closely related, but understanding the differences between these sex-related developments can help ease the inner turmoil of individuals with GID and homosexuality. Example: Understanding that an GID individual may not identify as homosexual because while they are sexually attracted to the same biological sex, they are attracted to the opposite psychological gender.