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Penny Rayas, MFT
Penny Rayas, MFT, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 395
Experience:  I have 20 years experience in the mental health field
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My almost 5 yr old grand daughter wants to be a boy. Does

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My almost 5 yr old grand daughter wants to be a boy. Does not play with girls, tells me she has a "little penis", wears only boy clothes, now wants her hair cut just like her 8 yr old brother. Is this something to worry about?

Hello? am I going to get a reply?

Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Penny Rayas, MFT replied 5 years ago.

Hello there and thanks for asking JA. It is possible that your granddaughter may have gender identify disorder. Sometimes children feel that they were born in the wrong body and they identify with the opposite sex as thier own. I think it is too early to tell if this will be the issue but the transgendered clients that I have worked with tell me that they know that they were born in the wrong body in the age of 4-5. I have also seen children with no gender intentity problems want to dress and act as the opposite sex because they admire someone of the opposite sex such a brother or a sister and want to be like them.

Gender identity disorder in children is considered clinically distinct from GID that appears in adolescence or adulthood, which has been reported by some as intensifying over time. As gender identity develops in children, so do sex-role stereotypes. Sex-role stereotypes are the beliefs, characteristics and behaviors of individual cultures that are deemed normal and appropriate for boys and girls to possess. These "norms" are influenced by family and friends, the mass-media, community and other socializing agents. Since many cultures strongly disapprove of cross-gender behavior, it often results in significant problems for affected persons and those in close relationships with them. In many cases, transgendered individuals report discomfort stemming from the feeling that their bodies are "wrong" or meant to be different. Since many cultures strongly disapprove of cross-gender behavior, it often results in significant problems for affected persons and those in close relationships with them. In many cases, transgendered individuals report discomfort stemming from the feeling that their bodies are "wrong" or meant to be different.

Many transgendered people and researchers support the declassification of GID as a mental disorder for several reasons. Recent medical research on the brain structures of transgendered individuals have shown that some transgendered individuals have the physical brain structures that resemble their desired sex even before hormone treatment.

I think in any case your children are doing a good job with not over-reacting to this. The best they can do is to accept the child the way the child is and them express themselves.

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