Transgender kids might begin to identify with toys and clothes typical of their gender identity from a young age, recent research suggests.
And the confidence in their gender identity is usually as strong as that of cisgender kids, whose identity matches their sex received at birth, researchers found.
For the research, researchers interviewed 317 transgender children, ages 3 to 12, and 189 of the children’s siblings. They also interviewed 316 cisgender kids.
Researchers asked the kids how much they felt like a boy or girl or something else. Additionally, they asked about preferences for toys and clothes which are stereotypically linked with one gender.
The transgender children showed strong preferences for toys and clothing usually related to their gender identity, not their assigned sex, the research found. Their choices didn’t seem to vary based on how long they’d lived as their current gender.
Transgender children didn’t seem to have preferences much different from cisgender children with the same gender identity, in response to the report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The similarities among transgender and cisgender children had been surprising, researchers stated, because early in life, the transgender kids had been treated as a gender other than the one they at present identify as.