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Sexual and Gender Identity Development in Young Adults and Implications for Healthcare


Purpose of Review

The purpose of this review is to update what is known about sexual orientation and gender identity development, including factors that facilitate positive development, and healthcare experiences of sexual and gender minority youth (SGMY) in relation to their identity.

Recent Findings

Models of identity development have been proposed that draw on the experiences of young people and their families rather than adult models of identity development. Family support can both help and hinder identity development, and healthcare providers are in a unique position to intervene. However, SGMY and their families experience significant barriers to accessing appropriate and affirming healthcare.


Key improvements in provider knowledge, healthcare systems, quality of care, and support for SGMY and their families are needed.

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Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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Bosse, J.D. Sexual and Gender Identity Development in Young Adults and Implications for Healthcare. Curr Sex Health Rep 11, 274–286 (2019).

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  • Sexual and gender minority
  • Identity development
  • Healthcare experiences
  • Gender-affirming treatment