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Effects of Physical Appearance on Masculine Trait Ratings of Boys and Girls with Gender Identity Disorder

Abstract

University students, masked to group status, rated the physical appearance of boys and girls with gender identity disorder (GID) and same-sexcontrols using traits with stereotypical masculine connotations (for boys: all-boy, handsome, masculine, and rugged; for girls: handsome, masculine, rugged, and tomboyish). Three traits (all-boy, masculine, and rugged) were judged to be significantly less characteristic of the boys with GID as compared to the same-sex controls; for the fourth trait (handsome), the inverse result was obtained. All four traits (handsome, masculine, rugged, and tomboyish) were judged to be significantly more characteristic of the girls with GID as compared to the same-sex normal and/or clinical controls. These results were the inverse of the results obtained in two previous experiments, in which traits with stereotypical feminine connotations were used (Fridell et al., 1996; Zucker et al., 1993). Taken together, the results suggest that boys and girls with GID have a sex-typed physical appearance that distinguishes them from same-sex controls. Possible determinants of these differences are discussed.

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Mcdermid, S.A., Zucker, K.J., Bradley, S.J. et al. Effects of Physical Appearance on Masculine Trait Ratings of Boys and Girls with Gender Identity Disorder. Arch Sex Behav 27, 253–267 (1998). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1018650401386

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  • PHYSICAL APPEARANCE
  • GENDER IDENTITYDISORDER OF CHILDHOOD
  • SEX-TYPING