The Biological Contributions to Gender Identity and Gender Diversity: Bringing Data to the Table

on behalf of the International Gender Diversity Genomics Consortium

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations

Abstract

The American Psychological Association defines gender identity as, “A person’s deeply-felt, inherent sense of being a boy, a man, or a male; a girl, a woman, or a female; or an alternative gender (e.g., genderqueer, gender nonconforming, gender neutral) that may or may not correspond to a person’s sex assigned at birth or to a person’s primary or secondary sex characteristics” (American Psychological Association, Am Psychol 70(9):832–864, 2015). Here we review the evidence that gender identity and related socially defined gender constructs are influenced in part by innate factors including genes. Based on the data reviewed, we hypothesize that gender identity is a multifactorial complex trait with a heritable polygenic component. We argue that increasing the awareness of the biological diversity underlying gender identity development is relevant to all domains of social, medical, and neuroscience research and foundational for reducing health disparities and promoting human-rights protections for gender minorities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-108
Number of pages14
JournalBehavior Genetics
Volume48
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018

Keywords

  • Gender dysphoria
  • Gender identity
  • Genetics
  • Heritability
  • Transgender
  • Twin studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)

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