Research on Transgender Identification in Youth or Adulthood
The question at hand is whether or not it is more beneficial for a person with gender dysphoria to be able to express the gender for which they identify with at a young age, or later, in adulthood.
In regards to sociology, symbolic interactionism is ideal for examining the way in which sociological theory relates to transgender issues. This is because symbolic interactionism is the study of how people relate to one another and their environment, but specifically how the relations between each other have an effect on their environment. Blumer’s conceptualization of symbolic interactionism, known as the situational approach is the one most often used in sex research (Longmore, 1998). This is because it emphasizes that sexuality is socially constructed and is different for everyone (Longmore, 1998). Using symbolic interactionism to inform the research would prove to be beneficial because the question itself is asking about interactions between parents and their children who are gender dysphoric as well as the interaction between others in their lives, such as other children, other parents, and as adults, their relationships with their parents who may not have let them identify at a young age.
The situational approach of symbolic interactionism emphasizes that people change their roles depending on their situations in life, and each person does this in a different way (Longmore, 1998). In this sense, when a child and parent are coming to the realization that the child does not align with their gender role they are each going to approach the situation differently. Also, an adult would respond differently to transitioning than would a child. Furthermore, the people surrounding the child or adult would also have different responses to the situation. In this way symbolic interactionism, particularly the situational approach can inform this research.
This theory will be used in the paper to identify the interactions between (1) children and their parents, (2) children and other authority figures (3) parents and their children’s authority figures (such as school officials, other parents and church leaders), (4) children and their siblings/peers (5) adults and their older adult parents (6) adults and their siblings/peers (7) adults and their various authority figures (such as their bosses at work), among others. Hopefully, by gaining insight into these interactions, it will help inform whether or not it is beneficial for a child to be able to express their gender identity at a young age or whether it is more beneficial for them to wait until adulthood.
A theory that would give insight into the research question in relation to psychology would be identity theory. Stryker and Burke (2006) have the most relevant ideas on identity theory that would inform the research question. In identity theory, it is used to show how people identify with being a particular type of person; how...