Childhood Psychological Disorders: Current Controversies

By Alberto M. Bursztyn | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 10
Debates Surrounding Childhood
Gender Identity Disorder

Eliza A. Dragowski, María R. Scharrón-del Río, and Amy L. Sandigorsky

Mark is a 6-year-old boy, who lives with his mother and two siblings. He
was referred for a psychological evaluation by his pediatrician, after his
mother approached the doctor about Mark’s school-related anxiety. As re-
layed by the pediatrician, although a good student, Mark was having diffi-
culties making friends and participating academically in school. Mark was
most upset about the fact that nobody in school liked him and that chil-
dren made fun of him and called him names. Additionally, he liked to play
with typically girl toys, favored colors like pink and purple, and wanted his
school materials to picture Disney princesses instead of trucks and cars. Al-
though he got along with his older brother, he never played with him, as the
two boys appeared to have nothing in common. Mark was also disinterested
in playing with other boys, as he disliked the sports and war games. The pe-
diatrician’s diagnostic impression included Childhood Gender Identity dis-
order and Social Anxiety Disorder
.

Charlotte is a 7-year-old girl who was born biological male and named
Charlie. At 25 months of age, Charlotte stood by her mother every morning,
observing her make-up routine and insisting that she, too, needed to put on
lipstick. When denied, Charlotte would go into her older brother’s room,
pick up a red magic marker, and paint her lips. She cried and protested dur-
ing haircuts and eventually negotiated with her parents to let her hair grow
long. At the age of three, she wrapped scarves around her waist, pretending
to be wearing skirts. She also insisted that she was a girl. When these activi-
ties were forbidden by her parents, Charlotte became anxious and depressed.
She cried every day and kept saying that she hated herself. She also refused
to look at her genitalia and often inquired when she would grow a vagina
.

-167-

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