When Sex and Gender Collide
Announced on our day of birth or even months before, sex and gender are social categories that affect our lives regardless of the society into which we are born. While the study of how we come to understand our own gender and the influence gender has on our lives has been central to the study of human psychology for decades, nearly all research to date has focused on people who experience “typical” gender identity (gender identity that aligns with one's sex). In this talk, I will discuss our recent work exploring gender development and mental health in an increasingly visible group of children—transgender and gender nonconforming youth—for whom gender and sex diverge considerably. I will discuss how studying gender diverse children enhances our understanding of gender more broadly and how basic social cognitive tasks can be useful in addressing ongoing debates about gender diverse children.