Gender non-conforming kids more likely to experience abuse

Photo: Transgender children is tutus and pants and a shirt that reads: "Girls will be boys will be girls will be ..." Photo Source: Google Images Part of what students learn when they receive a psychology degree online is the ever-present role of gender stereotyping. However, sometimes non-conforming gender behaviors can have extremely negative and dangerous consequences for children. Gender-variant children are at an increased risk of abuse, according to a new Harvard School of Public Health study.

One in 10 children displayed gender non-conformity in interests, activity choices and pretend play before age 11 and, on average, were more likely to experience physical, psychological and sexual abuse, and post-traumatic stress disorder by early adulthood.

Abuse was mostly perpetrated by parents or other adults in the home.

The increased risk for non-conforming kids versus conforming kids was similar in both sexes for physical and psychological abuse. For sexual abuse, non-conforming girls were at 60 percent greater risk than conforming girls, but non-conforming boys were at nearly three times greater risk compared with conforming boys

Eighty-five percent of gender-non-conforming children in the study were heterosexual in adulthood.

The study focused on behaviors in childhood before age 11. At that stage, children often “exhibit a wide variety of behaviors that mean nothing about their future sexual preferences,” Andrea Roberts, lead author of the study, said to USA Today. But in childhood, those who were not “extremely typical in their gender expression” faced “harmful discrimination and intolerance that has a lasting impact.”


2 thoughts on “Gender non-conforming kids more likely to experience abuse

  1. Pingback: Gender non-conforming kids more likely to experience abuse | QClick Radar

  2. This just goes to show how the fight for queer and trans rights and acceptance as well as the movement to fight against the norms of the gender binary are so crucial. This sort of activism does not just help queer people and trans people but all people, because if effective all people would feel free to express themselves as they want without fear of retribution for straying from their ox.

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