Comparing gender expression, gender nonconformity, and parents' responses of female-to-male and male-to-female transgender youth: Implications for counseling

Arnold H. Grossman, Anthony R. D'Augelli, Nicholas P. Salter, Steven M. Hubbard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Twenty-four female-to-male (FTM) and 31 male-to-female (MTF) transgender youth reported on their gender development and expression, and parental responses to their gender nonconformity. Both groups of youth felt different from others of their same birth sex at a mean age of seven and one-half years. The age when parents suggested they were different was younger for the MTF than the FTM youth. The MTF youth were called "sissy" at an earlier age than the FTM were called "tomboy." Parents of FTM youth encouraged them to act in more traditional gender typical ways at a younger age than the MTF. The MTF youth considered themselves transgender two years earlier than the FTM youth. More parents of MTF youth felt that their children needed counseling than the parents of the FTM youth. While the majority of both groups reported past verbal victimization, comparatively more MTF youth reported being physically victimized. Implications of the developmental trajectories and experiences of transgender youth for school and family counselors are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-59
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of LGBT Issues in Counseling
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 10 2006



  • Counseling
  • Gender
  • Gender nonconformity
  • Parent
  • Transgender
  • Youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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