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Concept: Gender identity

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Increasing numbers of adolescents are seeking treatment at gender identity services in Western countries. An increasingly accepted treatment model that includes puberty suppression with gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogs starting during the early stages of puberty, cross-sex hormonal treatment starting at ~16 years of age and possibly surgical treatments in legal adulthood, is often indicated for adolescents with childhood gender dysphoria (GD) that intensifies during puberty. However, virtually nothing is known regarding adolescent-onset GD, its progression and factors that influence the completion of the developmental tasks of adolescence among young people with GD and/or transgender identity. Consolidation of identity development is a central developmental goal of adolescence, but we still do not know enough about how gender identity and gender variance actually evolve. Treatment-seeking adolescents with GD present with considerable psychiatric comorbidity. There is little research on how GD and/or transgender identity are associated with completion of developmental tasks of adolescence.

Concepts: Homosexuality, Third gender, Gender, Adolescence, Gender identity disorder, Gender identity, Puberty, Transgender

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High-heeled shoes (high heels) are frequently worn by many women and form an important part of female gender identity. Issues of explicit and implicit compulsion to wear high heels have been noted. Previous studies and reviews have provided evidence that high heels are detrimental to health. However, the evidence base remains fragmented and no review has covered both the epidemiological and biomechanical literature. In addition, no review has considered the psychosexual benefits that offer essential context in understanding the public health challenge of high heels.

Concepts: Heel, Epidemiology, Public health, Meta-analysis, High-heeled footwear, Gender, Randomized controlled trial, Gender identity

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Although bisexual men are known to be less likely to disclose their sexual orientation to others than gay men, the reasons why bisexual men choose or feel unable to disclose have received minimal research attention. To examine the reasons behaviorally bisexual men offer for not disclosing to their friends, family, and female partners, in-depth interviews were conducted with an ethnically diverse sample of 203 men who had not disclosed their same-sex behavior to their female sexual partners in New York City. Men were recruited from multiple venues and online sources using a targeted sampling approach. Transcripts were thematically analyzed using Atlas.ti software. Contrary to the theory that non-disclosure is due to uncertainty about one’s sexual identity, the reasons offered for non-disclosure revealed that it was largely a method to avoid stigmatizing reactions from others. Men reported a number of specific reasons for non-disclosure, including (1) anticipation of negative emotional reactions; (2) anticipation of negative changes in relationships; (3) belief that others held stigmatizing attitudes toward homosexuality; (4) prior experience with negative reactions to disclosure; (5) wanting to maintain others' perceptions of him; (6) fear that those told would disclose to additional people; and (7) fear of rejection due to culture or religion. These findings provide insights into the reasons why many behaviorally bisexual men choose not to disclose, potential reasons why bisexual and gay men differ in the extent to which they disclose, and potential reasons why some bisexual men report greater emotional distress than gay men. Further, they suggest that greater attention needs to be placed on addressing the stigmatizing contexts that confront bisexual men and providing them with strategies to manage stigma.

Concepts: Men who have sex with men, Gender identity, Gay, Gender, LGBT, Bisexuality, Sexual orientation, Homosexuality

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Reports in public media suggest the existence of a stereotype that women are better at multitasking than men. The present online survey aimed at supporting this incidental observation by empirical data. For this, 488 participants from various ethnic backgrounds (US, UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Turkey, and others) filled out a self-developed online-questionnaire. Results showed that overall more than 50% of the participants believed in gender differences in multitasking abilities. Of those who believed in gender differences, a majority of 80% believed that women were better at multitasking. The main reasons for this were believed to be an evolutionary advantage and more multitasking practice in women, mainly due to managing children and household and/or family and job. Findings were consistent across the different countries, thus supporting the existence of a widespread gender stereotype that women are better at multitasking than men. Further questionnaire results provided information about the participants' self-rated own multitasking abilities, and how they conceived multitasking activities such as childcare, phoning while driving, and office work.

Concepts: Man, Woman, Gender differences, Scientific method, Transgender, Gender identity, Gender role, Gender

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Young people in many countries report gender differences in giving and receiving oral sex, yet examination of young people’s own perspectives on gender dynamics in oral heterosex are relatively rare. We explored the constructs and discourses 16- to 18-year-old men and women in England used in their accounts of oral sex during in-depth interviews. Two contrasting constructs were in circulation in the accounts: on one hand, oral sex on men and women was narrated as equivalent, while on the other, oral sex on women was seen as “a bigger deal” than oral sex on men. Young men and women used a “give and take” discourse, which constructed the mutual exchange of oral sex as “fair.” Appeals to an ethic of reciprocity in oral sex enabled women to present themselves as demanding equality in their sexual interactions, and men as supporting mutuality. However, we show how these ostensibly positive discourses about equality also worked in narratives to obscure women’s constrained agency and work with respect to giving oral sex.

Concepts: Male, Transgender, Human sexual behavior, Sexual intercourse, Sexual dimorphism, Gender identity, Gender role, Gender

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To examine whether gender differences in primary care consultation rates (1) vary by age and deprivation status and (2) diminish when consultation for reproductive reasons or common underlying morbidities are accounted for.

Concepts: Female, Transgender, English language, United Kingdom, Male, Gender identity, Gender role, Gender

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To examine the factors associated with the persistence of childhood gender dysphoria (GD), and to assess the feelings of GD, body image, and sexual orientation in adolescence.

Concepts: Childhood, Homosexuality, Gender identity, Sexual orientation, Gender, Transgender

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Gender dysphoria (GD) in childhood is a complex phenomenon characterized by clinically significant distress due to the incongruence between assigned gender at birth and experienced gender. The clinical presentation of children who present with gender identity issues can be highly variable; the psychosexual development and future psychosexual outcome can be unclear, and consensus about the best clinical practice is currently under debate. In this paper a clinical picture is provided of children who are referred to gender identity clinics. The clinical criteria are described including what is known about the prevalence of childhood GD. In addition, an overview is presented of the literature on the psychological functioning of children with GD, the current knowledge on the psychosexual development and factors associated with the persistence of GD, and explanatory models for psychopathology in children with GD together with other co-existing problems that are characteristic for children referred for their gender. In light of this, currently used treatment and counselling approaches are summarized and discussed, including the integration of the literature detailed above.

Concepts: Homosexuality, Knowledge, Gender identity disorder, Transgender, Gender, Psychology, Developmental psychology, Gender identity

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Taxometric methods enable determination of whether the latent structure of a construct is dimensional or taxonic (nonarbitrary categories). Although sex as a biological category is taxonic, psychological gender differences have not been examined in this way. The taxometric methods of mean above minus below a cut, maximum eigenvalue, and latent mode were used to investigate whether gender is taxonic or dimensional. Behavioral measures of stereotyped hobbies and physiological characteristics (physical strength, anthropometric measurements) were examined for validation purposes, and were taxonic by sex. Psychological indicators included sexuality and mating (sexual attitudes and behaviors, mate selectivity, sociosexual orientation), interpersonal orientation (empathy, relational-interdependent self-construal), gender-related dispositions (masculinity, femininity, care orientation, unmitigated communion, fear of success, science inclination, Big Five personality), and intimacy (intimacy prototypes and stages, social provisions, intimacy with best friend). Constructs were with few exceptions dimensional, speaking to Spence’s (1993) gender identity theory. Average differences between men and women are not under dispute, but the dimensionality of gender indicates that these differences are inappropriate for diagnosing gender-typical psychological variables on the basis of sex. (PsycINFO Database Record © 2013 APA, all rights reserved).

Concepts: Biology of gender, Masculinity, Gender studies, Psychology, Gender role, Gender differences, Gender identity, Gender

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To understand and ultimately prevent injury and behavioural health outcomes associated with masculinity, we assessed the influence of masculine discrepancy stress (stress that occurs when men perceive themselves as falling short of the traditional gender norms) on the propensity to engage in stereotypically masculine behaviours (eg, substance use, risk taking and violence) as a means of demonstrating masculinity. Six-hundred men from the USA were recruited via Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (MTurk) online data collection site to complete surveys assessing self-perceptions of gender role discrepancy and consequent discrepancy stress, substance use/abuse, driving while intoxicated (DWI) and violent assaults. Negative binomial regression analyses indicated significant interactive effects wherein men high on gender role discrepancy and attendant discrepancy stress reported significantly more assaults with a weapon (B=1.01; SE=0.63; IRR=2.74; p=0.05) and assaults causing injury (B=1.01; SE=0.51; IRR=2.74; p<0.05). There was no association of discrepancy stress to substance abuse, but there was a protective effect of gender role discrepancy for DWI among men low on discrepancy stress (B=-1.19, SE=0.48; IRR=0.30; p=0.01). These findings suggest that gender role discrepancy and associated discrepancy stress, in particular, represent important injury risk factors and that prevention of discrepancy stress may prevent acts of violence with the greatest consequences and costs to the victim, offender and society.

Concepts: Sociology, Masculism, Gender studies, Man, Masculinity, Gender identity, Gender, Gender role