Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Gender Dysphoria

  • Devita Singh
  • Kenneth J. Zucker
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_3398-1



Gender dysphoria refers to a person’s discontent and distress with regard to the gender that they were assigned to at birth.


As a diagnostic term, gender dysphoria was introduced in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (American Psychiatric Association 2013). It replaced prior diagnostic labels, such as gender identity disorder and transsexualism.

As a diagnosis, the symptoms must be accompanied by clinically significant distress and/or impairment. It is a more narrow construct than terms such as “transgender,” “gender variance,” or “gender nonconformity.”


Gender dysphoria can have either an early onset (in childhood) or a late onset (in adolescence or adulthood). In the early-onset form, children exhibit a range of stereotypical gender-typed behaviors associated with the other sex (e.g., in peer preferences, toys and activity interests,...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Child & Adolescent Mental Health Care, Children’s HospitalLondon Health Sciences CentreLondonCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyWestern UniversityLondonCanada

Section editors and affiliations

  • Christopher D. Watkins
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Psychology, School of Social and Health SciencesAbertay UniversityDundeeUK