Gender Fluidity and Nonbinary Gender Identities

The gender identity article written by Steensma et al. (2013) explores the existing body of knowledge on the subject of current trajectories in gender identity development in adolescence and what factors contribute to gender identity. The authors suggest that gender identity and gender roles present a combination of behavior, attitudes, and personality traits specific to different societies and historical periods. The article also notes how gender identity is developed in accordance with physical gender characteristics in most cases. Still, in some cases, the development of chromosomal is atypical to anatomical sex. A growing number of children and adolescents nowadays express gender identity in a way that differs from their birth-assigned gender (Diamond, 2020). According to the authors’ research, gender identity development in children begins very early (between 18 to 24 months) (Steensma et al., 2013). However, gender intensification or increased pressure from society to conform to gender roles occurs in adolescence.

Share the author’s definition of gender identity and identify issues related to gender identification for adolescents. The three main factors that cause an increase in gender identity discomfort for adolescents are physical puberty, change of environment caused by going to high school, and “discovery of sexuality” (Steensma et al., 2013, p. 290). The information about the three main factors that influence the level of gender discomfort could be used in working with adolescents in classrooms. Relationships with peers and a friendly environment play a significant role in the emotional development of a student. According to Bergin, C., and Bergin, D. (2019), gender differences influence prosocial behavior in adolescents, and providing emotional support is not common among boys. Therefore, educating the students on how to use different prosocial behavior regardless of their gender could reduce the level of gender intensification and pressure on adolescents who experience gender identity discomfort.


Bergin, C. C., & Bergin, D. A. (2019). Child and adolescent development in your classroom. Cengage Learning.

Diamond, L. M. (2020). Gender fluidity and nonbinary gender identities among children and adolescents. Child Development Perspectives, 14(2), 110–115. Web.

Steensma, T. D., Kreukels, B. P. C., de Vries, A. L. C., & Cohen-Kettenis, P. T. (2013). Gender identity development in adolescence. Hormones and Behavior, 64(2), 288–297. Web.

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