In Brief

APA has published two new brochures that answer common questions about gender identity, gender variance and intersex conditions.

Transgender refers to people whose gender identity or gender expression differs from that usually associated with their birth sex. Intersex conditions include abnormalities of the external genitals, internal reproductive organs, sex chromosomes or sex-related hormones.

Among the questions the brochures answer are:

  • What should parents do if their child appears to be transgender or gender-atypical?

  • How do transsexuals transition from one gender to the other?

  • Do intersex conditions affect sexual orientation?

  • How do doctors and parents decide sex assignment in babies born with ambiguous genitals?

The brochures provide a starting point for those who seek information on the topics, but they also list various organizations' Web sites for more in-depth reading, says Margaret Schneider, PhD, a member of the APA Task Force on Gender Identity, Gender Variance and Intersex Conditions, which developed the brochures.

"We suspect that practitioners will encounter these issues sometime in their career," says Schneider, a psychology professor at the University of Toronto. "We'd like the brochures to give them some familiarity with the issues at hand."

--Z. Stambor

Further Reading

To request copies of the brochures, contact APA's Office of Public Communications via e-mail, or view online versions at APA Topics / Transgender and APA Topics / Intersex.