People with gender dysphoria experience a great deal of inconsistency. This inconsistency is between the sex assigned to them (usually at birth) and the sex they feel or express.. This gap is the fundamental characteristic of gender dysphoria. In fact, some people feel uncomfortable with this gap. The lived sex can include other sexual identities beyond the binary stereotypes.
Therefore, the discomfort is not limited to a simple desire to be of the opposite sex. It can include the desire to be of another sex. This happens as long as it differs from the sex that has been assigned to the person. Concern or desire to change sex can appear at any age after the first two or three years of childhood. It often interferes with daily activities.
In older children, the inability to develop age-appropriate skills and relationships with same-sex partners can lead to social isolation and discomfort.
Gender dysphoria in girls
Gender dysphoria manifests differently in different age groups. Prepubescent girls with gender dysphoria can express the desire to be a boy. They can claim that they are a boy or that when they grow up they will be a man.
They prefer boys' clothes and hairstyles. Because of their style, they are also perceived by strangers as boys and can ask to be called by the name of a boy. They usually show intense negative reactions to their parents' attempts to have them wear dresses or other clothing associated with the woman. Some may refuse to attend school or social activities where such clothing is required.
These girls can show a marked identification with the other sex in role plays, dreams and fantasies. They often prefer contact sports, fighting games. They prefer boys as playmates.
They show little interest in toys (eg dolls) or activities (female costumes or role plays) that are based on female stereotypes. They sometimes refuse to urinate in a sitting position. Some girls may express the desire to have a penis, or pretend they have a penis, or that when they grow up, they will have one. They may also say that they do not want to develop their breasts or menstrual periods.
Gender dysphoria in boys
Prepubertal boys with gender dysphoria can express the desire to be a girl, pretend to be a girl or pretend to be a woman when they grow up. Their preference is to dress with girls' or women's clothes and they can improvise dresses with the materials they find.
These boys play the role of female figures (for example, they play "mothers"). They are often intensely interested in female fantasies. They often prefer activities, games, and hobbies that are traditional female stereotypes (eg, playing dinner games).
They also prefer to draw women and watch TV shows or videos of the characters that girls prefer. Dolls that fit the female stereotype are often their favorite toys and girls are their favorite gaming companions.
These kids tend to avoid the most competitive games. Some may claim that they do not have a penis and insist on sitting down to urinate. Less often, they may claim to find their penis or testicles unpleasant. They want to remove them or they want to have a vagina.
Gender dysphoria in adults
In adults with gender dysphoria, the difference between sex and physical sex characteristics is often accompanied by a desire to to free themselves from their primary or secondary sexual characteristics of the opposite sex.
To varying degrees, adults with gender dysphoria can adopt the behavior, dress, and manner of sex they experience. They feel uncomfortable when viewed by others or when society identifies them with the sex of their physical traits.
Some adults may have a strong desire to be of a different sex and to be treated as such. They may have enough inner certainty to feel and react according to the sex they live without resorting to medical treatment to change their bodily characteristics.
These adults can find other ways to resolve the inconsistency between the sex they experience / express and the sex assigned to them by living partially in the desired role or by adopting a sexual role that is neither male nor female conventionally.
As we can see, gender dysphoria refers to the discomfort that can accompany inconsistency. An incoherence that exists between the genre lived or expressed and the genre assigned.