Gender identity, and transsexuality: when does it start?

By | January 9, 2015

Every person is born with a physical gender identity (usually determined by the presence of a penis or a vagina), and at some point in life they develop an emotional gender identity (that's why we have transsexuals, homosexuals, and so on.) But when does this emotional gender identity actually begin?

According to this research, it looks like our brains are wired up to reflect that emotional gender identity – it isn't just something that we 'learn' from the environment we are raised in. Rather, there are significant differences in how male, female, and transsexual brains are wired up internally, and that these differences are caused by hormonal development.

All in all, they suggest that it is quite possible that a person's emotional gender identity may be wired into their brains as early as within the womb.

/via +Hans Youngmann

Networks of the brain reflect the individual gender identity |
Our sense of belonging to the male or female gender is an inherent component of the human identity perception. As a general rule, gender identity and physical sex coincide. If this is not the case, one refers to trans-identity or transsexuality. In a current study, brain researcher Georg S. Kanz of the University Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy of the Medical University (MedUni) Vienna was able to demonstrate that the very personal gender…

5 thoughts on “Gender identity, and transsexuality: when does it start?

  1. Abe Pectol

    +Sophie Wrobel what factors, aside from genetics and the hormones of the carrier (which can possibly be a surrogate mother as well, much as I understand), contribute to the fetus' gormonal balance?

  2. Sophie Wrobel

    +Abe Pectol From a scientific standpoint – the paper conclusions support the hypothesis that the distinguishment in gender identity takes place before birth, but are not sufficient to draw any conclusions on whether gender identity development takes place before or after birth, let alone whether the relevant hormones originate from the mother or the child itself.


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