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Title: A qualitative exploration of gender identity in young people who identify as neither male nor female
Author: Boddington, Ellen
ISNI:       0000 0004 5990 5074
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2016
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The dominant approach to categorising gender in western cultures, follows a binary system, where the gender of an individual must be either male or female. However, some individuals feel that their gender identity is neither male nor female, and may define themselves as non-binary. Non-binary gender has predominantly been encompassed within wider transgender research and, therefore, little is known about how young people who identify as non-binary describe their gender identity. This research study explored how young people with non-binary gender identities describe and understand their gender identity. The influence of relationships with others upon gender identity was explored, along with what these young people would like from services. Six young people aged between 15 and 18 with non-binary gender identities were recruited from a NHS gender identity development service and a third sector organisation supporting young people with gender development. Semi-structured interviews were carried out and analysed using thematic analysis. The research indicated that the participants utilised the internet as a source of information during the process of gender exploration and discovery. Talking to others both within and outside of the transgender community provided them with the space to explore, discover and find validation and acceptance of their non-binary genders. This study also suggests that the impact of gender uncertainty and body distress on their emotional wellbeing could be exacerbated or mitigated according to the response and support received from others. Furthermore, the young people that took part in this research were very aware of negative judgements of those in their community and also within wider society. The stigma and discrimination was thought by the participants to be fuelled by the lack of awareness and education of non-binary genders. Consequently, there was a desire for activism and social action to reduce stigma and to improve the everyday lives of those with non-binary genders. A critical review of the study is provided and theoretical and clinical implications are offered.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available