Between a boy and a girl: Measuring gender identity on a continuum

Selin Gülgöz, Deja L. Edwards, Kristina R. Olson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Studies of gender development typically use binary, discrete measures of identity. However, growing literature indicates that some children might not identify with a binary gender. We tested a continuous measure of felt gender identity with gender-non-conforming children, socially transitioned transgender children, cisgender siblings, and unrelated cisgender children. In two studies, we found that transgender and cisgender children did not differ in their degree of identifying as their current gender, that they showed more binary identities compared with gender- non-conforming children, and that the continuum was a valid predictor of other measures of gender development. We also found that children's use of the continuous measure was stable over time. Our results demonstrate the test–retest reliability and validity of a new single-item continuous measure of gender.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)916-929
Number of pages14
JournalSocial Development
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2022
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


  • gender development
  • gender diversity
  • gender identity
  • transgender


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