$138K to Study 4-Year-Olds’ ‘Internal Sense’ of Gender

$138K to Study 4-Year-Olds’ ‘Internal Sense’ of Gender
The National Science Foundation has given a $138,000 grant to fund the study of young children's "internal sense of gender identity."

Over the next two years, a pair of researchers from the University of Washington will quiz young children, their siblings, and their parents about their “internal sense of gender identity.”

The project is being run by the publicly funded university’s “TransYouth Project,” which according to its website is conducting a “longitudinal study of gender development and mental health of transgender children,” and has recruited children between the ages of 3 and 12 who are “gender nonconforming.” It just received a $138,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to:

[ask] 250, 4- to 6-year olds and their parents to complete a battery of measures assessing early and current gender socialization, children's internal sense of gender identity, children's gendered behavior (e.g., preferences for gender-typed toys) and measures of related gender cognition (e.g., memory for gender-consistent vs. inconsistent behaviors. These measures will allow the researchers to examine the relative contributions of internal gender identity and socialization and ultimately provide a more comprehensive theory accounting for early gender development.

The study will investigate the Gender Schema Theory—which blames society for “differences between genders”—and others to determine if they adequately explain the "wider range of human gender experiences" seen today.

The university’s lead researchers, Kristina Olson and Selin Gülgöz, will continue their study through June of 2019. Their work was featured in Kati Couric’s Gender Revolution documentary for the National Geographic Channel.

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