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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

January 2021

Degree Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

Krista Brumley


Research shows that when transgender young people are well-supported throughout their gender transition they have similar levels of depression to their cisgender counterparts. For transgender young people who wish to transition medically, these support systems may include parents as advocates or healthcare professionals who specialize in transgender services. Decisions about steps throughout transition are made between transgender children, their parents, as well as the physicians. An examination of gender structure theory and medicalization literature helps to assess how medicine, on an institutional, interactional, and individual level contributes to cisnormativity and enables us to reflect on the relationship between sex, gender, and science. This project aims to analyze how cultural ideologies influence medical processes that shape the identity construction of transgender children and it sheds light on the parental involvement throughout transition, which I argue causes parents to experience relational medicalization.

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