Gender Identity Disorder is when a male or a female strongly identifies with the opposite sex to what they are. A male feels they are more female, and vice versa.
It is usually apparent from an early age. A person suffering from this disorder feels very uncomfortable with their own body, and their genitalia. For example a girl once she develops breasts may bind them, and wear baggy clothes so they are not apparent. She will dress and acts like a boy, displaying boyish mannerisms. She will also usually follow boyish pursuits and hobbies, for example football.
The exact cause of gender identity is not known, but there is a link to genetic (chromosomal) abnormalities, hormonal imbalances, defects with bonding and raising the child, or a combination of these factors.
It can cause feelings of low self-esteem, isolation, depression and anxiety. This is mainly due to their feelings that they are different, and that they do not fit in with their peers – of either sex. If left it can lead to suicidal tendencies.
Gender Identity Disorder is rare. Some people suffering from this condition go onto request hormone treatment and gender reassignment surgery, also known as a sex change operation.