Questions for ‘Gender: When the body and brain disagree’

At birth, doctors (and parents) assign a child’s gender, based on what the baby's body parts look like. But sometimes those body parts may not match up with what the brain "knows" to be that child's true gender. 


To accompany feature: Gender: When the body and brain disagree


Before Reading:

1.      Research the definitions for a) biological sex; and b) gender identity. Are the two terms interchangeable? Why or why not?

2.      How important is it to feel comfortable in one’s own identity?

During Reading:

1.      What changed in Zoë MacGregor’s life beginning around age 9?

2.      Provide some examples of the changes typical in a social transition.

3.      Define “transgender.”

4.      Is a gender transition about choice? Use information from the story to justify your answer.

5.      How do people typically express their gender identity?

6.      When is sex determined in human development?

7.      Which parents contribute the X and Y genes in XX and XY individuals?

8.      Are cisgender individuals common? Why or why not?

9.      How does testosterone affect development?

10.  What is the goal of the TransYouth Project?

After Reading:

1.      Explain why it might be important to include a control in a scientific study.

2.      Imagine a friend is undergoing a social transition. How could you make your friend feel more accepted?


1.      Should driver licenses, passports and other documents list the gender of a person’s birth or, if transgender, the person’s new gender identity? What difference, if any, might it make? Support your argument.