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McDevitt, J.B. (1995). A Childhood Gender Identity Disorder: Analysis, Preoedipal Determinants, and Therapy in Adolescence. Psychoanal. St. Child, 50:079-105.

(1995). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 50:079-105

A Childhood Gender Identity Disorder: Analysis, Preoedipal Determinants, and Therapy in Adolescence

John B. McDevitt, M.D.

This paper is about a four-year-old boy's wish to be a girl. This wish was a compromise formation, the consequence of intrapsychic conflict. Using reconstructive inferences and research findings, I suggest a line of development in the boy's femininity, beginning with constitutional and maturational factors, with being shaped in a feminine direction by his environment, and with shaping himself internally in the form of a compromise formation in that direction by the time he was two to three years of age. The disorder began to acquire a persistence and stability during the preoedipal phase and, with minor changes in its components, remained operative during the oedipal phase, latency, and adolescence.

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