Publication Details

F. Bell, 'Children with gender dysphoria and the jurisdiction of the Family Court' (2015) 38 (2) University of New South Wales Law Journal 426-454.

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UNSW – Law Journal

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Gender dysphoria is described as ‘[m]ental distress caused by unhappiness with one’s own sex and the desire to be identified as the opposite sex’. Gender dysphoria is distinguished from being intersex, the subject of a recent Australian Senate Committee report, which is referable to physical characteristics. It is also distinguished from gender non-conformism, gender diversity or transsexualism as, in addition to identifying and living as one’s non-natal gender, it involves ‘clinically significant distress’. Unfortunately, children with gender dysphoria (and indeed many gender diverse young people) are almost by definition at a high risk of depression and anxiety, as well as social isolation, self-harm and suicide. This is unsurprisingly often connected to the discrimination and abuse suffered by these groups.