Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology


Behavioral Sciences



First Advisor

Lisa Harlow


Existing gender instruments are not inclusive and sensitive to all persons of transgender and/or gender diverse experience (TGDE), individuals whose gender identity does not align with their sex assigned at birth according to the heteronormative sociocultural construct of gender (Flores et al. 2016; Meerwijk & Sevelius, 2017). The goal of this study was to use a mixed methods approach to develop a new three-item gender instrument that collects information from participants on their sex assigned at birth, gender identity, and the gender they live as in their day-to-day life (lived gender). This gender instrument would aid researchers and health professionals to identify and describe their sample or population of interest without forcing an individual to identify under a less specific umbrella term such as transgender or genderqueer. Based on their survey responses within the three-item instrument, the traditional one-item gender instrument, and the open-ended question, participants were classified into the research categories of persons of TGDE or cisgender experience. Using the open-ended question to confirm accuracy, results indicate that the three-item instrument was better at classifying persons into accurate research categories compared to the one-item instrument. Specifically, the first two items (sex assigned at birth and gender identity) provided the most information with classifying participants into these categories. There was no difference in classification when looking at participants’ responses to the first two items and all three items; however, results from the thematic analysis indicate that the third item is part of the gender experience and should be taken into consideration for future research with individuals of TGDE. Results also indicated that a write-in response option is necessary when asking people to disclose their gender identities.



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