Young people's experiences of non-binary genders

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


Young people often feel social pressure to conform to binary masculine/feminine roles, which are assumed to be ‘normal’, and may adopt binary gender identities without exploring other gender expressions (Richards, et al., 2016). This can be challenging for young people who do not clearly identify with a binary gender identity to navigate (Vincent, 2020). The aim of this research was to explore how young people make sense of and experience their non-binary gender identities. A focus group was conducted with four 16- to 18-year-old people who identified as non-binary. The data were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA), to focus on their lived experiences (Smith, Flowers & Larkin, 2009). The analysis highlighted the difficulties that ‘everyday’ cisnormative experiences presented for the young people, as well as the young people’s ‘gender journeys’ of (re)negotiating expectations of linear gender development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-48
Number of pages14
JournalPsychology of Sexualities Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 9 Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

This is a pre-publication version of the following article: Ward, L. (2021). Young people’s experiences of non-binary genders. Psychology of Sexualities Review, 12(2), 35–48.


  • non-binary
  • gender
  • identity
  • interpretive phenomenological analysis
  • young people


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