Gender Affirmative Lifespan Approach (GALA)

Technology No. 20170216

Gender Identity Exploration

The Gender Affirmative Lifespan Approach (GALA™) team has developed a set of measures to assist clinicians and researchers in exploring aspects of healthy gender identity. The measures are adapted from existing protocols but have been revised to reflect the core principles of GALA; this includes the underlying philosophical values of being trans affirmative, intersectional, interdisciplinary, transparent, and relevant across the lifespan, and are targeted to address the core components of gender literacy, beyond the binary, pleasure-based positive sexuality, resiliency to stigma, and medical connections. Measures to specifically address the components of "medical connections" and "gender literacy" are still being developed.

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The five measures are:

  • Utrecht Gender Dysphoria Scale-Gender Spectrum (UGDS-GS)
    Adapted from the male to female (MTF) and female to male (FTM) versions, initially structured as two separate surveys based on a binary gender identity, this single version is inclusive of gender identities across the gender spectrum. It assesses the experience of distress related to sex assigned at birth and "affirmed" gender (which refers to the gender that one feels most accurately represents one's gender identity). In keeping with the lifespan approach, this measure could be given to both adolescents and adults to track progress over time.
  • Family Environment-GS
    This scale was developed at the University of Minnesota and assesses overall family environment in response to gender identity and expression. This measure quantifies positive, negative, and neutral behaviors in the family context. This measure highlights the role of family support as a strong protective factor for trans individuals.
  • Recalled Childhood Gender Identity and Experience -Gender Spectrum-Adolescent Version
    Recalled Childhood Gender Identity and Experience -Gender Spectrum-Parent Version
    (RCGIE-GS)
    Adapted from Zucker,. et al.'s The Recalled Childhood Gender Identity/Gender Role Questionnaire (2006).Adapted from the male to female (MTF) and female to male (FTM) versions, initially structured as two separate surveys based on a binary gender identity, this single version in inclusive of gender identities across the gender spectrum. The RCGIE-GS makes a distinction between gender expression and gender identity, concepts that have been historically conflated. Items that distinguish between gender role/expression dysphoria and anatomical dysphoria were added to support this clarification.
  • Body Image Scale – Gender Spectrum (BIS-GS)
    The BIS-GS was adapted from the male to female (MTF) and female to male (FTM) versions of the commonly used Body Image Scale (Lindgren & Pauly, 1975). The GS version has been revised so all people with any body parts can take the same form, thus allowing for longitudinal assessment even regardless of medical intervention status. This scale measures relationship to anatomical body parts.
  • Genderqueer Identity Scale
    This scale, developed at the University of Minnesota, assesses non-binary identity in adolescents and adults as well as societal expectation of gender presentation/gender role. This includes "genderqueer" and "genderfluid" identities. It is one of the first measures developed to assess non-binary identities.
  • Sexual Functioning Index-Gender Spectrum
    This sexual functioning index was adapted from the Female Sexual Functioning Index (Rosen, et al., 2000) to create a sexual functioning measure that is inclusive of gender identities across the gender spectrum. The scale was revised with the intention of disrupting heteronormative and cisnormative assumptions underlying current sexual functioning measures. It has been updated to reflect the most current DSM standards for sexual functioning which are based on the sexual response cycle.

For more information visit the National Center for Gender Spectrum Health.

Phase of Development – Available for use. GALA may be used by reseachers, instructors and students but a license from the University of Minnesota is required. Please click on the license link on the right side of this page to complete the license and download the GALA documents.


Researchers
Jenifer McGuire, PhD
Associate Professor, College of Education and Human Development
External Link (www.cehd.umn.edu)
Dianne R. Berg, PhD
Assistant Professor, Program in Human Sexuality, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health
External Link (www.sexualhealth.umn.edu)
Nic Rider, PhD
Postdoctoral fellow, Program in Human Sexuality
External Link (www.sexualhealth.umn.edu)
Katie Spencer, PhD
Assistant Professor, Program in Human Sexuality
External Link (www.sexualhealth.umn.edu)
Jennifer Vencill, PhD
Assistant Professor, Program in Human Sexuality
External Link (familymedicine.umn.edu)
Jory Catalpa
PhD Candidate, Family Social Science
External Link (www.cehd.umn.edu)
James DeWitt, National Center for Gender Spectrum Health

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