Joshua Franklin

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Pennsylvania, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 9698

Approve Date

October 5, 2018

Project Title

Franklin, Joshua B., U. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA - To aid research on 'Childhood Gender Diversity and Transgender Medicine in Philadelphia, PA,' supervised by Dr. Adriana Petryna

JOSHUA B. FRANKLIN, then a graduate student at University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was awarded funding in October 2018 to aid research on ‘Childhood Gender Diversity and Transgender Medicine in Philadelphia, PA,’ supervised by Dr. Adriana Petryna. In recent years, there has been a surge of attention to transgender children and youth. In medicine, this has meant the establishment of pediatric gender identity clinics, which provide hormones and other medical interventions as well as social support for young people who choose to transition. This research focused on one specialized clinic at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to understand the ways that childhood gender is changing in the United States today from the perspective of transgender children who are receiving gender-affirming care. Based on interviews and ethnographic fieldwork with patients, families, and practitioners, this research found that child-centric medical practice represents a distinct form of clinical reasoning, which is not unique to transgender medicine, but rather a reflection of prevailing norms of US adolescence. This research also identified normalcy as a central concern with divergent but overlapping meanings for young people, parents, and health professionals. Finally, interviews conducted revealed the extent to which access to gender affirming medical care is distributed unequally along lines of race and class.