Celebrity couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are said to have consulted a specialist to find out why their daughter Shiloh, who is nine years old, prefers to be called John and loves dressing up as a boy.

According to a Radar Online source, the couple wanted to make their daughter feel loved and secure and Pitt wanted to find out if having two older brothers could have influenced his daughter to dress up as a boy.

"Shiloh is very headstrong, and has insisted on wearing boys' clothes for more than six years," the source said. "Brad was told Shiloh would have gravitated towards dressing as a boy, and being called John, even if her siblings were all girls."

The source also added that Shiloh could just be a tomboy who could become the most "girly girl" as a teenager. At present, Pitt and Jolie are committed to providing a secure family environment for Shiloh, and not force her to dress up in the conventional way.

"The worst thing Shiloh's parents could do would be to force her to wear dresses and play with dolls," the source said. "This is the last thing Brad or Angelina would ever do and they felt better knowing letting Shiloh pick out the clothes she wants to wear, and just not making a big deal about it, is the best thing."

Although there has been rumours of Shiloh being a transgender, neither Jolie nor Pitt have addressed the issue. However, both of them have opened up about Shiloh's desire to act and dress up as a boy.

In 2008, Pitt revealed to Oprah Winfrey that Shiloh likes to be called John. Two years later, in a Vanity Fair interview, Jolie said: "She likes to dress like a boy. She wants to be a boy. So we had to cut her hair. She likes to wear boys' everything. She thinks she's one of the brothers."

Last year, model Amber Rose created quite a controversy when she referred to Shiloh as a "transkid".

Referring to a photograph of Shiloh looking stylish in a tux and short hair, Rose wrote on Instagram: "How gorgeous is John Jolie Pitt?! Born into the perfect family for him. #TransKids #LoveurKidsNoMatterWhat#Support."