Gender Dysphoria and Gender Reassignment: Analysis of a Policy Issue

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1. Introduction
Sexuality and gender identity issues have had a long history in the fields of mental health and public policy. There has been much debate surrounding the inclusion of issues related to gender and sexual identity in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual since its initial stages of development (Drescher, 2010). Debates in this field of interest have been fragmented between several stakeholders (Ehrbar, 2010). This fragmentation has created complications in the process of developing United States policies that are inclusive of individuals with gender identities that do not match the gender to which they were assigned at birth. Specifically, policies surrounding gender reassignment surgeries have been difficult to develop and
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2. Historical Development
Discussion of issues related to non-normative sexual and gender identities as related to mental health began in the 19th century (Drescher, 2010). Initially medical and psychiatric providers viewed issues related to gender identity as resulting from delusional thought processes (Drescher, 2010). As a result the concept of surgery as a solution to gender identity differences was viewed as unnecessary and ultimately an incorrect form of treatment (Drescher, 2010). In 1952 the first gender reassignment surgery was performed in Denmark on an American citizen (Drescher, 2010). The publicity in the American media that followed this surgery brought the concept of gender identity to the public eye. During the 1960s research about gender identity started to develop and it was the work of Money, Stoller, Benjamin, and Green that ultimately change professional and public concept of Gender Identity (Drescher, 2010). These four individuals were among the first to conduct clinical and academic research on gender identity and gender roles (Drescher, 2010). As a result of their research beliefs about non-normative gender identity shifted from a problem of the mind to a biological disorder that was fixed and should be treated with
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