This is a huge shift from the DSM-IV that used the term “gender identity disorder” to diagnosis and treat individuals who felt dissonance between their biological sex and their chosen gender. Due to the fact that it was seen as a disorder, much like homosexuality until 1973, gender identity disorder often gave society the ammunition needed to discriminate against transgender individuals. By labeling transgender individuals with a disorder, it was placing it in the same category as Borderline Personality Disorder or Obsessive Personality Disorders – disorders that could be treated and need a “cure.” The criteria for gender dysphoria makes it clear that the issue isn’t in the inability to conform to gender stereotypes. Instead, a problem occurs when there is great distress of a person’s biological gender and gender identity. In order to be diagnosed with gender dysphoria, there are criteria that must first be met. Though not every criteria needs to be met for a diagnosis, it is a good start. (American Psychiatric Association, 2013) The symptoms are as
Transsexual Phenomenon, and within months Johns Hopkins University opened the first gender identity clinic in the United States to diagnose and treat transsexual individuals and to conduct research related to sexuality. Within ten years, more than forty university affiliated gender clinics existed throughout the United States including programs at the University of Minnesota, Stanford University and Case Western University (Stryker, 2008).
In “Intro-How Sex Changed: A History of Transsexuality in the United States,” Joanne Meyerowitz writes about the beginnings of transsexuality. She beings the article by defining cross-gender identification, as “the sense of being the other sex, and the desire to live as the other sex” (Meyerowitz 432), while transsexuality, “being the quest to transform the bodily characteristics of sex via hormones and surgery” (Meyerowitz 432). According to Meyerowitz, transsexuality began in the early 20th century. Experiments on changing sex, began in europe on animals. Then in 1920, on humans. Joanne Meyerowitz writes that “the debate on the visibility and mutability of sex” began after Christine Jorgensen, an american who went to Denmark to get a sex change in 1950, became a media sensation in America. While professionals were figuring this out, people “who identified as transsexuals, transvestites, lesbians, and gay men” (Meyerowitz 433) were having the conversation and creating the language within themselves. This conversation on sex change, occurred alongside the sexual revolution in the 60’s, opening “the movement of the organizing of programs, clinics, conferences, and associations to promote study of and treatment for transsexuals” (Meyerowitz 434).
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
“The Five Sexes Revisited” focused on the importance of therapy over surgery. Medical ethicist Laurence B. McCullough of the Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy at Baylor Collefe of Medicine in Houston, Texas “contend[ed] that in the process of assigning gender, physicians should minimize what he calls irreversible assignments: taking steps such as the surgical removal
In a world moving advancing with near instantaneous publication worldwide the fringe edges of society have become more visible. One group of people that has had the spotlight shined on them is those suffering from gender dysphoria–persons who are not comfortable living in the bodies that they are born with and are often referred to as transsexual. As of 2010, there was an estimated population of less than 1,000 of these fringe members of our society incarcerated in state and federal facilities. (Brown)
The patient reported that he had never felt comfortable in his own skin and was exclusively attracted to females (Bradley, S.J., Oliver, G. D., Chernick, A. B,, & Zucker, K. J., 1998). This case study displays that genetic factors have a higher effect on gender identity than modeling or parental rearing. Despite the social and environmental factors rearing her to be a girl he always showed his masculinity. This study is interesting and should also be included in transsexual studies.
Through examining the ways intersex individuals are treated in a medical setting, one can see how science only allows binary bodies to be created. Crawley et al. (2007) discusses intersex individuals and the standard treatment of intersex children, being to alter their ‘abnormal’ genitalia to resemble one of the two genders. This has become the normal treatment as if this is necessary, but the only threat the child is in danger of is not fitting perfectly into the heteronormative standard of correct genitalia. Because surgical intervention proves we alter and change one’s sex, it becomes difficult to claim that sex and gender are solely biological, when clearly one’s gender and sex becomes largely altered the moment they are born into society. Anne Fausto Sterling, outlines her concept of the five sexes, explaining that intersex is a term used to describe any individual that doesn’t fit into the narrow categories of male and female. She explains that the same process that was in play in the Middle Ages is
Media coverage of transgender people and their medical transitions appeared as early as 1952. Sweeping headlines across the country, including in The New York Times, Christine Jorgensen became a household name because she was the first American to ever to have a sex change. Former Army Private Jorgensen was featured in the December 2nd, 1952 article “Bronx ‘Boy’ Is Now a Girl”. For her sex changed she had to travel to Denmark. Although people had begun to speak publically about transgender people and it was a known mental and medical condition, it wasn’t until 1966 when Doctor Henry Benjamin published The Transsexual Phenomenon, that doctors in the United States had a guide to follow in terms of treating transgender
In the mid-twentieth century, Christine Jorgenson became the first publicly known American trans woman to undergo sex reassignment surgery. Christine initially referred to herself as a “homosexual with a large amount of femininity”, before she knew the language for what she actually was (Meyerowitz, p. 59). She claimed that she needed desperately to live as a woman and later claimed that her “condition” was “an error of nature” (Meyerowitz, p. 61). She was initially sent to a psychiatrist
Chapter eleven focuses on sexual disorders and gender identity disorders. For this discussion I wanted to talk about gender identity disorder. For ordinary individuals they can describe themselves or identify themselves as either males or females since we are a child. But, there are some individuals who do not experienced this type of clarity. For some individuals it is a sense that their identity is different from the gender category which they were born with or that it is something that lies outside of the usual male versus female categories. These individuals are known as transgender experiences. It is something that we are seeing more and more of in society today. Many of these transgender individuals come to terms with themselves and they find
Gender Identity Disorder can make a child; adolescent or adult feel awkward and alone. Gender Identity Disorder paired with either Gender Dysphoria or Transsexualism will disrupt the development of social skills and create more problems behaviorally. Normative studies present evidence of the co-morbidity through parent report data revealing that children with Gender Identity Disorder have on
Now, that is a lot of power. We often entrust a doctor’s judgement wholeheartedly because they just want the “best” for us, and in the cases of interesexed individuals, the physician simply wants to rid them of all the adjustment horrors that comes with such configuration, but seldom do they question the inadequacies of our role system, nor have they considered the possibility of such individuals developing into a perfectly happy and capable human beings without reassignment. Perhaps this is due to their inability to associate normalcy with anything outside of the binary. Inevitably, problems began to emerge from these reassignments. Some reassigned individuals felt aligned with their prescribed gender, but most did not. Some of these cases are extremely unfortunate, because their genitals had already been mutilated at birth. Such outcomes had prompted physicians to take more precaution when dealing with intersex babies. Sterling’s noble effort in assimilating intersex individuals through further categorization will help them find a classification system where there is a place that they can fall under, but it does not change the views of the masses, nor does it make it much easier for them to appreciate themselves as who they are, although it is a
By having the responsibility of gender assignment belong to the medical professional of children at birth, children and their parents have suffered after the details of their physical beings had been disclosed. The results of this inappropriate use of genital surgeries for gender assignment usually lead to bullying, gender identity disorder, self-harm, and suicide. However, when this treatment came into practiced, doctors had believed that it would be traumatic for a child to remain intersexed. It was also widely believed that by fixing the child’s gender immediately after birth that the child would have a better chance at becoming “normalized.”
Gender dysphoria, formerly referred to as gender identity disorder by Diagnostics and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders by American Psychiatric Association 4th edition and earlier (American Psychiatric Association 2013; gender dysphoria fact sheet.pdf), is marked by irreconcilable differences in one’s biologically expressed gender and the preference for a cross-gender identity (American Psychiatric Association 2000; asset_upload_file155_30369.pdf). It is expressed as a varying level of discomfort living as a gender they do not identify themselves with, and may be distressing enough to undergo a gender reassignment surgery. The preoperational period – change of clothing, name and hormone therapy – which often precede such surgery, has had mixed results, with some reverting back to their biological gender, and others who move onto gender reassignment surgery stage (Green, R 2007; 1-s2.0-S1476179306005568-main.pdf).