GENDER DYSPHORIA

Gender Identity Disorder and Transsexuals

WHAT IS GENDER DYSPHORIA ?

Gender Dysphoria is also called "Gender Identity Disorder" (Nolen-Hoeksema, p. 389). It is a rare disorder that starts in the toddler years, however, it can be diagnosed throughout adulthood. Gender Dysphoria is diagnosed "when there is a discrepancy between an individual's gender identity and their biological sex" (Nolen-Hoeksema, p.389). So what causes Gender Dysphoria? Both males and females produce a hormone called Androgen. In females the Androgen is converted to Estrogen. In males it is converted to Testosterone (Unknown, 2011). Females with Gender Dysphoria have high levels of Androgen and males have a lower than normal amount of Androgen (Nolen-Hoeksema, p. 390). Only 1 in 12,900 males and 1 in 33,800 females are diagnosed with Gender Dysphoria (Nolen-Hoeksema, p. 389).
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SYMPTOMS:

Could You Have Gender Dysphoria ?

There are no physical symptoms of Gender Dysphoria. However there are behaviors that can be displayed (The Beaumont Society, 2014) :

-insisting that they are of the opposite sex

-only wearing clothes from the opposite gender

-preferring to play only with children of the opposite sex

-refusing to urinate as their gender would - boys sitting down and girls standing

-insisting and hoping their genitals will change

-feeling the need to change and hide gender based body parts - facial hair in men and breasts in women

-comfortable only when in the gender role of your preferred gender identity

TREATMENTS:

PSCHOTHERAPY is the most common treatment for children who have Gender Dysphoria.

In teenagers and adults there are more treatment options including:


CROSS-SEX HORMONE THERAPY

Testosterone is given to women to encourage muscle development and masculine features, such as facial hair. Estrogen is given to men to encourage breast development and suppress facial hair growth (Nolen-Hoeksema, p 390).


SEX REASSIGNMENT SURGERY:

Most physicians require a transgender to live as the desired sex full time for at least a year before they will do the surgery. The surgery involves males getting breast implants and the removal and changing of the genitals. For females the surgery can include removal of the breast and uterus. The urethra is then rerouted from the vagina to an artificial penis that is surgically attached (Nolen-Hoeksema, p. 390).

FACTS

Having Gender Dysphoria does not make a person gay. In fact some transsexuals prefer to have with the opposite sex and other will be asexual, meaning that they have no sexual desires.


Allowing children to dress and play as the opposite sex will not make them have Gender Dysphoria.


A person with Gender Dysphoria is not sick or contagious.

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"Without appropriate help and support, some people may try to suppress their feelings and attempt to live the life of their biological sex. Having or suppressing these feelings is often very difficult to deal with and, as a result, many transsexuals and people with gender dysphoria experience depression, self-harm or suicidal thoughts." (The Beaumont Society, 2014).



If you need further help or have more questions here are some helpful websites:

Gender Public Advocacy Coalition (GenderPAC) www.gpac.org

Mathew Shepard Foundation www.MatthewShepard.org

National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) www.nctequality.org





REFERENCES:

Nolen-Hoeksema, S. (2014). Abnormal psychology (6th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.


The Beaumont Society. (April 29, 2014). Gender dysphoria: symptoms. As retrieved from: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Gender-dysphoria/Pages/Symptoms.aspx


Unknown. (May 23, 2011). Androgen. As retrieved from: http://www.healthywomen.org/condition/androgen