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Ch.10 Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders section includes: Sexual dysfunction Homosexuality Aging and sexual activity Gender Identity Sexual orientation Gender role Gender Identity Disorder (GID) Prevalence and course of GID Eti

Course Code
Kathy Foxall

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Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders
Sexual dysfunction
Gender Identity disorders
Defining what is abnormal is especially difficult when it comes to this topic
Statistical deviation – how different is behaviour from norm
Impairment – does it cause impairment in functioning?
Removed from DSM
Research evidence that it is not a choice, addiction, or a disease
APA considers sexual “conversion therapy” to be immoral and unacceptable
oConverting someone from gay to straight – no evidence that it works
oAversion – applying aversive stimuli to extinguish unwanted behaviour
Aging and sexual activity
Poll findings that the majority of Americans over 60 say that their interest in sex
is high
Majority over the age of 60 are sexually active
Gender Identity
Not always the same as gender
Basic sense of self as male or female
Early in life (first signs at 18-36 months)
If gender identity is not consistent with biological sex, usually first recognized by
parents when the child is 2-4 years old
Use term transgendered or tran
Someone who feels that their biological sex does not match their internal sense of
their sexual identity
Sexual orientation
Preferred age and sex of partner
Gender role

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Characteristics that are defined by society
Differ in time and across cultures
Gender Identity Disorder (GID)
When it develops in childhood, it is usually first recognized by parents when the
child is 2-4 years old
Formerly called transsexualism; may or may not have surgery
Strong and persistent cross-gender identification
Ongoing discomfort with their biological sex (gender dysphoria)
AND, clinically sig. distress or impairment in social occupational, or other areas
of functioning
There are people who feel attracted to the opposite sex even though they feel
more strongly connected to the opposite sex
Prevalence and course of GID
Green & Blanchard (1995) more common in children than adults
6 times more common in boys than in girls
GID in adults only 1/30,000 males, 1/100,000 in females
Probably an underestimate
Without intervention, most children outgrow GID, but many develop homosexual
Excludes schizophrenic individuals who experience occasional delusions of being
of the opposite sex
Also exclude hermaphrodites
oIntersex – sex characteristics of both genders
Exclude those with transvestic fetishism
Etiology of GIDs
Biological & psychological factors

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Heterosexual transvestism - early childhood experiences in which wearing female
clothing was paired with praise, approval, etc.
oHistory of reinforcement
Self reports that parents' wanted to have a girl, disappointed to have boy
Not supported by mother’s accounts
Many males with GID report that they were dressed as girls
Psychodynamic and Behavioural Theories
Early experiences
Psychodynamic, failure to separate from mother & develop an independent
Behavioural –child reinforced for behaving like opposite sex member, lack of
opposite sex role model
Biological factors and gender development
Findings that some aspects of gender identity are somewhat related to hormone
exposure in utero & later
Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH)
In utero, genetic female is exposed to high levels of androgens
Problem with feedback mechanism between brain and adrenal glands, so too
much androgen is released
Born with genitalia that may look male, or ambiguous
Are given estrogen
Surgery to make genitals look female
Usually accept selves as females
Engage in more rough and tumble play, play with boys toys
Prenatal testosterone exposure
Girls exposed to higher levels were more interested in masculine activities, no
known effect for boys
Like boys games, prefer boys as playmates, avoid activities girls usually prefer
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