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Chapter 14

PSYB32H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 14: Gender Dysphoria, Plastic Surgery, Not Otherwise Specified

by OC59

Course Code
Konstantine Zakzanis

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Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders
Gender Identity Disorder
Gender Identity Disorder (GID) is sometimes referred to as transsexualism; People with
this disorder usually feed deep within themselves (as early as childhood) that they are of the
opposite sex
Even if their anatomy suggests otherwise, they are convinced that they are not what they
appear to be.
The majority of GID cases are diagnosed as GIDNOS (gender identity disorder not
otherwise specified). This shows that this disorder is highly variable, with many people
possessing unique features.
When GID begins in childhood, it is associated with cross gendered behaviours (little boys
dressing in womens clothing) it is usually recognized by parents when the child is 2-4 years
It is 6.6x more likely to occur in males than in females
Usually the factors that cause the decision to seek medical treatment are: a belief that the
behaviour was no longer a phase that the child would grow out of; a threshold violation (boy
wanting to cross-dress at a school, not just at home); belief that the child was experiencing

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intense distress about their gender; and concerns about potential or actual rejection by
Most children depicting GID behaviour do not grow up to have GID, however many of them
grow up to become homosexual.
If a man with GID is attracted to another man, he sees it as a regular heterosexual
attraction because he considers himself a woman.
The prevalence of GID is very slight: about 1 in 30,000 for men and 1 in 100,000 to 150,000
for women
Causes of Gender Identity Disorder
There have been concerns that GID in children should be removed from the DSM-IV-TR
because the gender of a person depends so heavily on culture and stereotypes. If a child
displays behavioural patterns abnormal for their gender but does not feel uncomfortable
with their sexual identity, then it is unjust to say they have GID
Is has been found that GID is greatly influenced by hormones (e.g. the Dominican Republic
study). Even during pregnancy, if the mother takes hormones linked to the opposite sex of
the baby, the baby demonstrates behaviours of the opposite sex
However differences in hormones and chromosomes in individuals with GID and
individuals without GID came up inconclusive suggesting that other factors in addition to
hormones contribute to GID
The environment may also contribute to the development of GID i.e. if the feminine

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behaviours of a little boy were encouraged during his childhood. It is important to keep in
mind that society has a lower threshold for feminine behaviours in men than in masculine
behaviours in women
The attractiveness of the child as well as their relationship with their family are also
possible factors
Therapies for Gender Identity Disorder
There are two types of treatment available for GID: one of them involves altering ones body
to fit their psychology and the other involves altering ones psychology to fit their body
1.Body Alterations
An individual with GID who enters this type of treatment usually requires 6-12
months of psychotherapy, which focuses on anxiety, depression, hormone therapy as
well as the available options for altering their body.
Methods of this treatment may include cosmetic surgery, electrolysis to remove facial
hair (in men-to-women) and surgery to reduce the size of the chin and Adams apple,
and sex-reassignment surgery
In general female-to-male reassignment surgeries are more successful than male-to-
female surgeries; possible factors that could contribute to the satisfaction of the
surgery include: reasonable emotional stability; successful adaptation in the new
role for at least one year before surgery; adequate understanding of the limitation
and consequences of the surgery; and psychotherapy
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