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Chapter 14

chap 14

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Konstantine Zakzanis

ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY 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 old. 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 www.notesolution.com intense distress about their gender; and concerns about potential or actual rejection by peers 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 www.notesolution.com 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 www.notesolution.com 2. Alterations of Gender Identity This treatment method involves counselling from a psychologist/psychotherapist The treatment involves shaping various specific behaviours (mannerisms and interpersonal behaviour), and attention to cognitive components (i.e. fantasies) This treatment method although has proven to be somewhat effective, is much less popular than body alterations The Paraphelias According to the DSM-IV-TR, the paraphelias are a group of disorders involving sexual attraction to unusual objects or sexual activities that are unusual in nature. The fantasies, urges, or behaviours must last for at least 6 months and cause significant distress or impairment However there are loopholes in the DSM e.g. a person who repeatedly has sex with young children but is not distressed or impaired cannot be diagnosed with pedophilia. Therefore most researchers take a more behavioural definition of paraphelias and ignore the distress and disability parts People often display more than one paraphelia and men vastly outnumber women Fetishism www.notesolution.com
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