Is transsexualism a medical condition?

From Asia One:

February 12, 2011

MANY studies have been carried out on the subject of transsexuals (TS), but one question remains – is transsexualism a biological occurrence or is it just a matter of cross-dressing?

Professor Dr Teh Yik Koon of National Defence University of Malaysia, who has been studying transsexual issues for more than a decade, believes it is much more than individuals entertaining their alter egos.

She says various research findings have shown that transsexualism is a medical condition.

She cites an article released in 2000 by Frank P.M. Kruijver, Jiang-Ning Zhou, Chris W. Pool, Michel A. Hofman, Louis J.G. Gooren and Dick F. Swaab titled Male-to-Female Transsexuals Have Female Neuron Numbers in a Limbic Nucleus.

The researchers concluded that in TS, sexual differentiation of the brain and genitals may go into opposite directions and point to a neurobiological basis of gender identity disorder.

Their study revealed that the number of neurons in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BSTc) of male-to-female TS was similar to that of the females (P > 0.83). In contrast, the neuron number of a female-to-male TS was found to be in the male range.

Teh says those who do not want to accept that it is a biological occurrence are those who believe that their religion forbids it and there is no such thing as transsexualism.

11 Responses to “Is transsexualism a medical condition?”

  1. Teresa Reeves Says:

    I’ve often said that who we are as humans and as sexual beings is to be found within our minds– within the brain. It is a neurobiological imperative that makes us transsexual and compels us to seek mind and body congruence, to become whole. People say that they are born gay or straight and that it cannot be changed– and we say that we were born who we are and seek the correction of our physical birth defect.

    My mother only told me about this possibility after I came out to her prior to my transition. My mother became pregnant with me despite having an intrauterine device (IUD) in place– which fell out and caused an infection and bleeding, placing the pregnancy at risk.

    My mother was given diethylstilbesterol (DES) and some other estrogens and progesterones as a means to save the pregnancy.
    This fits well with in utero studies 40 or more years ago of fetal animals given similar hormonal medications that showed marked changes in sexual/ social- related behavior and orientation postnatally. And similar studies performed in the last 25 years have shown signs of similar effects upon the sexual identity and sexual behavior of the children of diabetic mothers given similar hormones to save their at risk pregnancies.

    People born with an apparent physical intersex condition have this resulting from an anatomical, biological, genetic, hormonal or even accidental circumstance that creates uncertainty and ambiguity in the assignment of sex. A large percentage of intersex infants have been subjected to mutilative surgery in an attempt eliminate genital ambiguity– to forcibly “sex” them. But is the same kind of neurobiological imperative that leads them so often into identifying as the sex opposite the coerced path.

    Transsexuals may be less apparent in their birth defect, and being diagnosed as a transsexual may mask certain hidden intersex conditions (including neurobiological intersex) — but most transsexuals are subjected to coercion for not subscribing to the assigned sex.

    Gender relativists try to create a world in which there are potentiality an infinite number of genders supposedly dictated by a mosaic of X and Y chromosomes. But gender is a sociocultural construct that dictates social roles for people given a congenital set of sex characteristics. Other than physical, sex and reproductive functions there is no reason to limit human behavior or endeavor by the assignment of gender. But sex is in humans one of two given sets of sexual anatomy and most everyone gets one set , and a rare few get some elements of both.

    But in human sexual relationships, almost all people bring only one set— and gay men bring penises/testicles, etc. — while lesbians bring vaginas/clitorises,etc. while heterosexual couples bring one of each.

    Transsexual women believe that they are “female minds trapped in male bodies.” Transgender women assert the right to self-identification regardless of body, but they do not have this neurobiological imperative and they would be content with maintaining male bodies and genitalia.

    Many transgender women believe sex reassignment is unnecessary because it doesn’t create a “real” woman with a uterus, periods and pregnancy and they don’t like the looks of the results, decrying the current state of the art of surgery. But if they don’t like today’s T to F surgery, what must they think of the SRS I had 34 years ago? Others proclaim that “to be a woman is merely a state of mind” and that sex is all in the brain, suggesting a divorce of mind and body. And Buddhists and other wholistic philosophers would say that you cannot divorce body from mind.

    According to the relativists, all one would have to do with gender (sex) is bend, blend or pretend. Their penises become clitorises, anuses become vaginas, and the HIV infection rate is the highest of all for those TG women engaging in URAI — unprotected receptive anal intercourse– because it resembles female sexuality. This HIV rate is higher than for men having sex with men!

    Many appear to be misogynistic and phallocentric, bragging about being “she-males” and “chicks with d***s” and suffering from no small level of castration anxiety about SRS happening to them, a fear of having a female body that must be “autogynephobic”.

    But the problem with the idea of gender relativism, the right to self-identify and assert gender at will– is that it creates oxymoronic situations that defy logic and reason.

    If two gay men have a sexual relationship, and one decides to identify as a “male-bodied” woman and their sexual relationship continues are they now a heterosexual couple? Is the new “she” a transsexual? One partner is now “transgender” but sex hasn’t changed at all!
    And if the other partner also declares to be a male-bodied woman, are they now a lesbian couple? You won’t find that in the “Joy of Lesbian Sex”. And would any lesbian group or organization let them in? If you really believe in this relativist stuff they would have to.

    And what in the heck are pregnant men? I can understand why some transmen might want to be a parent and have children prior to transition, but to turn the whole idea of motherhood into a freak show of a “baby-bellied” man is beyond creepy.

    I know a transman who is pregnant and I hope the child isn’t wrecked by all the testosterone he’d taken in. He had “detransitioned” because of falling in love with a man and was going to marry him as a woman when “her” mate’s stash of “kiddie porn” was discovered and he was arrested. But “she” went back to being a “him” before the pregnancy was discovered. So he could use a man’s “right to choose an abortion”- (actually a woman’s legal right) – to abort the child of a pedophile.

    It was reported by Seth Meyers on Saturday Night Live that Thomas Beatty, Oprah’s famed pregnant man was pregnant again.
    “How come?… Because he has a vagina and uterus!”

    I have tried to be supportive of the right of people to be as they self-identify and I have known many non-op transgender people to live stealth ordinary lives where they live and work in peace, have relationships with others like them and they do not go around hurting other people.

    However, accepting that kind of self-identification has unforeseen social, legal and even medical and health consequences that cannot be overlooked and the rights of transsexuals may be trampled upon by the new majority of “new” women.

    But it is the others with their phallocentric gynephobic political agenda who wish to assimilate us into their world of gender variants that we must resist with every fiber of our being.

  2. HenryHall Says:

    @ Question: one question remains – is transsexualism a biological occurrence or is it just a matter of cross-dressing?

    Answer: It does not matter which. No-one should care either way.

    What does matter is
    Question: – How is the health of people who regard themselves as transsexual best improved?

    Answer: By diagnosing them and treating them as members of a particular sex – the sex that best promotes their health so to be treated. This boils down to a process for changing legal sex (and thereby sex assignment followed by law-abiding physicians) WITHOUT a need to produce medical evidence.

    Or if you will, change the person’s legal sex BEFORE medical treatment begins, instead of (the present practice of) AFTER it is completed. It’s only a matter of timing but it makes all the difference in the world!

    • Suzan Says:

      Why should we do that? I don’t have a problem with changing ID prior to SRS but I don’t think legal sex should be changed without SRS.

  3. HenryHall Says:

    @Suzan Questions: Why should we do that?

    So that people who seek mastectomy and nipple reconstruction can be diagnosed and treated as a man with a physical problem (gynaecomastia) instead of as a woman with a mental illness (identity disorder).

    So that people who seek penectomy and vaginoplasty can be diagnosed and treated as a woman with a physical problem (vaginal agenesis) instead of as a man with a mental illness (identity disorder).

    So that legal sex (and thereby medical sex) is based on healing, and not on science, not on bureaucracy, not on religion, not on hate (which may arguably be the same thing).

    • Suzan Says:

      Nah… I don’t believe in fiction. ID is one thing legal sex is another. And the same criteria should determine the legal sex of people with transsexualism as determines the sex of people at birth which is genital appearance not chromosomes, not fertility.

      No special requirements no special exemptions.

      Look I was trying to be nicer about it and all that does is cause people I would never want to be associated with to claim sisterhood.

  4. HenryHall Says:

    @ the legal sex of people with transsexualism as determines the sex of people at birth which is genital appearance not chromosomes, not fertility.

    To say that is to say that physicians should primarily serve law enforcement or primarily serve science rather than primarily serve healing people.

    I believe that my view that medicine should put the highest and best promotion of health above other considerations (even when it comes to assigning sex) will win out in the end. As a matter of politics.

    • Suzan Says:

      In the end being male or female depends on if you have a vagina or a phallus. Not a bunch of transgender word games. Having female or male ID does not make one a woman or a man. That is why it is a legal fiction. Getting addressed as a member of the sex one appears as including name of choice and pronoun of choice is a matter of human decency.

      The problem with people like you is that you are basically too chickenshit to claim being transsexual as reason to get SRS so you want to play word games because that is the nature of the Transgender Borg.

  5. HenryHall Says:

    @ The problem with people like you is that you are basically to {teapot} to[o] …

    Hardly. I’ve paid my dues, in-patient mental hospital treatment as punishment for being allegedly homosexual.

    Being human and either male or female is not simple, it is especially not simple in the case of folk tared with identity disorders.

    There is at least legal sex, scientific sex and medical sex; and the only reasons to pretend there are fewer or that they must be congruent is hate and unfair prejudice.

    A process for change of legal sex without the production of medical evidence would not solve all problems of transfolk. But it would solve most of them. Of course protections against abuse of process would be needed – the simplest protection is to make it strictly a one-way trip. (Those who want to go back can get psychiatry for their identity disorders).

    • Suzan Says:

      I don’t consider myself part of some sort of collective “Transfolks”. I’m a post-transsexual old woman, a feminist, left wing lesbian who has a blog that includes issues that affect people with the same medical history. I am not transgender. I am an existentialist more given to reading Sartre and de Beauvoir than Butler and Derrida.

      I’m not into Transgender Inc word games. I can be polite but I do not consider people with penises to be women. T to M people luck out because testo grows phalli on them the way estrogen grows boobs. So they get their chests rearranged and T to F people get SRS.

      I am of the opinion legal sex should only be changed after SRS.

      I don’t look for special laws to protect me. I’m a woman I work for laws that protect women. I don’t particularly like the substituting of gender for sex. I think that harms assigned female at birth women to benefit a bunch of transgenders by reifying gender role conformity as defining who is or is not actually a woman and that automatically oppresses women.

  6. HenryHall Says:

    @ I am of the opinion legal sex should only be changed after SRS.

    Legal sex is but a driver for medical sex because of the paucity of courage in the medical profession.

    Now Suzan, would not your own health and life have been better if (by some miracle) someone had had the prescience to assign you female early in your infant life (penis notwithstanding) and raise you that way? With surgery at your first medically safe opportunity. Or was your health better as it actually proceeded – with legal sex changed only after SRS, that is raised male and going through a transition process?

    • Suzan Says:

      Henry, I live in the real world not transgender fantasy land.

      How in hell do you diagnosis transsexualism in infants? Haven’t you followed any of the stuff about intersex individuals having stuff done to them prior to their having agency.

      And to answer you. No I don’t think that I would have been better in your fantasy land. I think I was better being able to have the agency to do it for myself.

      In some ways being born with transsexualism was a good thing because it motivated me to escape my family background and leave home to become both a hippie and a political radical instead of staying stuck in buttfuck hillbilly land where I would have had a fucked up life like my parent.

      Instead I have had a far more interesting life as a person of history.

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