Skip to main content

A congenital disorder

Calie over at T-Central featured an entry today from a blog where the writer promoted the idea of transsexualism being a congenital birth disorder. While it is hard to argue with the premise that it is indeed a type of biological condition (a notion I actively promote in this blog), you will note that many of the entries in the rest of the blog take great pains to make the distinction between those suffering from a true medical condition and those she refers to as the gender variant or transgender.

There is only one thing wrong with her premise however: it is entirely unproven.

You will find no medical journal, authoritative book or scientific research which makes any sort of clear dividing line. Even Harry Benjamin, who arguably had the greatest exposure to this condition given his long and extensive patient history, had trouble making clear cut distinctions between patients. The best he could do is fashion an approximate categorization based on the intensity of the dysphoria they experienced. He also never made any value judgements about any of them.

Most of the members of the group I refer to, were people who transitioned in the 1960’s and 70’s and tried their best to disappear into the woodwork of society. They did so with good reason because the world was far from ready to receive them. Even with today’s level of education we still get the most enormously ignorant comments from people as any perfunctory look at the comments section of an article on transgender issues will illustrate.

The vast majority of these early transitions were by androphilic transsexuals who proceeded as privately and as quickly as they could and tried to make new lives for themselves in stealth. Many married and in some cases their own husbands did not even know about their past.

As this group ages and disappears you don’t see any new recruits taking their place. This is because society is slowly changing and there isn’t the same battle lines drawn between androphilic and gynephilic transsexuals. The biggest focus in fact became the work of Ray Blanchard who began writing on this topic in the late 1980’s and saw the condition strictly as a sexual deviation.

By all current evidence, gender dysphoria appears to be a graded phenomenon rather than an all or nothing proposition like some of these early activists believed. No one chooses it but rather it chooses you and you must deal with it in whatever manner allows you to live in balanced and healthy way.

For some that solution may be transition but certainly not for all.

The blog (which appears not to be updated any longer) can be found here

Comments

  1. Great concept..."gender dysphoria appears to be a graded phenomenon rahter than an all or nothing proposition..." We all seem to seek somewhat differenent ways and means of dealing with our trans* issues.
    Pat

    ReplyDelete
  2. It is fascinating to see how some desperately need to keep up a strict and clean binary, while the world around us continuously tells us that this is not so. There is a close to complete overlap between men and women as regards abilities and temperament. There is also much overlap as regards interests, and the differences that are there can easily be explained by culture. And I think most sensible people agree that the old dichotomy men are sexy hungry predators and women are demure and passive emotional comforters is bogus.

    In other words: The world around us constantly remind us that there is diversity and continuums along all dimensions.

    This does not mean that there is no biological component of gender identity. I am convinced that there is. But even such a dichotomy cannot be based on an absolute gender divide. The genderqueer and the nonbinary can attest to that.

    The people you are talking about try to solve this "problem" by categorizing everyone who is not following the binary script as "the other", most likely pathologizing them in the process.

    I can understand why they do so. This is what the health provision gate keepers told them they had to believe to get access to hormones and surgery, and it is also probably the kind of beliefs they internalized as young.

    Still, this is the year 2015. We have come a long way since then, and this way of thinking is no longer supporters by recent research or the leading medical experts.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

looking past cross gender arousal

Jack’s latest Crossdreamers post got me thinking about cross gender arousal and how it could be avoided; also whether it even matters. This with particular focus on the inability to relate of someone on the outside looking in.

You see, sexuality is a very complicated thing to begin with and when you then add gender identity ambiguity it becomes a recipe to really confuse someone.

So imagine that you are a little boy who identifies as a girl but then along comes puberty and short circuits everything by having the sex you identify with also be the sex you are attracted to. For in essence this is what happens to all all male to female gender dysphoric trans persons who are attracted to women.

So I ask myself: can I imagine a scenario where this inherent contradiction would not produce sexual confusion? The answer is that I cannot.

I am in the unique position, like many of you, to have experienced an early identification with the feminine become sexualized later on. This brought confusion…

understanding the erotic component

I have written about crossed wires before in two separate posts. The idea is that one cannot pass through puberty and the development of sexual feelings for females and not have your pre-existing gender dysphoria be impacted through your psychosexual development. The hormone responsible for your libido is testosterone which is present in much stronger concentration in males and is why gynephilics are most likely to experience erotic overtones as the conflict between romantic external feelings and their pull towards the feminine become permanently intertwined.

Because I came from a deeply religious family where sex was not discussed much at all, I grew up with little access to information and was very much ignorant of matters relating to the subject. With no firsthand experience in intercourse until I married I was then faced with the reality that my ability to perform sexually had been deeply impacted by my dysphoric feelings. This began years of turmoil and self-deprecating thoughts …

a blending

An interesting thing is happening to me: as I have fully embraced being transgender my male and female anima are becoming blended. The female side is no longer an unwelcome appendage which, as a result, has allowed me to craft a more genuine and happier male image.

I dress when I want to and sometimes I cut outings shorter than before. I am my own master in this regard and feel in control.

Don't get me wrong in that the dysphoria is not going away and is sometimes like a wild stallion that threatens to jump the fence but I have learnt to understand it’s demands after all these years hence a transition for me is definitely not in the cards. At this point I am not even foreseeing a social one.

The two sides are no longer in conflict and they are now intertwined to create a fusion that is unique to me. That answer finally came when I reached a full level of self assurance about who I am and learned to embrace that I am trans and yes, that includes my dysphoria's erotic undertones…