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Identity Crisis Understanding Their StanceChapter Writing

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Transgender Identity Crisis

A person's gender identity (i.e. inner concept of one's gender) is a multilayered, intricate construct. A majority of individuals have their gender identity and their anatomy in conformity with each other; but there are some cases where there is disagreement between the two. The term, gender dysphoria is used to define this disagreement; an individual is said to suffer from gender dysphoria (also termed as transsexualism, gender identity disorder (GID), or gender incongruence) when he/she experiences distress / uneasiness as a result of a discrepancy between his/her gender identity and outward gender (Gender Dysphoria, 2014).

Genital anatomy defines a person's biological sex during birth, but it is gender identity that makes an individual identify with and feel part of a certain gender. The vast majority of people have their gender identity matching their biological sex, but there are exceptions. In other words, there may be some people whose external anatomy is that of male, but who see themselves as female, and vice versa (Gender Dysphoria, 2014).

There are also individuals who are confused and perceive themselves as neither definitively male nor female. Such a discrepancy between gender identity and biological sex results in feelings of discomfort and distress, a medical condition termed as gender dysphoria. The condition is medically recognized, though it isn't a mental ailment, and treatment for it may sometimes be appropriate (Gender Dysphoria, 2014).

Some gender dysphoric individuals possess a powerful, obstinate desire to be recognized and live in accordance with their own identity of what their inward, personal gender truly is, and not merely their outward sex. Such individuals are termed as Trans individuals or transsexuals. Some of them undergo physical surgeries to transform their anatomy to be in conformity with their sense of gender (Gender Dysphoria, 2014).

Review of Literature

The precise reason behind some individuals turning out to have GID is yet unknown. In the past, it was believed that gender dysphoria was a psychiatric problem, stemming from the mind. Researchers have, however, recently discovered that it may possibly arise from an abnormality in development of babies in their mother's womb, possibly due to hormonal or genetic factors, leading their brain to form an incongruous gender identity in relation to their sexual organs (Gender Dysphoria, 2014).

Gender dysphoria can show initial signs right from a very tender age. For instance, a child might not be willing to wear clothes typical to their gender, or may not like playing games or doing activities typical to their gender. Mostly, such behaviors are nothing anomalous and often not given much thought as they pass with time. However, if a child suffers gender dysphoria, such aversion to things typical of one's gender may remain as he/she grows into an adult (Gender Dysphoria, 2014).

Gender dysphoria-affected adults may feel trapped in another's body -- one that is inconsistent with their sense of self as a man/woman. Social expectations may make them forlorn and wary, and they live as they are supposed to (in keeping with their biological sex) instead of how they wish to live. Such people may strongly desire to alter or rid themselves of physical parts that define their gender, like breasts or facial hair (Gender Dysphoria, 2014).

An analysis of this issue suggests that GID-affected individuals have greater psychiatric illnesses and psychological issues, such as like negative self-perception, poor self-worth, depression, personality disorders, adjustment disorders, and suicidal tendencies as compared with 'normal' controls. Studies into GID have generally concentrated on the occurrence of serious psychiatric conditions and psychiatric comorbidity, in addition to self-mutilation risks and suicidal tendencies (Duisin, et al., 2014).

Research revolving around evaluation of personality disorders and personality among gender dysphorics by means of standardized instruments is rare. An examination of information pertaining to GID has revealed that psychopathology tests in GID-affected individuals has been carried out at various stages of gender reassignment, chiefly by using instruments such as: Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI-II), Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID), the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview (M.I.N.I.), Rorschach protocols, Defense Style Questionnaire (DSQ), and etc. (Duisin, et al., 2014).

Articulation of Perception

"Temporality" denotes social modeling of understandings and experiences with time. Paying attention to how trans-genders' experiences are created by, but surpass normative temporalities, assures fairness with regards to the complex means through which individuals inhabit sex variance. A key focus on trans-genders' temporal keystones as a historic category may, however, pave the way for greater transformation in justice politics. Transsexual autobiography that relates transsexual people's self-actualization via hormonal and surgical alterations has been a significant field for disseminating transsexuals' perception of accounts of their own lives. Futhermore, this is stressful, as narrating a life of trans-sexuality consistent with diagnostic GID "narratemes" is the medical standard of trans-sexuality, thereby being a determinant in going for surgical and hormonal procedures (Amin, 2014).

Summarizing the Issue

The "wrong body" belief constitutes a dichotomous clarification of trans-genders' feelings of dwelling in a body wrong for them. In this context, wrongness is taken relative to the way a person's anatomy is gendered, implying that their body is gendered wrongly relative to their gender identity. The 'wrong-body' transgender experience represents a powerful, enduring identification with a gender opposite to one's own. Such people sense discomfort with their own sex, believing them to be born into the wrong gender (Engdahl, 2014). Diagnostic conditions regulate treatment access and legal acknowledgment of gender identity that is self-identified. While the recent DSM-5 abandons "GID" for "gender dysphoria," the wrong-body idea is still utilized, though it is expressed such that wrongness isn't essentially placed on the body -- it is, instead, placed somewhere between others' expectations and an internal experience along with its manifestation. An individual can only be diagnosed as gender dysphoric if a clear difference exists between his/her experienced/expressed sex and that assigned to him/her by others (American Psychiatric Association 2013: gender dysphoria).

Stance/Thesis Statement

Abjectness disrupts identity, order and system, and entails borderline indecision of a sort, which is confusing, polluting and appalling. Therefore, transgendered bodies if perceived particularly as transforming physical bodies, challenge systemic regularity's boundaries through a refusal to conform to explicit definitions of gender and sex (Phillips, 2014).

Defending Argument

Many individuals cross-dress, i.e. wear clothing stereotypically or usually worn by members of the other sex in a particular culture. They differ with regard to their extent of cross-dressing, from only a single clothing item to complete cross-dressing, and are generally at ease with their biological sex and don't desire to alter it. The practice of cross-dressing forms part of one's gender expression; it isn't essentially linked with erotic activity. The practice doesn't suggest one's sexual orientation. On the other hand, trans-genders feel their trans-sexuality in numerous ways; at any point of their life, they may come to understand their trans-sexual identity. There are people who are capable of tracing back such feelings and identities to their oldest memories. They recall feeling that they didn't fit with members of their biological sex, or wished they belonged to the opposite sex. Others, meanwhile, realize their trans-sexuality or start exploring and experiencing gender-noncompliant feelings and behaviors in their teens or adulthood. While some individuals accept and welcome these feelings, others are more prone to feeling confused or ashamed of themselves. People transitioning at a later age may often have struggled with blending in properly as members of their biological gender, only to be dissatisfied later with their life. Some transgender individuals, particularly transsexuals, are immensely dissatisfied with the gender they are assigned when born, gender anatomy, or gender roles linked to their sex. They often opt for gender-affirming therapy.


Parents will naturally be worried if their child seems gender-nonconforming; there are various reasons for this. Some kids show immense distress regarding their biological sex or gender roles expected of them. Some may find difficulty with peer interactions, and relations with their adults as a result of gender expression. Parents get anxious if they presumed was a "phase" persists. Parents of gender-nonconformists might need to collaborate with institutions like schools for tackling the specific needs of their child and ensuring his/her safety. While a majority of states and cities in America have anti-discrimination laws, they fail to protect transgenders from being discriminated for their gender expression/identity. As a result, most transgenders have to undergo discrimination in almost all spheres of their life (APA, 2014).


American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 5th ed. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.

Amin, K. (2014). Temporality. Duke Journal. Retrieved from: http://tsq.dukejournals.org/content/1/1-2/141.full.pdf

APA. (2014). About Transgender people, gender identity and gender expression. American Psychological Association.

Duisin, D., Batinic, B., Barisic, J., Djordjevic, M., Vujovic, S., & Bizic, M. (2014). Personality Disorders in Persons with Gender Identity Disorder. The Scientific World Journal.

Engdahl, U. (2014). Wrong Body. Duke Journal, 267. Retrieved from: http://tsq.dukejournals.org/content/1/1-2/141.full.pdf

Gender Dysphoria. (2014, April 29). Retrieved from www.nhs.uk: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/gender-dysphoria/Pages/Introduction.aspx

Phillips, R. (2014). Abjection. Transgender Studies Quarterly, 20. Retrieved from: http://tsq.dukejournals.org/content/1/1-2/141.full.pdf [END OF PREVIEW]

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