Sociology Index


Transvestitism, Berdache, Amazon

Transsexual is an individual who has physically crossed the boundary between the sexes and thus becomes the other sex. While movement may be in either direction, more transsexuals are men who have become women.

Western cultures have been criticized frequently for being extremely dualistic in gender or sexual identities, making little room, or no room, for a third or fourth sex. Hinduism by contrast has an elaborate repertoire of sexual transformations, bisexuality and sexual expression. The term transgender is now preferred since it clearly suggests that sexual categories are themselves social constructions. is an approved iGuide resource for the Encyclopaedia Britannica.

Transsexuality is also termed 'Gender Dysphoria'. Gender Dysphoria, literally a misery with regard to gender, is the condition of being in a state of conflict between gender and physical sex. -
A transsexual is a person in which the sex-related structures of the brain that define gender identity are exactly opposite the physical sex organs of the body. Put even more simply, a transsexual is a mind that is literally, physically, trapped in a body of the opposite sex.

Transsexuality means having the wrong body for the gender one really is.
A transsexual person, born to all appearance within a given physical sex, is aware of being of a gender opposite to that physical sex. This conflict, between gender identity and physical sex, is almost always manifest from earliest awareness, and is the cause of enormous suffering. It is common for transsexuals to be aware of their condition at preschool ages. It is apparent that some fifty percent of transsexuals die by age 30, usually by their own hand.

The transsexual dilemma: being a transsexual - N Mason 
Journal of Medical Ethics, Vol 6, Issue 2 85-89 
With few exceptions, a solution to any problem will bring new difficulties. Is the new situation really going to be better than the last? This is undoubtedly the situation with the transsexual. It is undeniable that in the majority of cases the treated transsexual is an infinitely happier person than the one who has not undergone therapy, but as a result of this treatment there arises a host of new difficulties. It is my intention to illustrate the problems which beset the transsexual before, during and after treatment.

Continuity and change - On being a sister of a transsexual person
Helena Bergstrom, Department of Education, Stockholm University
Presented at Gender and Power in the New Europe, European Feminist Research Conference, 2003 Lund University, Sweden
In an ongoing study the aim is to understand how individuals, close related to transsexuals are forced to adapt to an altered view of their relative. The sex change process for the transsexual person is often described as both a positive but also a negative process. It is positive in the sense of ‘coming out’ with a feeling of who I am, and negative when relations to friends, family, society and the medical investigation do not work in such a way that is comfortable or acceptable. In this paper it is discussed how a sister of a person who has identified himself as transsexual (ftm), constructs normalcy in an interview, primarily in relation to established norms in the society by identifying her concept of continuity, consistency and change. Gender is in the same time ubiquitous, a problem for the sister is described in relation to the demand for authenticity and gender. Finally, to know about the transsexualism, the problem is solved and she constructs an image of consistency.

Sexual identity of 37 children raised by homosexual or transsexual parents - R Green 
American Psychiatric Association 1978; 135:692-697 
The author reports on 37 children who are being raised by female homosexuals or by parents who have changed sex (transsexuals): 21 by female homosexuals, 7 by male-to-female transsexuals, and 9 by female- to-male transsexuals.

Re Kevin and the Right of Transsexual Persons to Marry in Australia 
James McConvill1 and Eithne Mills2 
Allens Arthur Robinson, Melbourne, Australia 2 Deakin Univ. School of Law 
International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family 2003 17(3):251-274
This article considers the decision of the Family Court of Australia in Re Kevin (Validity of Marriage of a Transsexual) [2001] FamCA 1074, which was upheld by the Full Court of the Family Court of Australia in February 2003. Re Kevin was the first case in Australia to deal directly with the question of whether a transsexual person could marry under Australian law. In the past, Australia had adhered to the judgement of Ormrod J in Corbett v Corbett [1971] P. 83, which set the benchmark for what is ‘male’ and what is ‘female’ under the common law. Prior to Re Kevin the question of what is a man and what is a woman for the purposes of marriage in Australia mirrored the strict biological test established in Corbett. In other words, the Australian courts relied upon biological factors, as espoused by Ormrod J, when determining a person's true sex. In Re Kevin, Chisholm J examined in detail what it is to be a man or woman, but unlike Ormrod J considered ‘brain sex’ to have a significant impact on a person's view of their own innate sexual identity. The Full Court of the Family Court agreed with the powerful and well-reasoned judgement of Chisholm J at first instance.

The Veiled Muslim, the Anorexic and the Transsexual - What Do They Have in Common? - Randi Gressgard, University of Stavanger - European Journal of Women's Studies, Vol. 13, No. 4, 325-341 (2006)
The Muslim woman wearing the veil, the female anorexic and the from-male-to-female transsexual constitute three different figures that, despite their striking differences, have a common symbolic ground. By focusing on the similarity between the veiled woman and the other two figures, the article sheds a different light on the debate about the Muslim veil in western societies. On the one hand, woman is expected to be liberated, in control and active in public life and in all ways just as free as the man, on the other she represents a deficiency compared to the man; it is expected of her that she takes up a complementary, subordinate position in relation to the man. Officially, the gender hierarchy is not a part of egalitarian societies, that is, the modern configuration that formally rejects a hierarchical worldview. Is this the reason why the three figures are regarded as pathological?

Transsexual surgery. A new tort? - M. M. Belli 
Transsexual surgery became a modern reality 25 years ago when Christine Jorgenson's sex reversal shocked the world. Since that time, transsexuality has become both dilemma and controversy in medicine, psychiatry, and law. Transsexuality emerged into an interdisciplinary void. Today both scientists and courts are being asked to fill that void with answers. I have explored the legal aspects of transsexual surgery, both ancient common-law precedents and current developments, and possible answers to the sex change dilemma.

On the pragmatics of an androgynous style of speaking (from a transsexual's perspective)
C. Todd White1Department of Anthropology and Ethnic Studies, The University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 4505 Maryland Parkway, Box 455012, Las Vegas, NV 89154-5012, USA.
Abstract: Since the publication of Robin Lakoff's Language and Woman's Place (1975), much has been written regarding the distinct language styles employed by men and women in Western culture. Following the lead of psychologist Sandra Bem, Jennifer Coates has suggested that a speaker who shifts between masculine and feminine styles of speaking will have certain advantages in today's society, especially in the work environment. This paper considers the pragmatics of style-shifting as related to the experiences of Marty Gomez, a male-to-female transsexual who has met with limited success in passing as female under intense public scrutiny.

Children and Adolescents with Transsexual Parents Referred to a Specialist Gender Identity Development Service: A Brief Report of Key Developmental Features - David Freedman, Fiona Tasker, Birkbeck College, University of London, UK,
Domenico di Ceglie, Portman Clinic, London, UK - Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, Vol. 7, No. 3,  (2002)
An investigation of the psychosocial development of children of transsexual parents provides a special opportunity to examine whether and how parental gender role influences children’s own gender development, mental health, family relationships and peer relationships. Data on children of transsexual parents were collated from audit of a specialist clinical service. Only 1 female adolescent of the 18 children of transsexual parents recorded temporary concerns. The children of transsexual parents were less depressed and less likely to report peer harassment, persecution or victimization. The notes of children of transsexual parents revealed that this group was more likely to have experienced marital conflict between their parents than were children referred with gender identity concerns and as likely to record difficulties in parent-child relationships and general difficulties with peer relationships. Clinical work with children of transsexual parents needs to focus on the quality of family relationships.

‘I Can Accept My Child is Transsexual but if I Ever See Him in a Dress I’ll Hit Him’: Dilemmas in Parenting a Transgendered Adolescent - Bernadette Wren, Tavistock Clinic, UK, Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, Vol. 7, No. 3, 377-397 (2002)
In this article I describe the accounts of a group of parents with transgendered adolescents. I look specifically at how the parents try to build an intelligible story of the young people’s gender identity and how their story shapes their coping strategies. For the qualitative study on which this article is based, I interviewed adolescents with a well-established cross-gender identification and their parents from families referred to a specialist NHS service. The first-person reports were analysed using grounded theory methodology. There were a number of suggestive findings. First, communication about gender identity issues within the family and outside was handled with enormous care; second, it was clear that these parents are aware that their response to the gender problems is a deeply moral issue; third, there was an iterative relationship between the activities of making-meaning and accepting (or not) the child’s claims, and a similar interaction between the activity of meaning-making and the tasks of practical coping.

Endocrine Treatment of Transsexual People: A Review of Treatment Regimens, Outcomes, and Adverse Effects 
Eva Moore, Amy Wisniewski and Adrian Dobs, Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics, The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21287 
Cross-sex hormone treatment is an important component in medical treatment of transsexual people. Endocrinologists are often faced with designing treatment recommendations. Although guidelines from organizations, such as the Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association, have been helpful, management remains complex and experience guided. We discuss the range of treatment used by transsexual people, the rationale behind these, and the expectation from such treatment. Recommendations from seven clinical research centers treating transsexual people are discussed. In addition, self-reported hormonal regimens from 25 male-to-female transsexual people and five female-to-male transsexual people are reported. Finally, the potential adverse effects of cross-sex hormone treatment of transsexual people are reviewed. The active involvement of a medical doctor experienced in cross-sex hormonal therapy is vital to ensure the safety of transsexual people.

Transsexual and Transgenderist Experiences and Treatment Options 
Kelly M. Ellis, Manassas Park Middle School, Karen Eriksen, Radford University 
When transgender individuals struggle with living as the other gender, their families also struggle. Often, however, these individuals, their families, and their counselors have difficulty finding information about the transgender experience to help them with their struggles. Because little professional literature exists on such experiences, this article provides information about treatment options for transsexuals, transgenderists, and those with gender dysphoria.

The Three Sisters: Transsexual Male Siblings 
Staff Psychiatrist, Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Bronx State Hospital, Bronx, N.Y.
This paper presents case material on three male siblings with a transsexual syndrome. It is probably the first such case recorded in the United States and may lead to the discovery of other such sibships, which could be of particular value in assessing the validity of some of the literature concerning the etiology of this disorder.

A TRANSSEXUAL'S NIGHTMARE: THE DETERMINATION OF SEXUAL IDENTITY IN ENGLISH LAW - JEROLD TAITZ - International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family 1988 2(2):139-154;
Transsexualism or the Gender Dysphoria Syndrome is a psychological disorder recognized by the medical profession. Transsexuals are normal biological males or females who believe that they are members of their opposite sex ‘trapped in the wrong body’. The disorder manifests itself in various neurotic or psychotic forms, leading even to suicide in extreme cases. Most medical specialists believe that the only relief for transsexuals is to bring their bodies into alignment with their psychological sex. This is done by ‘sex-change’ surgery and hormonal treatment. After surgery the transsexual takes on the appearance of his/her opposite sex. The essential legal consequence of a ‘sex-change’ is the determination of the transsexual's post-operative sex. The English courts have held that transsexuals, despite having the irreversible appearance of their post-operative sex, remain members of their initial biological sex. The writer recommends that the subject of a ‘sex-change’ and its legal consequences be referred to the Law Commission, in collaboration with the General Medical Council, to seek acceptable resolutions for the anomalous, and indeed bizarre, legal situation in which post-operative transsexuals find themselves.

Homosexuals and Transsexuals.