Gender Dysphoria in children, adolescents and adults
I. What is Gender Dysphoria?
It is important to understand the difference between gender and sex. The English language defines “sex” by using the anatomy that an individual is born with. In other words, the reproductive organs that makes someone female or male. “Sex” also includes the chromosomes that someone obtains to make them male or female, the different gonads, sex hormones and the inner and outer genitalia. When defining gender dysphoria and its connection to sex. Within the gender dysphoria disorder, which is a sex disorder, there are other developments that affect the normal and natural indications of each sex assignments. The use of “cross-sex” hormones, are very popular when someone is trying to masculinize or feminize the individuals original gender.
According to the DSM-5, gender dysphoria is “the distress that may accompany the incongruence between one’s experienced or expressed gender and one’s assigned gender” (American Psychological Association, 2013). Even though studies have shown that not every individual suffers from distress, it is still possible that an individual might suffers from distress due to the hormonal treatment or surgical procedure(s). In the past, gender dysphoria has been referred to as “gender identity”. However, gender identity, by the DSM-IV definition is “a category of social identity and refers to an individual’s identification as male, female, or occasionally, some category other than male or female” (American Psychological Association, 2000). Individuals that identify themselves with another gender tend to change their sex, which has been proven to be a hard and long process.
II. Procedures, Outcomes, and Effects
Studies have shown that individuals who are diagnosed with gender dysphoria sometimes suffer from depression, anxiety and even suicidal thoughts. For example, in 1998, psychologists in Sweden published a case study that involved a gonadotropin hormone (GnRH), which would overturn the puberty changes that were occurring in the 13-year-olds body. When she was 16-years-old she was diagnosed with gender dysphoria, however she decided to finish high school before continuing and finishing the procedure (Cohen-Kettenis, et.al, 2011). When an individual is diagnosed with gender dysphoria, they must go through a therapy-like process and social transitioning so that psychologist determine whether they are mentally capable of handling the changes, not only their personal changes, but the social changes as well.
The 1998 case study was not over after the surgical procedure was completed; psychologist performed a 22-year-old follow up with the 13-year-old girl who later became a man. . During the first year of his follow up the patient had already performed several stages of the procedure. He had: “the puberty suppression, cross-sex hormone treatment, and a mastectomy, ovariectomy and uterus extirpation” (Cohen-Kettenis, et.al, 2011). In addition,...