Gender Identity Disorder Essay

1158 words - 5 pages

Living a life feeling out of place, with the wrong feelings, and in the wrong body, for a person with Gender Identity Disorder, this is how they feel day to day. According to the DSM-IV-TR, Gender Identity Disorder is characterized by a strong, persistent cross-gender identification, persistent discomfort with his or her sex or sense of inappropriateness in their gender role of that sex. According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), children, adolescents and adults who exhibit a preoccupation with getting rid of or losing their primary and secondary sex characteristics, associated with different mannerisms and actions of the opposite sex; while holding a belief that he or she was born the wrong sex are believed to be classified with a Gender Identity Disorder. In order for Gender Identity Disorder to be applied to the person affected, the disturbance cannot be concurrent with a physical intersex condition and the conditions must cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational or other areas of functioning. (Tavener 581)
Growing up with Gender Identity Disorder, a child typically shows the attributes and mannerisms in dress and play of the opposite sex. There will be a gender reversal in the sense of each gender stereotype. Boys will avoid roughhousing and play fighting; they might find a better sense of comfort in traditionally feminine clothing. In the adverse side, girls growing up with this disorder will find the more rough and tumble play rewarding along with loose fitting masculine attire. A child’s ability to self-identify as male or female will directly influence their preferences for playmates and toys; children whose gender-identity is developed are more likely to prefer same-sex playmates and gender typed toys. (Lippa 228) The strength of this action is debated upon by numerous different intellects, there is no solid proof either way. However, studies have proven that many adolescents with Gender Identity Disorder grew up in families which at least at one time “cross-gender behavior was tolerated or encouraged, often viewed as ‘only a phase.” (Byrd 7)
The biggest question asked is how it comes around, however there is not a solid reasoning or proof of one main causal factor. According to Lippa, exposure to testosterone during the second trimester of pregnancy, when the development of both male internal and external genitals and a male-typical nervous system forms, may influence gender identity. (98) Brown counters this argument by saying the formation of a secure unconflicted gender identity and gender role is influenced by social factors, such as the character of parent’s emotional bond or the relationship each parent has with the child; he asserts that the biological factors (genetic complement or prenatal hormones) do largely determine gender identity however they do not act alone, more or less just setting the stage to go one way or the other.
Gender Identity Disorder can make a child;...

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