Posted: 07 July 2008 at 10:44pm | IP Logged
Gender identity is quite a complicated issues. Nature and nurture both collectively influence how a person perceives their gender identity and gender identities vary across culture.
Let us take the human anatomy. Sex chromosomes determine our gender. X chromosome is female and Y chromosome is male. XX is female, XY is male. All men have the female chromosome. Then we have our sex hormones Androgens which are male sex hormones, and Progestagens which are female sex hormones. These hormones are present in both sexes.
Many times the genetic make up has flaws or hormonal level gets imbalanced. Men with dominant female genes or higher level of female hormones will have lack facial and bodily hair, have lower sex drive, have lower pitched voices and even start developing boobs. Women on the other hand with higher male hormones develop excessive unwanted facial hair, bulk up muscle easily, have higher sex drives, have lower pitched voices.
These are just simple genetic and hormonal issues. Sometimes they can be corrected otherwise not. Some people do not even bother to be corrected.
We all know that people with both male and female genitalia are born in nature. Sometimes fetal development goes totally awry. When sex determination comes in the genetic blueprint can be messed up. Mother nature does not intend "Its" but they happen.
Flaws in genetic development, genetic makeup, hormonal imbalances combined with nurture can result in a person being born male or female, but with a sexual and psychological identity of the opposite sex.
A lot of this is basic biology. They should be teaching DNA, chromosomes and sex hormones in school. If not there are several good textbooks available that go indepth into fetal development specifically sex determination and explain all the mess ups that can happen.
Now a common mistake people do is confuse transexuals, with transvestites, hermaphrodites and even homoseuxals.
A homosexual is one who is sexually attracted to someone of the same sex.
Cross dressers, drags, genderqueer, and transvestites can be gay, straight or bisexual. These are people who like dressing up as the opposite sex, like living in an opposite sex lifestyle, or just be androgynous and bend gender identity and roles for a variety of reasons.
Transexual is a person who sexually & psychologically identifies with the opposite sex.
Therapy is a good option for anyone who falls into the LGBT spectrum. Not necessarily because they need to be cured or fixed, but because they need to truly understand themselves and make the right choices.
Why the therapist needs to be good. It is because the approach "Transexualism is wrong and I will fix you" will not cause the person to honestly open up. The therapist has to ask a series of questions and engage in discussions to help the person honestly express themselves. It is natural for people to be confused about gender identity, and a therapist can help identify if they are indeed transexual or simply having a gender identity crisis.
Repression occurs when a persons true feelings and emotions are suppressed. Personal expression is pent up and bottled up. Eventually pent up emotions can be released through irrational rage, self inflicted harm, depression, anxiety, disconnection from society and a range of other psychological challenges can make life difficult.
Its a natural human tendency. Say someone annoys you but you try to be patient. You hold in that annoyance. This goes on for a while till you explode and completely scare the other person. Imagine this magnified 10 times. That is repression.
Why sex change should be allowed?
Because there are individuals who may truly need it. Transexuals who are struggling with life trapped in a body that feels alien to them.
Also many parents who give birth to a hermaphrodite choose a sex and ask the doctor to make their child male or female only. They do this because a hermaphrodite is a taboo in society. They love their kids and do not want them to be hurt. But what happens is that the kid goes into teens, sex hormones kick and and they discover that their gender identity is that of the opposite sex. [They actually had an SVU episode on this issue too].
Who does sex change harm?
No one really. First of all it is legal in many parts of the world. I am yet to see the sex change apocalypse.
Definitely someone or the other will make a misinformed decision. There are bound to be regrets no matter what.
Then we have to think about it. Do they harm themselves or do we harm them. Brandon Teena, Gwen Araujo, Barry Winchell and Calpernia Adams. Did they harm us or themselves or did we brutalize them.
If we simply could be accepting, understanding, respecting and caring...no one would harm themselves or others. When you look at it the physical and emotional damage is caused by unacceptance, in reality there is no harm to the choice.
Finally I absolutely resent the remark that most girls want to be boys. It is completely chauvinist. Yes many of us girls like to wear boys clothing as it is more convenient and comfortable. We like to have freedom like boys to play rough games, roam freely without worrying about being a 'khuli tijori'. We would love not to have periods, labor pains or hot flashes. We may even develop girl crushes and form physio-emotional bonds with other girls (PS: This is not gay and often not even sexual in anyway. It is just part of female behavior and also part influence of pheromones and testosterones in our growth phase). We will often cite, I wish I was a boy.
That DOES NOT mean if given a choice we will be boys. We do not gender identify with boys. We identify with some aspects of boys. We do not feel sexually male. We are happy with all our parts and despite mother natures strange gifts throughout life we love being a woman. Even the most dykish of all dykes would rather be a woman than a man.
A survey might say women wish or fantasize to be men or would like to be men. But that DOES NOT mean women anatomically and psychologically want to be men.