Is Gender Identity Disorder a Mental Illness?

It is clear that gender development begins in the womb. We all start out primed to be female, then sometime during the eight week of gestation, fetuses with a Y chromosome and other genes,start testicular development. When this happens the inherently female fetus turns into a male one, and testosterone is produced by the testes. Along with this, there are many hormones science is now able to determine continue with the creation of sexual anatomy, and different gender specific hormones. There is also a change in the brain of the fetus from these hormones.
“MRI studies in human and animal models reveal that the corpus callosum, amygdala, cerebellum, and portions of the preoptic area of the hypothalamus are larger in brains exposed to intrauterine testosterone. Corresponding parts of the brain are smaller in female, or testosterone-deprived, fetuses.”
This means that infants have a biological gender bias toward a particular gender identity. To say a boy is a boy or a girl is a girl just because of the body genatilia, is not fully adequate because of this. Some psychologists offer behavioral treatment for children with this disorder. However, if brain anatomy is involved, then behavioral therapy that is supposed to help the child change his beliefs and feelings is not the best way to help the child. In fact, it could cause other problems because the child could get the idea they are wrong, or bad.
Currently there is a movement to change the fact that gender identity disorder (GID), is listed as a mental illness in The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-V).
People with this disorder are in protest, and are asking the American Psychiatric Association (APA), to revise the DSM, and remove it as an illness. “We got homosexuality out of the DSM because of protests at the APA,” Diane Ehrensaft, PhD points out. “Now it’s time to do the same with GID.”

Jennifer Poulos


~ by sun71 on November 13, 2009.

2 Responses to “Is Gender Identity Disorder a Mental Illness?”

  1. Interesting post. I didn’t know testosterone actually alters the brain in a fetus. That is also interesting that gender identity disorder is actually a mental illness. Good reoprt.

  2. This is not the first time psychologist had published studies that matched the social attitude of their time. Look at the way IQ tests were used and reported until just a couple of decades ago. This didn’t change until their community was pressured by more progressive voices in public. The same will have to be done for GID as this post reports.
    Behzad moaddeli

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