Biological Explanations of Gender Dysphoria

  • Created by: rhallett
  • Created on: 21-09-15 20:57
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  • Biological Explanations Gender Dysphoria
    • People with GD feel they are a different gender than their body suggets
    • Dutch reseracher Swaab studied 6 male to female trans. found the BST near the hypothalamus was smaller, thus more 'feminine'
      • The researchers argued that this abnormality was caused by prenatal exposure to abnormal hormone levels. The control group was hormone treatment showed no abnormalities
        • Suggests Gender Dysphoria is caused by brain hormone abnormalities
      • Small sample; difficult to generalise.
      • Post-mortem study; these people died of illnesses or accidents; and this could have affected their brains
    • Hormones; GD could be caused by children being exposed to abnormal levels of sex hormones prentally
      • Female fetuses exposed to testosterone in the womb - CAH - may feel masculine as children and be tombyish in their behaviour/ dress
        • 95% of girls grow up happily as women
        • Unusual socialisation of early experiences; being hospitalised; abnormal genitals
      • Female monkeys who were exposed to testosterone in the womb were more aggressive and engaged in more rough play
        • Monkeys have a different biological set up compared to humans; simpler brains
        • Possibly unethical
    • Pollutants; there is evidence that some pollutants contain or promote oestrogen and can disrupt male sexual developement
      • Dutch research found that sons of women who had been exposed to Dioxin had more feminine play than a control group
        • Research was questionnaire based; researchers never saw the children and so this relied on the memory and judgement of mothers, possibly unreliable
        • Doesn't actually say that these children are gender dysphoric, but just engaged in feminine play
    • Conclusion: Considering biology alone would be reductionist; in that you would be trying to reduce a complex behaviour to one set of simple factors and end up ignoring others


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