gender dysphoria essay plan


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  • Created on: 17-01-12 13:57
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Gender Dysphoria Essay Plan
· Also known as gender identity disorder
· Characterised by mismatch between individual's external appearance and they way
they feel about themselves with regard to their gender
· Unambiguous appearance but uncomfortable within their body - feel they've been
born as the wrong sex
· May be apparent as young as 2 years, desire to be opposite sex and show
preference through clothes and toys etc.
· Rate of dysphoria, whilst being low, is five times greater in males than females -
based on stats for those diagnosed according to DSM IV criteria
· Zucker and Green (1992) this may be due to greater vulnerability of boys in early
foetal development, if appropriate levels of androgens do not occur then foetus will
develop as a female, partial secretion could therefore be an explanation.
Deterministic levels of hormones in womb predetermine life long psychological well
· Importance of society, less tolerant of cross gender behaviour in boys, more likely
to be referred, girls may need to show more extreme behaviour before referral, may
not be a prevalence in males but simply more referrals
· Coates and Person (1985) important role in boys in attempt to `restore fantasy tie
to physically or emotionally absent mother' they demonstrate feminine behaviour.
Found 60% of 25 boys with dysphoria also met criteria for separation anxiety
· Difficult to infer causal relationship both disorders diagnosed at same time can only
show correlation
· Case studies of dysphoria show influences of reinforcement of feminine behaviour in
males. Eg. Mothers giving boys attention for dressing in girls clothes, calling them
· Stoller (1975) studied facial features of boys with dysphoria, when asked to
describe them mothers often used words traditionally used to describe female
beauty. Often attractive, more likely that which acted as a tigger for parental
· Nature / nurture difficult to ascertain if behavioural signs of dysphoria in very young
children are shaped by parental behaviour towards them or if parents are responding
to differences which already exist
· Retrospective data nearly all studies into dysphoria involve retrospective data, could
be unreliable and distorted. Eg Green (1987) mothers of feminine boys asked to
describe faces of their son's in infancy, their memories could be distorted if their
faces have become more feminine over time

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Influence of sex hormones in foetal development, yet most research on this has
been carried out on non human animals. Has proved to give valuable information and
widened our understanding, however is unclear if it can be transferred to humans
directly and ethical questions have to be asked if the outcome of the research
justifies its means.…read more


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