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Discuss Explanations of Gender Dysphoria
Gender Dysphoria also known as gender identity disorder is a condition in which
people are uncomfortable with the gender they have been assigned. This could lead to
One explanation of gender Dysphoria is that it is caused by unusual development in
parts of brain (Brain Sex Theory). Parts of the brain are different in males and females
so suggesting that people experiencing gender Dysphoria may have unusual
development in this area.
BNST Bed Nucleus of the Stria Terminalis is the area of the brain responsible for
sexual development. (Volume of the BNST is 2.47 greater in `normal' males than
Psychologists believe that this unusual development is caused by hormones during
foetal development brain develops doesn't match gender.
Gender Dysphoria 5x more likely to occur in males males face a greater biological
vulnerability during the early stages of foetal development. Normal male development
relies on the hormone androgen if cell receptors do not respond foetus will develop
as a female (secretion of androgen and a partial response to it = incomplete male
Males have around twice as many Somatostatin neurons than women.
Found in both Male to Female transsexuals and vice versa the number of these
neurons corresponds to their gender choice, not to the biological sex.
They concluded that this clearly points to a neurobiological basis of gender
Zhou et al
Studied the BNST different in men and women and in male to female
transsexuals it followed a totally female pattern, thus giving support to the
× Only small samples used in studies & Zhou only looked at male to female
× Other evidence found no evidence for biology such as Reker
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Determinism Brain sex Theory gives support for Hard Determinism believes
gender Dysphoria develops due to BNST caused by biological makeup. However
people who believe it to be free will would be very critical of this explanation.
Reductionism Brain sex Theory focuses a lot on the physiological side (biology)
putting gender Dysphoria down to just biological influences more holistic view needed
nurture family etc...
Criticises the biological explanation looks at biology AND social approach.…read more
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The link between gender Dysphoria and Gender Dysphoria seems to be
correlational. Family factors do seem to influence gender Dysphoria however we
cannot say it is the definite cause and experimental methods may need to be done
however it could cause ethical issues to arise.
Evidence to support nature is in the form of the Brain Sex theory but also evidence
for nurture in family factors and environment. Both nature and nurture play a part
evidence appears to support biosocial approach however.…read more