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Gender Identity Disorder

(Also Known As: Homosexuality, Gender Dysphoria, Lesbians Transsexuality, Transgender, Transvestism)

(Reviewed by: Paul Peterson, Licensed Therapist)

What is Gender Identity Disorder?

Gender Identity Disorder is used by psychologists to make a formal diagnosis in describing individuals who experience a dysphoria or discontentment of their biological sexuality or gender. It is a condition that encompasses the various psychiatric classifications involving transsexuality, transvestism, and transgender. 1

Transsexuality is one of the psychological diagnoses of Gender Identity Disorder. A transsexual individual identifies him or herself with the opposite sex from the one he or she was born with.

Transvestism, where an individual wears clothes and adopts manners associated with those of the opposite of their own biological gender, is also closely associated with Gender Identity Disorder.

Transgender is also associated with Gender Identity Disorder, being the behavior of an individual believing the gender assigned to them is not exactly appropriate with how they feel.

In normal conditions, children will show curiosity in exploring a variety of sex roles as they establish the distinctions between feminine and masculine roles. Gender Identity Disorder arises when children begin to deviate from the normal patterns of exploring feminine and masculine behaviors. They begin to develop a stereotypical behavior of an inflexible, compulsive and persistent pattern. 2

A person with transsexuality experiences discomfort with his or her biological gender and desires to identify him or herself with the opposite sex.

Transsexuals usually have a strong tendency towards transvestism, where they like to act in a like manner to the opposite sex. This is distinctive from homosexuality where an individual is attracted to the same sex (i.e. males liking males, females liking females.)

There are significant associated features seen in transsexuality: 3

  1. They become socially isolated, either through ostracization or by choice. This condition often results in the development of low self esteem and school aversion due to peer teasing and ostracism.
  2. Males with Gender Identity Disorder show marked feminine speech patterns and mannerisms.
  3. Transsexuality can be pervasive and it affects the mental life of the individual where great efforts are spent reducing gender distress, such as being preoccupied with their appearance.
  4. Males with Gender Identity Disorder often resort to self treatment using hormones and rarely perform castration.
  5. Gender Identity Disorder in children is often manifested with association to Separation Anxiety Disorder, depression, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
  6. Adolescents with transsexuality are at risk for depression and suicidal ideation.
  7. Males are evaluated to be more prone to associated personality disorders than females.

Transgender is another state of Gender Identity Disorder where the person’s gender identity does not match their assigned sex. It does not solely imply any specific form of sexual orientation but may be identified as homosexual, heterosexual, polysexual, bisexual, or asexual, all of which involve some form of Gender Identity Disorder.

Could You Have Gender Dysphoria (Gender Identity Disorder)?

Gender Dysphoria (Gender Identity Disorder) Topics

Related Conditions

Depersonalization Disorder – Depersonalization, Derealization, Sense of Automation, Difficulty Relating with Reality
Dissociative Identity Disorder – Display of Multiple Personalities, Amnesia, Drug Use, Inability to Identify Own Identity
Paraphilias – Sexual Deviation, Pervasiveness, Behavioral Disorder, Fantasy
Separation Anxiety Disorder – Anxiety Due to Separation from Home, Persistent Worry About Losing People, Nightmares Due to Separation.