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Gender dysphoria or gender identity disorder (GID) is the formal diagnosis used by psychologists and physicians to describe people who experience significant dysphoria (discontent) with the sex they were assigned at birth and/or the gender roles associated with that sex. Evidence suggests that people who identify with a gender different than the one they were assigned at birth may do so not just due to psychological or behavioral causes, but also biological ones related to their genetics, the makeup of their brains, or prenatal exposure to hormones.
Estimates of the prevalence of gender identity disorder range from a lower bound of 1:2000 (or about 0.05%) in the Netherlands and Belgium to 0.5% in Massachusetts to 1.2% in New Zealand. Research indicates people who transition in adulthood are up to three times more likely to be male assigned at birth, but that among people transitioning in childhood the sex ratio is close to 1:1.
Gender identity disorder is classified as a medical disorder by the ICD-10 CM and DSM-5 (called gender dysphoria). Many transgender people and researchers support declassification of GID because they say the diagnosis pathologizes gender variance, reinforces the binary model of gender, and can result in stigmatization of transgender individuals. The official classification of gender dysphoria as a disorder in the DSM-5 may help resolve some of these issues because gender dysphoria only pathologizes the discontent experienced as a result of gender identity issues.
The current medical approach to treatment for people diagnosed with gender identity disorder is to support them in physically modifying their bodies so that they better match their gender identities, an approach that conceptualizes them as having a medical problem that is corrected through various forms of medical intervention. Treatment for gender identity disorder is also controversial, as changes made are typically irreversible.
- Heylens, G; De Cuypere, G; Zucker, K; Schelfaut, C; Elaut, E; Vanden Bossche, H; De Baere, E; T'Sjoen, G (2012). "Gender Identity Disorder in Twins: A Review of the Case Report Literature". The Journal of Sexual Medicine 8 (3): 751–757. doi:10.1111/j.1743-6109.2011.02567.x.
- Olyslager, Femke; Conway, Lynn (2008). "Transseksualiteit komt vaker voor dan u denkt. Een nieuwe kijk op de prevalentie van transseksualiteit in Nederland en België". Tijdschrift voor Genderstudies (in Dutch) (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press) 11 (2): 39–51. ISSN 1388-3186. Retrieved August 27, 2013. Lay summary – How Frequently Does Transsexualism Occur?. "…it is safe to assume that the lower limit for the inherent prevalence of transsexualism in the Netherlands and Flanders is on order of 1:2000 to 1:1000 for male to female transsexuals and on the order of 1:4000 to 1:2000 for female to male transsexuals."
- Conron, KJ; Scott, G; Stowell, GS; Landers, S (January 2012), "Transgender Health in Massachusetts: Results from a Household Probability Sample of Adults", American Journal of Public Health (American Public Health Association) 102 (1): 118–222, doi:10.2105/AJPH.2011.300315, ISSN 1541-0048, OCLC 01642844, retrieved August 28, 2013, "Between 2007 and 2009, survey participants aged 18 to 64 years in the Massachusetts Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (MA-BRFSS; N = 28 662) were asked: "Some people describe themselves as transgender when they experience a different gender identity from their sex at birth. For example, a person born into a male body, but who feels female or lives as a woman. Do you consider yourself to be transgender?" […] We restricted the analytic sample to 28176 participants who answered yes or no to the transgender question (excluding n=364, 1.0% weighted who declined to respond. […] Transgender respondents (n=131; 0.5%; 95% confidence interval [CI]=0.3%, 0.6%) were somewhat younger and more likely to be Hispanic than were nontransgender respondents."
- Clark, Terryann C.; Lucassen, Mathijs F.G.; Bullen, at; Denny, Simon J.; Fleming, Theresa M.; Robinson, Elizabeth M.; Rossen, Fiona V. (January 15, 2014). "The Health and Well-Being of Transgender High School Students: Results From the New Zealand Adolescent Health Survey (Youth'12)". Journal of Adolescent Health (Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine) 54 (1). doi:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2013.11.008. Retrieved January 19, 2014. "Whether a student was transgender was measured by the question, "Do you think you are transgender? This is a girl who feels like she should have been a boy, or a boy who feels like he should have been a girl (e.g., Trans, Queen, Fa’faffine, Whakawahine, Tangata ira Tane, Genderqueer)?" […] Over 8,000 students (n = 8,166) answered the question about whether they were transgender. Approximately 95% of students did not report being transgender (n=7,731; 94.7%), 96 students reported being transgender (1.2%), 202 reported not being sure (2.5%), and 137 did not understand the question (1.7%)."
- Landen, M; Walinder, J; Lundstrom, B (1996). "Prevalence, incidence and sex ratio of transsexualism". Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica 93 (4): 221–223. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0447.1996.tb10638.x. PMID 8712018. "On average, the male [to female]:female [to male] ratio in prevalence studies is estimated to be 3:1. However […] the incidence studies have shown a considerably lower male [to female] predominance. In Sweden and England and Wales a sex ratio of 1:1 has been reported. In the most recent incidence data from Sweden there is a slight male [to female] predominance among the group consisting of all applicants for sex reassignment, while in the group of primary [early onset] transsexuals there is no difference in incidence between men and women."
- "Gender identity disorder in adolescence and adulthood". ICD10Data.com. Retrieved July 3, 2011.
- Fraser, L; Karasic, D; Meyer, W; Wylie, K (2010). "Recommendations for Revision of the DSM Diagnosis of Gender Identity Disorder in Adults". International Journal of Transgenderism 12 (2): 80–85. doi:10.1080/15532739.2010.509202.
- Newman, L (1 July 2002). "Sex, Gender and Culture: Issues in the Definition, Assessment and Treatment of Gender Identity Disorder". Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry 7 (3): 352–359. doi:10.1177/1359104502007003004.
- "HBIGDA Standards Of Care For Gender Identity Disorders, Sixth Version" (PDF). Standards Of Care For Gender Identity Disorders. Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association. February 2001.
- Buehler, Stephanie (2013). What Every Mental Health Professional Needs to Know About Sex. Springer Publishing Company. ISBN 0826171214.
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