One of the characteristics of a successful society is having a set of expectations and rules for its members.
Without rules and norms, civilization would be impossible because no one would know what is expected of them. Social expectations directly impact behavior; there are common rules that we respect no matter where we are in the world such as good manners. Rules help us know how to act in different social situations. Once we are born into this world, there are expectations and rules that we have to conform to and the two main things that help identify what is expected of us is sex and gender. Though these two words are used interchangeably, they have different meanings. According to Diffen “Sex refers to the physiological, biological characteristics of a person, with a focus on sexual reproductive traits, wherein males have male sexual traits (penis, testes, sperm) and females have female sexual traits (vagina, ovaries, eggs).
“, while gender “refers to an individual’s or society’s understanding of what it means to look, feel, and act feminine, masculine, androgynous, or something else altogether.” From a very young age, for most around the age of two, gender identity is established which means kids can label them correctly if they are a boy or a girl. A few years later, gender constancy is attained; kids begin to realize that gender isn’t fluid and it can’t be changed.
Kids start to show interest in specific things such as girls play with dolls and boys play with toy cars. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case, some people don’t establish a solid gender identity, they may feel like they are in the wrong body. This type of disorder is called: gender identity disorder. The purpose of this descriptive journal is to provide an overview of gender identity disorder, its symptoms, theories of causes and current intervention treatments.
Overview Gender identity disorder which is now also called gender dysphoria has been a topic of interest to many psychiatrists. In the article Rapid-onset gender dysphoria in adolescents and young adults: A study of parental reports, Lisa Littman defines gender dysphoria (GD) “as an individual’s persistent discomfort with their biological sex or assigned gender.” People with gender dysphoria may not be comfortable with the gender that they were assigned with at birth, they may also not be comfortable with the gender expectation roles from society. It is very hard in the sense that the way these individuals view themselves is not the way that society perceives them.
Gender Identity Disorder can cause many conflicts for an individual. Depending on the environment they are in and the support they receive, some may feel comfortable to reveal their true selves to others, they might change their first name, how they dress and their hairstyles. Some may want to even go through a sex reassignment surgery.The term “gender identity” wasn’t always as popular as it is today. It first appeared in the 1960’s when it was used as a psychiatric term. I Robert J Stoller and Ralph R Greenson first introduced the term “gender identity disorder” in the summer of 1953 when presenting their research as part of the Symposium on Homosexuality at the International Psycho-Analytic Congress in Sweden. Their intent was to describe the individuals who felt a disconnection from the gender that they had been assigned with at birth.
They didn’t know how popular this term was going to be and how it was going to be used to change many norms and traditions all over the world. Human rights activists played a major into the use of the term when the city of San Francisco used it in 1994 to protest anti-discrimination. This term was also used as psychiatrists were called as experts to settle legal disputes in courts.
Around the 1970’s, Trans people wanted more than to be recognized by psychiatrists. They wanted to change their government issued identifications such as driver’s licenses but this process was not easy. For example, the U.S government required individuals to have some form of surgery to have documents that could prove who they really were. The world was not quite ready to accept the term “gender identity”. In Canada and the U.S, the term was replaced with phrases such as “sex designation” and “transsexual surgery”.
Over the past decades, Trans individuals have been fighting against discriminations that they face and for their rights. In The term “gender identity” was first put into the DSM 3 in 1980. What does the DSM define gender identity disorder for example New York City became the first Anglo-American jurisdiction to formally add the phrase ‘gender identity or expression’ when it amended its anti-discrimination ordinance in 2000.
Protection for trans individuals and its popularity has allowed individuals to become more accpected toward it. The time that people express their feelings and behaviors about gender identity disorder vary from individual to individual.