Gender identity disorder (GID) is the formal diagnosis used by psychologists and physicians to describe persons who experience significant gender dysphoria (discontent with the sex they were assigned at birth and/or the gender roles associated with that sex). It describes the symptoms related to transsexualism, as well as less severe manifestations of gender dysphoria. GID is classified as a medical disorder by the ICD-10 CM and by the DSM-IV TR. It is likely that the new version of the DSM will replace this category with "Gender Dysphoria." Some authorities do not classify gender dysphoria as a mental illness, including the NHS which describes it as "a condition for which medical treatment is appropriate in some cases."
Gender identity disorder in children is considered clinically distinct from GID that appears in adolescence or adulthood, which has been reported by some as intensifying over time. As gender identity develops in children, so do sex-role stereotypes. Sex-role stereotypes are the beliefs, characteristics and behaviors of individual cultures that are deemed normal and appropriate for boys and girls to possess. These "norms" are influenced by family and friends, the mass-media, community and other socializing agents. Since many cultures strongly disapprove of cross-gender behavior, it often results in significant problems for affected persons and those in close relationships with them. In many cases, transgender individuals report discomfort stemming from the feeling that their bodies are "wrong" or meant to be different.
Many transgender people and researchers support the declassification of GID as a mental disorder for several reasons. Recent medical research on the brain structures of transgender individuals have shown that some transgender individuals have the physical brain structures that resemble their desired sex even before hormone treatment. In addition, recent studies are indicating more possible causes for gender dysphoria, stemming from genetic reasons and prenatal exposure to hormones, as well as other psychological and behavioral reasons. (See Causes of transsexualism).
One contemporary treatment for GID consists primarily of physical modifications to bring the body into harmony with one's perception of mental (psychological, emotional) gender identity, rather than vice versa.
Famous quotes containing the words gender, identity and/or disorder:
“Anthropologists have found that around the world whatever is considered mens work is almost universally given higher status than womens work. If in one culture it is men who build houses and women who make baskets, then that culture will see house-building as more important. In another culture, perhaps right next door, the reverse may be true, and basket- weaving will have higher social status than house-building.”
—Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen. Excerpted from, Gender Grace: Love, Work, and Parenting in a Changing World (1990)
“One of the most highly valued functions of used parents these days is to be the villains of their childrens lives, the people the child blames for any shortcomings or disappointments. But if your identity comes from your parents failings, then you remain forever a member of the child generation, stuck and unable to move on to an adulthood in which you identify yourself in terms of what you do, not what has been done to you.”
—Frank Pittman (20th century)
“I have come back
but disorder is not what it was.
I have lost the trick of it!
The innocence of it!”
—Anne Sexton (19281974)