Is intersex a disorder? Is being transgender a mental illness? - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#14785276
We live in a Brave New World. Without a doubt.

Image

From the National Geographic magazine above.


On the group photo cover, why is there no cisgender female?
Why did you call intersex a disorder?
Is being transgender a mental illness?


Although there is not a cisgender female, roughly two-thirds of the content in the issue focuses on females, including two full-length features stories—one on the challenges of growing up female in America and the other on the dangerous lives of girls in the developing world. In addition, there is a great deal of data about the status of women and girls, as well as interviews with Gloria Steinem and Sheryl Sandberg, and an essay by Anne Marie Slaughter.

Why did you call intersex a disorder?

We consulted numerous experts to be both sensitive and accurate on this point. Many readers think we still got it wrong. "This definition is opposed by intersex advocates across the globe for the simple reason that it pathologizes us, thereby promoting the erroneous, stigmatizing view that intersex people require ‘fixing,’” wrote Hida Viloria, executive director of the Intersex Campaign for Equality. Kimberly Zieselman, executive director of InterACT, an intersex youth advocacy organization, wrote that our definition is "highly offensive to many in our community...and will actually be harmful if printed."

In recognition of these concerns, we have removed references to a “disorder” from our online editions and have amended the definition of intersex to be, “An umbrella term that describes a person with a genetic, genital, reproductive, or hormonal configuration that does not fit typical binary notions of a male or female body.” For the sake of familiarity, we also noted that an alternate term for intersex, “hermaphrodite,” is considered outdated and offensive.

Is being transgender a mental illness?

No. According to the numerous experts we consulted for our coverage, transgender is a gender identity. Some transgender people may experience mental health challenges such as depression, anxiety, or other issues. One recent study found that "it is actually the social rejection and violence that transgender people commonly experience that appears to be the primary source of mental distress, as opposed to the distress being solely the result of being transgender."

In the United States, Gender Dysphoria is a diagnosis in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fifth Edition (DSM 5), used by psychologists and physicians to indicate that a person meets the diagnostic criteria to engage in medical transition. In other words, this is the medical diagnosis for being transgender. The inclusion of Gender Dysphoria as a diagnosis in the DSM 5 is controversial within transgender communities.

Internationally, the designation of transgender identity as a mental illness varies from country to country, but the World Professional Association for Transgender Health and the World Health Organization offer resources for transgender people and health professionals regarding health care. WHO has indicated that it will likely remove its decades-old classification of transgender identity from the mental health disorders section in the scheduled 2018 revision of its International Classification of Diseases code book.

Two researchers and educators who contributed to our issue—Luca Maurer of Ithaca College and Eli Green of Widener University—have written a book that delves further into this question, called The Teaching Transgender Toolkit.

What are hormone blockers and what are the long-term effects of using them?

One of the feature stories from our issue helps answer this question. From the story:

Biology has a habit of declaring itself. Sometimes, though, biology can be put on hold for a while with puberty-blocking drugs that can buy time for gender-questioning children. If the child reaches age 16 and decides he or she is not transgender after all, the effects of puberty suppression are thought to be reversible: The child stops taking the blockers and matures in the birth sex. But for children who do want to transition at 16, having been on blockers might make it easier. They can start taking cross-sex hormones and go through puberty in the preferred gender—without having developed the secondary sex characteristics, such as breasts, body hair, or deep voices, that can be difficult to undo.

The Endocrine Society recommends blockers for adolescents diagnosed with gender dysphoria. Nonetheless, the blockers' long-term impact on psychological development, brain growth, and bone mineral density are unknown—leading to some lively disagreement about using them on physically healthy teens.


http://www.nationalgeographic.com/magaz ... ments-faq/
#14785311
No to both. It used to be usual for a child born with indeterminate genitalia to have the male bits taken off. They were usually forced to become girls, because it was thought without a proper penis they could never become men.

We now know differently. There's far more to being a man than the meat and two veg, just as there's more to being a woman than having a vagina.
#14785448
snapdragon wrote:No to both. It used to be usual for a child born with indeterminate genitalia to have the male bits taken off. They were usually forced to become girls, because it was thought without a proper penis they could never become men.

We now know differently. There's far more to being a man than the meat and two veg, just as there's more to being a woman than having a vagina.



This is from the NHS on intersex.

#14785466
This just isn't really an issue. Hermaphrodites have always existed throughout human history. As I've said elsewhere, what's going on here is collective social exhaustion, and boredom, the result of which is non issues (such as gender or immigration) being dredged up as issues as a form of distraction from the actual sociopolitical problems facing the world, notably, totally out of control wealth inequality and wars that literally never end.
#14785473
MB. wrote:This just isn't really an issue. Hermaphrodites have always existed throughout human history. As I've said elsewhere, what's going on here is collective social exhaustion, and boredom, the result of which is non issues (such as gender or immigration) being dredged up as issues as a form of distraction from the actual sociopolitical problems facing the world, notably, totally out of control wealth inequality and wars that literally never end.


Without a doubt, I definitely agree that wealth inequality and wars are number one priority. Although immigration is caused, in the main, by war and economic inequality.

But just because you are born in a third world country doesn't mean a persons sexuality is of no importance. Far from it.

In a total of 74 countries, same-sex sexual contact is a criminal offence. In 13 countries, being gay or bisexual is punishable by death. These are; Sudan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Mauritania, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Qatar, UAE, parts of Nigeria, parts of Somalia, parts of Syria and parts of Iraq.

Independent


In a developed country like the United States of America, the transgender community enjoys equal rights and privileges that any other citizen would have. However, this is not the case in developing countries. For many years, the transgender communities in developing countries has been neglected. Deprived from their basic human rights, the transgender community in Pakistan tend to live in the worst conditions. They are not only stigmatized but are also discriminated against. Thus, transgender people, or Hijras (A term used for transgender people in South Asia), are a soft target for violence, rape, harassment, and sexual abuse because their existence has not even been properly recognized by the state.

Growing up in a developing country like Pakistan, I have witnessed many transgender people and transvestites living a life that they don’t deserve, and such is the case in most developing countries. Most families abandon their transgender children because they are ashamed of them. In some cases, they beat up their children when they come out as transgender and thus the children often run away from home, attempting to find an escape from oppression. They prefer living with the trans community, a place where they don’t have to be ashamed of their identity, a place where they feel safe, and a place where they often are given access to basic necessities like, food, shelter, and clothing.

Due to the lack of job opportunities for transgender people, they are forced to beg, prostitute themselves, and dance at weddings and private parties to make ends meet. The Hijras are the most oppressed community, considering that they don’t have access to jobs, education, and the most important of all, a social status. Society has rejected them in all the spheres of life and has never recognized the trans community in Pakistan as an equally important part of the society. To gain the acceptance of the majority of the society, many transgender people are forced to live two identities in order to maintain society’s gender roles. They mask their identity, fearing rejection from society, and thus preserving their social standing in the community.

Only in 2012 were transgender people given the right to have ID cards, which recognized them as "third gender," a big development for a country like Pakistan which is still conservative when it comes to the rights of transgender community. With the issuing of National Identification Cards, the Hijra community now also has voting rights. Thus they have garnered attention from major political parties who now want to gain popularity among the transgender community and will pledge to address their problems in order to increase their popularity.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan also announced a certain quota for the employment of Hijras. Unfortunately, however, it seems like this has not been implemented on a mass level as there isn't any substantial improvement in the standard of living of the Hijra community in Pakistan.

Although an improvement in the life of Hijras can be brought by reforms and legislations and their implementation, there still remain things that will be much harder to change, like eliminating stereotypes from the minds of common citizens of Pakistan. This can be only done through educating people about how the sexual orientation or identity of a person does not in any way describe their level of intellect or their capability. This can prove to be an important step in order to provide equal status to the transgender community.

In a country where more than 300,000 people identify as transgender, protection of the rights of Hijras should an utmost priority of the state. The government should take steps to make sure that transgender children are being enrolled in schools and colleges and should offer them employment in civil services. They should be provided with vocational training and the state should make sure that there is no discrimination against transgender people in workplaces and other institutions, to eradicate gender discrimination. Another way in which the government can address the problems of transgender community is by reserving a number of seats in the parliament for them, so that they have political representation and they represent the problems they have been facing and what they think are the proposed solutions to those problems.

Hijras go through emotional violence and are psychologically tortured even by the “educated” percentage of people in Pakistan. Many people will invite them to perform a dance in their extravagant weddings, but would not raise their voices to help Hijrass gain a status in the society. Most of the times it is these people from so-called 'educated' class that ridicule, harass and abuse the transgender people who are begging on the streets. Eliminating this mindset can be challenging for the state, but extensive media campaigns and awareness projects can help demolish this social taboo.

Only when we as a society eradicate the stigmatization of transgender people can we actually move towards development. Parents of transgender children need to step out of their conservative state of mind and embrace their children regardless of their sexual orientation or how they identify themselves. This process will not be instant, but it is certainly something that can be achieved through educating the society as a whole and normalizing the idea of acceptance of people regardless of who they are and who they want to be.

https://www.theodysseyonline.com/transg ... -countries
#14785477
MB. wrote:This just isn't really an issue. Hermaphrodites have always existed throughout human history. As I've said elsewhere, what's going on here is collective social exhaustion, and boredom, the result of which is non issues (such as gender or immigration) being dredged up as issues as a form of distraction from the actual sociopolitical problems facing the world, notably, totally out of control wealth inequality and wars that literally never end.


I think you'll find that immigration is very much connected to economic and ecological instability. Closing our borders and reconstituting the Anglosphere's natural leadership is the only way to stabilize the global South.
#14785484
Donald, you're just advocating a lifeboat state. If you think things are that bad, surely you hope to do better in the lifeboat? I hope you have the qualifications that justify your inclusion in the boat, otherwise you might find yourself rather surprised...

As for human rights abuses in the third world, I don't know anyone- racists perhaps- who would argue that more can't be done to improve living conditions in low GNP states; doing so clearly has long term benifits in that it, as pointed out, inversely reduces refugee and emmigration rates to the first world.

I see a world of difference, however, between the human rights and sociopolitical struggle in the"developing world" and intersex policy in the developed.
#14785498
MB. wrote:Donald, you're just advocating a lifeboat state. If you think things are that bad, surely you hope to do better in the lifeboat? I hope you have the qualifications that justify your inclusion in the boat, otherwise you might find yourself rather surprised...


I'm not sure what you mean here. Can you expand on what a "lifeboat state" is? Keeping immigrants out of the wealthiest countries is the only realistic way to prevent these nations from developing illiberal political institutions and real global isolation as a result.

As for human rights abuses in the third world, I don't know anyone- racists perhaps- who would argue that more can't be done to improve living conditions in low GNP states; doing so clearly has long term benifits in that it, as pointed out, inversely reduces refugee and emmigration rates to the first world.


This will probably be accomplished through a second race for Africa provoked by Chinese investment. Whether it will be sustainable is another matter. The Soviets helped develop and modernize all kinds of backwaters that eventually fell apart, in part because of Western sabotage, but also partly because of cultural compatibility issues with modernization.

I see a world of difference, however, between the human rights and sociopolitical struggle in the"developing world" and intersex policy in the developed.


You're trying to "act locally, think globally" and I disagree completely with that approach. It should be the other way around because people can't be expected to properly understand what it's like to be a part of the "developing world". Most of us, at most, are capable of empathizing with a small network of people in whom our psychology is able to recognize ourselves in. Neoliberalism and the digital revolution tried to expand these previously interpersonal networks to the entire globe and the result has been disastrous for markets and human bodies alike.
#14787773
MB. wrote:This just isn't really an issue. Hermaphrodites have always existed throughout human history. As I've said elsewhere, what's going on here is collective social exhaustion, and boredom, the result of which is non issues (such as gender or immigration) being dredged up as issues as a form of distraction from the actual sociopolitical problems facing the world, notably, totally out of control wealth inequality and wars that literally never end.

Pretty much all disorders have existed throughout human history.

It is an issue because by normalising it and trying to make it taboo to even think about these conditions as a disorder slows down or potentially even prevents us from coming up with effective treatments or cures. It also has the possible effect of wrongly attributing possible negative consequences of disorders to society, discrimination, etc. with the usual resulting waste of vast amounts of money being poured into progammes to combat these consequences.

This is obviously not confined to transsexualism/transgender and intersex conditions but is a general trend within western societies, with the pushes to normalise increasing in extent and frequency. Off the top of my head I've heard the same or similar arguments, e.g. the disorder should be considered just normal variation among humans, with respect to BID (with a push for a new name: "transabled"), autism spectrum and schizophrenia.

In my view, history will not judge us kindly on this if we continue down this road.
#14787776
Kaiserschmarrn wrote:This is obviously not confined to transsexualism/transgender and intersex conditions but is a general trend within western societies, with the pushes to normalise increasing in extent and frequency. Off the top of my head I've heard the same or similar arguments, e.g. the disorder should be considered just normal variation among humans, with respect to BID (with a push for a new name: "transabled"), autism spectrum and schizophrenia.

In my view, history will not judge us kindly on this if we continue down this road.


Transgender people don't hurt anyone with their behavior and whether they want a cure or not is really their business and not yours.
#14787778
Rugoz wrote:Transgender people don't hurt anyone with their behavior

Neither do people with BID, and most people with autism and even schizophrenia. I don't see how that's relevant in our assessment whether it is a disorder or not, however.

Rugoz wrote:and whether they want a cure or not is really their business and not yours.

Yes, if they are adults and this is my position for any disorder, as long as people are not a danger to themselves or others. For children the parents would obviously make that decision.
#14787787
You generally need many years of therapy - sometimes over a decade - and pre-work before even beginning gender reassignment surgery. I don't think anyone would have a child to go through that.
#14787842
It's the political correct thing to do to believe that gay/lesbian/transsexual people etc are perfectly natural. Well of course they are, but so are pedophiles. The difference is that society has chosen to accept certain perversions, but not others. Now, don't get me wrong, I have absolutely no problem with these people, and would happily share a beer and have a laugh with them, on the understanding they have the ability to chill out and don't carry a ruddy great chip on their shoulder, however these people do have a type of mental illness, and if required they should receive help. If they don't and they aren't hurting anyone else, that's fine. What annoys me is liberals normalizing something that is not normal
#14788020
Zagadka wrote:You generally need many years of therapy - sometimes over a decade - and pre-work before even beginning gender reassignment surgery. I don't think anyone would have a child to go through that.

When I talk about treatment/cure I'm not referring to surgery (the efficacy of which has yet to be shown), but either preventing the condition from arising in the first place or treating the erroneous conviction.

As for current trends, the treatment of children and adolescents certainly can take into account the possibility of future surgery. While I haven't followed this for a while, I wouldn't be surprised if the objective to make a future transition easier through e.g. hormone treatments has become increasingly common.

In Australia a court has recently allowed a 16 year old to remove her breasts and the more we advance the normalisation of this condition, the less authorities, physicians and society at large will have concerns about "catching them early".
#14788023
Kaiserschmarrn wrote:When I talk about treatment/cure I'm not referring to surgery (the efficacy of which has yet to be shown)

I've had several trans friends. Some of them were literally suicidal before being able to make the final decision to come out, which frequently comes at the cost of the majority of family and friends. It isn't something that can be reasoned or conditioned out or something with other solutions.
#14788029
Zagadka wrote:I've had several trans friends. Some of them were literally suicidal before being able to make the final decision to come out, which frequently comes at the cost of the majority of family and friends. It isn't something that can be reasoned or conditioned out or something with other solutions.

I completely agree and in general I don't subscribe to the notion that therapy is a treatment or cure. Therapy should be regarded as care and it is unlikely to be more effective than a functioning and supportive social network or other social support, such as for instance a good pastor for religious people.

I also reject the idea that the "mind" is a separate entity that can or should be treated or cured and therefore the separate category of mental illnesses needs to be abolished. The correct way to look at this, in my view, is that some biological processes go wrong and lead to pathological behaviours and ideas. For some (so-called) mental illnesses we are already on the right track but our progress is glacially slow, in part because we are holding on to this wrong "mind" concept and because we are increasingly trying to normalise illnesses and disorders.
#14788099
Rugoz wrote:Transgender people don't hurt anyone with their behavior and whether they want a cure or not is really their business and not yours.

Post-op trans-sexuals cannot bear children so I'm less enthusiastic in supporting realignment surgery.
#14791621
Well, I guess it could be called a 'disorder' of sorts on the basis that transgenders want to be tranformed into the opposide gender. The obvious treatment to this 'disorder' would be then that operation.

I guess one could also try getting into these people brain chemistry and making them like the gender they are originally, but as far as I know thats far from our current abilities; we wouldnt even know how to start.

Either way I think no doctor should do anything to a patient against the patients wishes, so that would just be an additional option.

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