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Synopsis of the Etiology of Gender

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  • Getting beyond "labels", and thinking of gender feelings, gendered behaviors and gender trajectories instead


     We've seen that there are many variations and combinations of gender conditions, across a wide continuum of possibilities. These are major realities that deeply affect the lives of large numbers of people in close human love relationships. Unfortunately, we don't yet have a truly adequate vocabulary for talking about this wide range of phenomena, and most people are left to their own devices when struggling to cope with gender confusions or transgender identities in their love relationships. The tendency of psychiatrists, psychologists, physicians and gender counselors to "label" us as "transvestites", ''crossdressers'', "transgender", "transsexual", etc., can greatly obscure what is going on in any given case. Gender-variant people themselves often get trapped into confusions and arguments about these labels. Counselors and their clients often dwell endlessly on questions such as "is this person (or am I) a transvestite, or really a transsexual?"  Or, "is this person a DQ or a TG or a TS?" And on and on it goes, often with an overlay of judgementalism, paternalism and condescension, with some conditions being "more acceptable" than others, or vice-versa, depending who you talk to! Wouldn't it be better to ask questions, rather than try to answer meaningless questions with and about ill-defined labels? Someone may be crossdressing, but that may or may not mean that they are a "transvestite". They could be TG or TS or DQ instead. Someone may be taking hormones and enjoy their breast development, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they are TS or even TG for that matter! Can you see how labels get in the way? Labels give the illusion of standing for something real, but when you probe deeper, they sort of evaporate! We are what we do, what we feel, how we behave, and what trajectory we follow. We are always a "work in progress", just as all other human beings are. We cannot be defined once and for all by simply having a label pinned on us. 

    • What really counts is what you are feeling inside. What is your body and heart telling you that you need to do? What behaviors have you actually been engaging in? What experiences have you actually had? What gender trajectory seems to make sense for you? What physical and social changes can you, and should you make in order to find a more natural and comfortable physical/social place in life. Can you make those changes and follow that trajectory without sacrificing too much, in employment, family relations, and expectations for finding a love partner in your later life?
    • Now those are real questions that need real answers. Someone cannot simply diagnose you and tell you: "You are TS, and thus you should do X, Y and Z". It just doesn't work that way. It is far more complex than that.  There are so many variables that it doesn't make sense to attempt "in advance" to try to figure out who is CD vs TG vs TS. You find out by watching what they actually do over time. Some people crossdress and that is enough to make them happy. You could call them "CD's", but how do you know what they might do in ten years? Some people go on to transition socially (usually with the aid of hormones). You could call them "TG's", but what does that really mean? After all, they might go further and get SRS someday, or they might even de-transition someday. Some people go on to social transition and also undergo sex reassignment surgery. You might call them "TS's"  this too has proven to be a mistake in some cases.

    The only thing that you CAN be sure of, when it comes to others, is their real observed behaviors and trajectories: If someone crossdresses, that is a REAL behavior and you can say "that person crossdresses". If someone undergoes social transition, that is a REAL behavior and change-point in their gender trajectory. You can say "so and so underwent TG transition". If someone transitions socially and undergoes SRS, that too is a REAL behavior and change-point in their gender trajectory. You can say, "so and so underwent a TS transition". But there is no meaning to labeling these people as CD, TG and TS - except as a sort of "shorthand notation" for very informally referring to those people.


    Gender-minority labels don't work any better for pinning down "gender minority roles" than "role-playing" used to work to define meaningful real roles in the gay community. Labels, and the presumed roles that go along with them, are just too static. Labels are too confining and too limiting in their effect on people. They are useless as predictors of what someone should do and actually will do as they discover how they really need to live and present themselves to society. Only you can decide what your heart and body are telling you to do at that particular time in your life,, what behaviors you should explore, and what detailed gender trajectory you should follow. In doing so, you should consider the widest range of options and possibilities. Do not jump to the conclusion that you are a "CD", or are a "TS", and then mimic stereotypes of "what a CD should do or not do", or what "a TS should or should not do". As you go along, be sure to allow your gender trajectory to veer off in possibly unexpected directions from your originally predicted path, as your body and heart learn to feel new things along the way. 

    Cristine Jennifer Shye.  B/L.  B/Acc
    This post was edited by Cristine Jennifer Shye. BL at October 5, 2014 2:11 PM BST
      May 13, 2012 4:14 PM BST
  • Well stated Christine. We live in a society in general that has to put everyone into a slot or as you so rightly stated a label. But what are you or are we shall I say. Society has a very slanted point of view on this ( TG community) one just has to look at the religious side for there label on us, but it is getting better over the last 20 yrs I will admit.

    Normal is such a blurred point of view, I do not see how anyone can determine who is or who is not different. We live in such a diverse world community who can say what they are. There are so many diverse groups some with a very stringent point of view to which they think the world in general should subject themselves to, so how can they even think about labeling. But what are they, what label, everyone has there thinking as to where to put what some call normal, others would have a very different point of view ( label).

    Really the world in general has the same problem with labels, just look at the religious community, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhist, Christians they all have there negative labels about the other, I am right your wrong, live as I do. Gawd look at the political spectrum, which has become so deep in labels.

    Labels, labels labels, I believe they are the bane of society in general. As a society we cannot look at someone with out tagging a label.

     Where are we headed as a community, and I mean a world community, just look around.

    Just look at the TG community, we cannot even get along you might say without tagging a label, or is it a peer group dilemma.

    So many questions or is it labels that people get so concerned to the point that it ends in conflict. I seen conflict over one label in the 60's, communism, as we now know, that did not end much for a label.

    Huggs Tammy

    <p>A life without purpose, is a life without reason!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>
      May 13, 2012 7:33 PM BST
  • Atypical gender development may give rise to a psychological experience of oneself as a man or as a woman, that is, a gender identity, which is incongruent with the phenotype (the sex differentiated characteristics of the body). Individuals experiencing this rare condition will have been raised, from birth, in the gender role (the social category of boy or girl) which is consistent with their phenotypic appearance. In extreme cases, both the appearance of the body and the associated gender role give rise to great discomfort. The personal experience of this severe gender variance is sometimes described medically as gender dysphoria.
    This condition may be experienced in varying degrees, but in its profound and persistent form, individuals may need to ‘transition’, to live in the gender role which is consistent with their core gender identity. This degree of discomfort may be described as transsexualism. Individuals experiencing this condition may be referred to as trans men (those transitioning from living as women to living as men) and trans women (those transitioning from living as men to living as women). Transsexualism should not be confused with cross-dressing (transvestism); the broader range of varied gender expression, including transsexualism may be referred to as transgenderism. It should be noted that issues of gender identity are not the same as sexual orientation, that is, the sexual preference for a male or for a female partner, both or neither.
    The process of sex differentiation is initiated in the fetus in the early stages of pregnancy. Typically, this differentiation is associated with the chromosomes: all fetuses have an X chromosome; the second chromosome in a boy will be Y, and in a girl will be X. Certain genes on the Y chromosome trigger the cascade of masculinising hormones from the testes (androgens - testosterone and MIH, a hormone antagonistic to female internal genitalia) which move the fetus from its female (default) status towards the male status. Differentiation of sex characteristics: genitalia, gonads (testes/ovaries) and of the brain, and the apparently binary male or female outcome in all these areas is, therefore, driven by the genes and the hormone environment – especially the presence or absence of testosterone. The latter depends partly on the pregnant mother and partly on the hormone (endocrine) system of the fetus itself.


    An extract from:-  Foreword from Lynne Jones MP, Chair of the Parliamentary Forum on Gender Identity...

      June 3, 2012 11:18 AM BST


    Watch it through and learn

    Cristine Jennifer Shye.  B/L.  B/Acc
      June 7, 2012 4:06 PM BST
  • i wish i had the time and comitment involved in being able to prescent such informed and detailed insight to our world,i have read some of the topics you cover,nothing in comparision to your level of understanding .The truth is out there,inside us

      July 11, 2012 12:57 PM BST


    Previously, without  having ANY scientific evidence to back them up, many psychiatrists and psychologists over the past four decades have simply assumed that transsexualism is a "mental illness". By DEFINING this socially unpopular condition to be a mental illness, psychiatrists have shaped much of the medical establishment's and society's view of transsexuals as "psychopathological sexual deviants". However, those viewpoints are gradually fading away as the old generation of traditional "behaviorist" psychiatrists passes on, and as the underlying neurobiological bases for many basic human behaviors have begun to be understood.


    Do we really need to know the cause in order to treat the condition?


    Why is there so much fixation on "causes"? The answer is simple: Transsexualism has been such a socially unpopular condition in the past that the issue of "what causes it" is always raised in discussions about what to do about it. In the past many behaviorist psychologists and psychiatrists have inherently blamed transsexuals for causing their own "sexually deviant mental illness", giving those psychiatrists a claim to responsibility for the "treatment and cure of transsexuals" and giving society a rationale for discrimination, marginalization and ghettoization of transsexuals. However, as we've seen, transsexualism is most likely a neurological condition of as yet unknown origin and not a "mental illness". There are many other intense neurological conditions such as pain, depression and bipolar disorders for which we do not know the underlying causes but suspect biological causes. We know that these other conditions are real because we see people in distress, and we treat those people medically and with compassion to relieve their suffering. Why should it be any different with transsexualism? We now know how to relieve the suffering of transsexual people, having many options for practical counseling, social transition and hormonal/surgical gender reassignment. Why not accept those treatments as valid, since they truly relieve suffering and enhance the quality of life, even if we aren't sure what causes the underlying condition?And why stigmatize people just because they have sought medical treatment for this condition?

    How frequently does transsexualism occur?

    'Prevalence' is the number of cases present in a given population at a given time. If there are 100 cases of some condition in a city of 100,000, then the prevalence there at that time is 1 in 1000 (1:1000). Fortunately, we can make good estimates of the prevalence of transsexualism without being a research scientist. Any good journalist could easily triangulate on good ball-park estimates. Medical authority figures often quote a prevalence of 1 in 30,000 for MtF transsexualism and 1 in 100,000 for FtM transsexualism. You'll see these numbers over and over again, as in recent news stories in the Washington Post and the New york times. But don't these figures seem odd to you? They portray transsexualism as being incredibly rare. However, many people nowadays know a transsexual personor know of one in their school, company or small community. Where do these "extreme rarity" figures keep coming from?These figures are from the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV). The numbers are often sent to the media by the two "elite psychiatric centers" that have long promulgated and dominated thinking regarding "psychiatric theories of transsexualism", namely the Clarke Institute in Toronto, Canada and the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD. However, the figures are from decades-old data when modern sex reassignment surgery (SRS) first became available, and only include the numbers who bravely stepped forward and asked for SRS at a time when discrimination was incredibly intense. Common sense says there were many more who suffered in silence than came forward openly. But how many? Let's do some "numerical detective work". We can triangulate the prevalence of MtF transsexualism in the U.S. by estimating how many transsexuals here have already had SRS. We can then divide that number by the population of adult males in the U.S. (up to about age 60, since those older had little access to the surgery in the past). Before 1960, only a tiny handful of SRS operations were done on U. S. citizens Georges Burou. Aeminant surgeon from Massab;lanca in Morroco then began doing a large series of operations in the 1960's using a vastly improved new "penile-inversion" technique. Harry Benjamin, M.D., a U.S. physician who had done pioneering research and clinical treatments of transsexualism, began referring many U.S. transsexuals to Dr. Burou and to several other surgeons who used Burou's new technique. (Lynn later learned from Dr. Benjamin that in 1968 she had been among the first 600 to 700 transsexual women from the U.S. to have had SRS).The U. S. numbers grew in the 1970's as gender-identity programs at Johns Hopkins and Stanford University triggered an easing of restrictions on SRS in U.S. hospitals, and several U.S. surgeons began performing SRS. In 1973  Dr. Benjamin confirmed  that 2500 SRS operations had been done on U. S. transsexual women by that date.

     Beginning with that data, the table below shows Lynn Conway's estimate of SRS operations done by major SRS surgeons both here and abroad on U. S. citizens in recent decades, extrapolated to include those done by many secondary surgeons (each performing smaller numbers per year). A range of values is given, from conservative to most likely numbers. At present about 800-1000 MtF SRS operations are now performed in the U. S. each year, and that many or more are performed on U.S. citizens abroad (for example in countries like Thailand, where the quality of SRS is excellent and the cost is much lower). The top three U. S. surgeons (Eugene Schrang, Toby Meltzer and Stanley Biber) together now perform a total of 400 to 500 SRS operations each year. Stanley Biber alone has done over 4,500 SRS operations since he began doing the surgeries in 1969; for many years Dr. Biber did two SRS's per day, three days per week!





     "Lynn Conway's Numbers": Estimates of MtF SRS operations among U. S. residents:



                          1960's             1970's                 1980's                    1990 - 2002

                          1,000             6000-7000          9,000-12,000          14,000-20,000




    Adding up these numbers we find that there are at least 30,000 to 40,000 post-op transsexual women in the U. S. Of course some surgeries done by U.S. surgeons are on foreigners (perhaps 15%?), and some who've undergone SRS have passed away. However, the majority of post-op transsexuals had SRS within the past 15 years, and a high percentage of them are still living. TS's in the smaller group who underwent SRS in the 60's to mid-80's were mostly young - in their twenties and early thirties, and thus most of those women are still alive too. Even accounting for mortalities, Lynn estimates that the number of post-ops in the US is greater than 32,000. To determine the prevalence of MtF SRS, we simply divide 32,000 by 80,000,000, which is the number of U. S. males between 18 - 60 (the age range from which most current post-ops originated):                                      



    32,000/80,000,000 = 1/2500. We discover to our amazement that at least one out of every 2500 persons born male in the U. S. has ALREADY undergone SRS to become female! This 1:2,500 estimate is vastly higher than the 1:30,000 estimate so oft-quoted by the medical community. The DSM-IV number is clearly way off, and by at least a factor of 12! However, on closer examination we will find the error is far worse than even that! 





    Cristine Jennifer Shye.  B/L.  B/Acc
    This post was edited by Cristine Jennifer Shye. BL at April 21, 2015 12:54 PM BST
      July 16, 2012 8:55 PM BST

    Cristine Jennifer Shye.  B/L.  B/Acc
      September 4, 2012 8:41 AM BST
  • The Gendered Self © 2010, Anne Vitale PhD, All rights reserved


    The Gendered Self: Further commentary on the transsexual phenomenon


    Cristine Jennifer Shye.  B/L.  B/Acc
      October 6, 2012 9:29 PM BST
  • Cristine . I seriously don't know how you do this , its making my brain hurt just reading it and trying to take it in. And it is not just this thread its everywher you write articles  on this site. My scientific answer is . A=Astounding B=4+XY / T.9=786+DOCTOR SPOCK X 7-689.098 . Which just means what I just started with "Astounding". Ok I made it up but it still means it. Julia xx

    This post was edited by Cristine Jennifer Shye. BL at March 24, 2013 2:56 PM GMT
      January 17, 2013 1:23 PM GMT
  • guess that explains why when i write my stories they are all smudged tehe yeah im left handed

    donno about the family but im the eldest sibling
      March 24, 2013 7:07 PM GMT
  • Now that Cristine I understood without getting a headache . All I need now if there is such a thing as reincarnation for someone to stick a "label" on my arse saying "Made in Taiwan" It would make life a lot less hard second time around , But knowing my bloody luck I will come back as me anyway .


    Very interesting anyway thank you.


    Julia xx

      May 5, 2013 9:15 PM BST
  • Ah Julia,


    So you think there may be life after death ?

      May 6, 2013 10:29 PM BST
  • I have not got a clue Joanne! I have not been dead before as far as I know. I was dead before I was born because I did not exist but I can't remember from before I was born because I was not here.



      May 6, 2013 11:03 PM BST
    The Gendered Self © 2010, Anne Vitale PhD, All rights reserved

    The Gendered Self: Further commentary on the transsexual phenomenon
    First a word about the title. Those of you familiar with the history of this subject will be
    quick to notice that the subtitle refers to Dr. Harry Benjamin’s ground breaking work,
    The Transsexual Phenomenon
    , published in 1966. Prior to its publication, very little
    had been entered into the medical literature about the subject
    The few works
    that were published tended to be about cross dressing (transvestism) in men and gave
    the impression that the “disorder” was one of perverse sexuality. Benjamin, on the other
    hand, was one of the first to think in terms of “sex” being the physical manifestation of
    the body while “gender” and gender expression as being a totally different aspect of what
    it means to be human. Further more, he writes that he believed that gender was
    indelibly imprinted on the brain either in utero or shortly after birth. Instead of seeing
    his patients as being delusional and suffering from a sexual perversion, he saw his
    patients as suffering from a form of intersexuality
    ; having the body of one sex but the
    gender of the other. It is this paradigm shift in thinking that makes his work so
    Benjamin wrote his book based on actual case studies of just under 500 mostly male-t0-
    female patients over a ten year period (1954-1964). He noted that since psychotherapy
    was useless, transsexuals should instead be treated by hormonal and surgical sex
    change. Benjamin went on to predict that eventually neuroscience would find that
    gender identity and expression was hardwired in the brain and not simply a socially
    constructed aspect of our persona. As we will see in this commentary, that has come to




    Cristine Jennifer Shye.  B/L.  B/Acc
      August 18, 2013 11:22 AM BST
  • The Gendered Self-- Further commentary on the transsexual phenomenon

    Chapter 2. What It Means to Be Gender Variant: A developmental review

    Anne Vitale Ph.D.

    There is a growing body of evidence that Gender Identity Disorder (GID) as described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV (DSM IV-TR) is, at least in part, the result of insufficient or inappropriate masculinization / defeminization of the brain at a critical stage of embryonic development, essentially creating a not-male, not-female but otherwise permanent gender variant condition. As a result, the affected individual may be left with somewhere between a partial and a full sense of having a cross-sexed gender identity. This chapter describes how the resulting gender permutation affects the individual across their life span.


    **** The Gendered Self © 2010, Anne Vitale PhD, All rights reserved
    Cristine Jennifer Shye.  B/L.  B/Acc
      August 18, 2013 11:30 AM BST
  • When all available hypotheses have been evaluated, the scientific method chooses the one that best meets the above criteria. A simpler explanation will be preferred over one that is complex or requires a leap of faith to accept.


    Califia (1997) reports that three different schools of thought can be identified within the debate on Gender Dysphoria. These are not all that have been proposed over
    the years but these form the majority of the currently credible arguments.   First, the psychoanalytic approach based on innate bisexuality in humans has been
    proposed. This suggests that male-to-female transsexualism might result from a failure
    of a boy to separate himself from his mother in early boyhood. Instead of identifying with the father, the boy identifies with the mother. Such traditional analyses consider lack of a cohesive self, opposite gender envy and jealousy combined with positive reinforcement such as a parent encouraging opposite gender behavior as the driving force behind the feeling of discomfort or confusion with the persons’ gender identification. A relatively high incidence of these factors has been observed in studies during supervised therapy for both male-to-female and female-to-male transsexuals (Califia, 1997).


    The psychoanalytic theories, with many variants, present a hypothesis for a cause for Gender Dysphoria, but none of these theories has been investigated to see if the existence of these initial conditions correlate with resulting Gender Dysphoria. Studies of intra-family relationships, divorce rates, parental dominance, marital harmony, and many other factors have not revealed a common pattern that could account for Gender Dysphoria. In fact, the evidence is that stable and harmonious intra-family relations do not exclude a transsexual outcome of one or more children. This approach certainly does

    not explain the significant numbers of people who display gender variant behavior and have not come from these kinds of family background.
    The second school of thought is behaviorism, also known as Social Learning Theory.    Gender identity development is viewed as the result of a learning process that is imposed on the developing gender identity of a child. Gender identity develops as the result of “imprinting” and “conditioning” processes (Califia, 1997).


    In gender dysphoric people the conditioning is different to that which would normally be expected. A typical example of this process would be a parental figure encouraging “tomboy” behavior for a child born as a female or encouraging a male child to dress up and behave like a girl.   This theory has been elaborated by introducing biological factors (by chemicals, hormones or by brain differences) and by introducing the concept of a “critical period” to
    account for the fact that many people have experienced periods where they were encouraged to behave outside “usual” gender roles and have not experienced Gender Dysphoria    In the critical periods, biological, psychodynamic, and environmental factors (in particular, the parents’ expectations and the way they rear their
    child) have an effect on the development of their gender identity. Prior and subsequent to this critical period, such an effect does not occur.


    A prominent researcher, John Money, has drawn an analogy with the critical period of genital differentiation known to operate in the fetal period. Based on the result
    of his extensive research, he has hypothesized that the process of gender identity formation can be compared with the process of acquiring a language.

    This school of thought is quite complex in the way it describes many special cases and variations in cause. It therefore becomes very difficult to test or to make predictions from a set of initial conditions. It does have the advantage of being quite descriptive.   The whole process may, in fact, be quite complex and require complexity to adequately explain it.


    The introduction of biological influences, known as the Biological Theory, at or prior to birth seem to be quite explanatory of many things observed in gender dysphoria, but they are difficult to test. For instance, the brain differences can only be discovered after a person dies by dissection. Prospective studies are hard to achieve in those circumstances. Monitoring of hormonal variations prior to birth is too intrusive to hope
    to perform a useful analytical test of this idea

    The third school of thought assumes that the development of gender identity is related to the maturation of cognitive development (Cognitive-Developmental Theory).   At about eleven years of age, a child’s gender identity starts to become consolidated or fixed as formal thought and abstract reasoning become possible. An abstract concept of gender identity develops rather than the concrete concept of boy or girl and this concept can be related to the rest of the world as a whole. This idea is in line with the work done by Piaget and others on childhood developmental processes. This school addresses some additional observations but has difficulty addressing all of the observations. All authors on gender identity development agree that a sense of gender identity termed core gender identity can be found in every child before 3 years of age. Core gender identity can be described as the child’s recognition that he is a boy or she is a girl.


    Research shows that this concept proves to be highly resistant to change in later life. On the basis of clinical evidence, it seems that there is a solid argument that the foundation of gender dysphoria is laid before the age of three. Further research of this period is needed in order to understand more about the origin of gender dysphoria.

    Gender may well be the most basic element that makes up human personality. In fact, gender is so basic to our identity that most people mistakenly assume
    our sense of being male or female is defined with absolute certainty by our anatomical sex. Contrary to popular belief, one’s sense of gender and one’s anatomical sex are two distinct elements each developing at different times in different parts of the body.   More theories surround what causes Gender Identity Disorder and where it originates. These theories are sub-categories in two very popular sociological theory bases, Social Constructionism and Essentialism (Stein, 1999).

    What started out as a criticism of socially constructed roles developed into a theory of gender, which denied Essentialism Gender Identity Disorder 50 in every form, stating instead that society took the biological differences of procreation, and instilled in them an artificial behavioral difference. The theory denies that there is any natural basis for gender identity. Thus, it denies to transgender people any rational cause, while at the same time presenting no reason why not. To some authors this meant that transgender people were free to express themselves in any manner they chose since all gender expression is a valid as any other. Only societal convention stands in the way of such freedom. Such conventions can be modified by the society as is deemed desirable. To some, all such restrictions are to be avoided in a live and let live ethos. Other authors, Janice Ramond and Germain Greer, being notable examples, saw male-to-female transgender people as exploitive of women, supporting the artificial sexist forms that oppress women. It is interesting that in this regard they exhibit a hidden Essentialism, one that focuses on the genitalia as defining classes of human beings. They decried the restrictions on one class, while despising those of the other class when they break those very restrictions

    Still the existence of transgender people poses a challenge to the social constructionist theory. One must explain both why gender identity exists, how it is perpetuated, enforced, and why some rare individuals chose to express a gender identity at odds with socially prescribed gender expression norms.


    Cristine Jennifer Shye.  B/L.  B/Acc
    This post was edited by Cristine Jennifer Shye. BL at October 5, 2014 2:14 PM BST
      March 20, 2014 7:57 PM GMT
  • Wow Crissie! Another headache. In my inbox on Monday I had an Email from my college asking me if I could produce an explaination of what it is like being Transexual. It must have taken me all of five whole minutes to type two A4 Pages with no thought put into it I just let it come out.


    The main part I concentrated on was "Who in their right mind whould make a choice to put themselves through this?" I stated no sane person would make a choice to lose their family and friends then face what we have to sometimes very alone. Although I am a bit mad Smile I am very sane.


    Life style choice? No if I cannot be me I do not want to be here full stop and that means alive. It has been hard work to get to where I am and most of all gain respect for my gender and you have experienced that too and you are very sane (and a bit mad like meSmile).

    Although most people think I am about 40 years old I am 57 this year and it is not make-up I actually look younger without foundation. I should officially look 157 this year after the life I have had but , has it been worth it? Yes because I am happy and content with my life. I lost everyone but gained back so much more than I lost , plus I met you! My inspiration and a true friend .


    My only choice in this was to live or die! I decided to take my chances and live.


    Take care and thank you.


    Julia xx

      March 20, 2014 9:13 PM GMT
  •      SW Ecker. Abstract presented at the American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting; May 18, 2009; SF

    Gender Identity is that innate sense of who you are in this world with reference to your sexuality and behavior, not necessarily corresponding to your genitalia and reproductive organs. Transgenders are atypical and “think” as the opposite gender. Certain areas of the brain have been shown to be sexually dimorphic. They are different in structure and numbers of neurons in males versus females. Protein Receptors for the sex hormones in different areas of the brain (limbic and anterior hypothalamic) must be present in sufficient numbers to receive those powerful hormones. There are androgen receptors (AR), Estrogen Receptors (ER), and Progesterone receptors (PRs). ARs or ERs are predominant at different times in different parts of the human brain.. Hormone receptor genes have been identified in humans, which are responsible for sexually dimorphic brain differentiation in the hypothalamusThe groundwork in brain gender identity is gene-directed and takes place by forming male and female hormone receptors in the brain before the gonads and hormones can influence them. Multiple genes acting in concert determine our sexual identity. The human brain continues to make neurons and synaptic neuronal connections throughout life. This contributes to Gender Role Behaviors making individuals in the continuum of gender identity. Gender behaviors must be differentiated from gender identity (Hines). Gender Identity cannot be predicted from anatomy (Reiner). Brain gender identity is determined very early in fetal development, but gender expression, expressed as behaviors requires hormonal, environmental, social and cultural interactions, which evolve with time. One cannot deny the profound effects of Testosterone, Estradiol and other steroids on genital differentiation in-utero or their effects on behavior from birth or the physical and mental cross gender changes caused by exogenous hormones, but gender identity is determined before and persists in spite of these effects.

    The Androgen Receptor (AR)

    The AR gene, located on the X-chromosome at location Xq11-12, is one of the most mutated genes in the human genome.  So much so that there is a  At the writing of this post, there are almost 400 known mutations of the AR gene.  That’s alot!

    Because the AR gene is on the X-chromosome, individuals with XY chromosomes (usually being natal males) carry only one copy of the gene, that which came from their mother.  If that copy of the gene happens to be mutated, then a phenotype (a physical manifestation of the mutation) may be more readily noticable.

    In XX individuals (usually natal females), one mutated copy of the gene inherited from one parent can be masked by a wild-type (i.e. normal) copy of the gene inherited from the other parent.  In that way, XX individuals can unknowingly be carriers of a mutated AR gene that could show up with a phenotype in their XY offspring.


    I will scan my result of my participation test at Addenbrooks  gene clinic when I get home. for interest only and pictures of my DNA read outs and CAT scans
    Cristine Jennifer Shye.  B/L.  B/Acc
    This post was edited by Cristine Jennifer Shye. BL at October 5, 2014 2:15 PM BST
      August 18, 2014 12:24 AM BST
  • Just to let you know how much "You" and your work and dedication is appreciated Crissie. It is not much but it is the thought that counts. With love as always , Julia xxxx

    This post was edited by Former Member at September 13, 2014 8:29 PM BST
      September 13, 2014 8:27 PM BST
  • Increased Cortical Thickness in Male-to-Female Transsexualism Luders et al, Journal of Behavioral and Brain Science, 2011


    Results: Results revealed thicker cortices in MTF transsexuals, both within regions of the left hemisphere (i.e., frontal and orbito-frontal cortex, central sulcus, perisylvian regions, paracentral gyrus) and right hemisphere (i.e., pre-/post-central gyrus, parietal cortex, temporal cortex, precuneus, fusiform, lingual, and orbito-frontal gyrus).
    Conclusion: These findings provide further evidence that brain anatomy is associated with gender identity, where measures in MTF transsexuals appear to be shifted away from gender-congruent men.
    Cristine Jennifer Shye.  B/L.  B/Acc
      January 16, 2015 4:56 PM GMT
  • Sorry I should not have asked , I will ask my doctor.

    This post was edited by Former Member at January 17, 2015 2:11 PM GMT
      January 16, 2015 9:41 PM GMT
  • The scientific literature has already come to a consensus on the existence of cognitive sex differences, especially with regard to spatial ability. Both neural/hormonal and social factors contribute to those differences. See Diane Halpern's "Sex Differences in Cognitive Abilities".

    Stereotypes, including gender stereotypes, are mostly accurate. So saying that some view or conclusion is a gender stereotype is not a real criticism. See Lee Jussim's "Social Perception and Social Reality: Why Accuracy Dominates Bias and Self-Fulfilling Prophecy".

    Finally, let's assume the real reason why women have bigger corpus callosums is that they have smaller brains. Does the relation between sex and corpus callosum size cease to exist? No. Women on average will still have larger corpus callosums and all the (presumed) behavioural/cognitive characteristics associated with it.


    If you look at the sexual dimorphism from an evolutionary perspective, this makes perfect sense. In early human societies, men went out to hunt while women stayed in the village (with very few exceptions).

    The traits that made men more successful were those that allowed them to be better hunters and warriors: so coordinated action, perception of environmental opportunities and dangers. For the women in the village, their success is more dependent on "politics" and relationships. Instead of organizing hunts, the successful woman is one who is well liked by people and use strong communication skills and wits to solve problems (and not braun since they will lose to the stronger males).

    Thus over time, as the traits that marks a successful man and woman differs, it makes sense that there should be sexual dimorphism in brain structures.


    Which in turn is a probable and logical cause for some brain structure difference in male to female transexuals.

    Cristine Jennifer Shye.  B/L.  B/Acc
    This post was edited by Cristine Jennifer Shye. BL at April 10, 2015 7:33 PM BST
      February 19, 2015 8:40 PM GMT
  • That is brilliant Crissie! I have never organised a huntSmile. And you have proved you can solve problems you figured me out and that is an achievement on its ownSmile.


    Your post above is a brilliant and I understood it.



      February 19, 2015 8:57 PM GMT
  • Cassandra Whitehead said:



    I just found this article, which you were unable to find again, first time I have seen it. Well written and erudite.   something worth bringing up again for those just joining.    I think your dedication and research is exemplary.


    Love you.  (biased)

    Julia Ford says:

    I love her too Cass but in a different way. She is an amazing woman and an amazing friend. xxx

    This post was edited by Former Member at April 10, 2015 7:44 PM BST
      April 10, 2015 7:40 PM BST
  • Can I be Devil's Advocate, ladies.  Here we are with a potential chicken and egg situation again.  You say - and by the way, I am not attepting to dismiss your conclusions - that " Thus over time, as the traits that marks a successful man and woman differs, it makes sense that there should be sexual dimorphism in brain structures."


    I agree that over time there should, indeed must have been shuch a shift and change.


    However, traits measured in same sex individuals - using various parameters of the Big Five model- show significant differnces between individuals.  Are these due to size of their various corpus collosae or to some other variant?


    Still not enugh evidence for me.  Like where you are going with this, though.


    Big hugs,


    Amanda - and love from Cat!


      April 11, 2015 4:24 PM BST