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Question 3C: GID has been replaced by the DMS-V with Gender Dysphoria, which is a more sympathetic term for the transgender community. Gender Dysphoria (GD) is defined as a clear incongruence between a person’s experienced and assigned gender of at a minimum of six months, accompanied with clinically substantial distress or impairment in social, professional, or other significant areas of functioning (Bockting, 2015). People who have ongoing GD usually have an experienced gender identity that contrasts considerably from their anatomical self and they may contemplate altering their gender role and medically changing their body to attain greater wellbeing with themselves (Bockting, 2015). This issues remains controversial because some believe it is psychopathologizing the experience, but at least it does allow people to get the affordable health care they need (Bockting, 2015).

In my opinion, GD should remain on the DSM until a cause can be determined. Some theorized causes of GD are hormonal: excess female hormones from the mother’s system or by the foetus’s insensitivity to hormones (AIS) (Mandal, 2013). Other theorized causes are congenital adrenal hyperplasia, intersex conditions, chromosomal abnormalities, and defects in normal human bonding and child rearing (Mandal, 2013). In addition, I remember watching a documentary that noticed differences in brain imaging in people with GD than others. I am sure that like most disorders, GD is an interplay of multiple factors that contribute to a person’s development of GD and it may be very difficult to pinpoint one cause. Because of this, the fact that I believe there is an explainable cause (just not known), I believe GD should remain on the DSM.

I understand that people who have GD do not want to be stigmatized as mentally ill, and I do not want them to feel wrong or “sick” for feeling differently than the norm. In addition, I know that people who argue that it should not be labeled a disease/disorder/dysphoria/illness state that it is just a human variation (Whalen, 2012). Maybe it is my inability to fully empathize, but I cannot see how a “normal” human variation would lead a person to want to anatomically/socially change his/her gender; this desire does not seem like normal coping. Normal coping, to me, would be accepting your anatomical sex but just desiring to do the opposite gender’s roles/activities/styles. For example, a woman can still be a woman but do whatever stereotypical male thing she desires without actually wanting to be male.