Copyright

Gender Identity Disorder: Definition and Social Perception of Gender Dysphoria

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Explaining and Treating Gender Identity Disorder

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:05 Gender Identity Disorder
  • 1:13 Diagnosis
  • 3:14 Historical & Changing Views
  • 5:35 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Speed Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Natalie Boyd

Natalie is a teacher and holds an MA in English Education and is in progress on her PhD in psychology.

What happens when someone is born a woman but feels like they should be a man? In this lesson, we'll look closer at gender identity disorder, its symptoms, and changing views on it as a mental disorder.

Gender Identity Disorder

In 1993, Brandon Teena was raped and murdered because his friends found out that he was born Teena Brandon. The man they'd been hanging out with, they discovered, was born a woman and they reacted violently to that news. In psychological terms, Brandon Teena had gender identity disorder, a psychological disorder that involves identifying with the opposite sex rather than the one a person was born as.

Gender identity disorder can be viewed as a discrepancy between sex and gender. Sex is based on the genitalia that you are born with: someone with a vagina is a woman, while someone with a penis is a man. On the other hand, gender is the sex with which you mentally identify.

In most people, sex and gender match: women feel like women and men feel like men. But in someone with gender identity disorder, their sex and gender are different. This can lead to people feeling like they are trapped in the wrong body. Brandon Teena, for example, had the sex of a woman but the gender of a man.

Diagnosis

Imagine that you are a psychologist and someone comes to see you. This person was born a woman, but dresses as a man and identifies himself as a man. He wants to go through sex reassignment surgery to become a man physically as well as mentally and emotionally, and his doctor has asked that he see you as part of a pre-operation procedure.

Most psychologists use a book called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, or DSM for short, to diagnose patients with mental disorders like gender identity disorder. The DSM is on its fifth version, called the DSM-5. However, the fourth edition, the DSM-IV, is more commonly used. So you're using the DSM-IV and you look up gender identity disorder. There's a checklist there of the symptoms of the disorder. It is:

  1. Persistently associating with the opposite sex. This identification should be mental and emotional and not tied to wanting to have the advantages of the opposite sex. For example, if your patient wanted to be a man merely because men are more respected and get paid better, you could not diagnose him with gender identity disorder.
  2. Feeling uncomfortable with your physical sex. Your patient, like other people with gender identity disorder, feels like he was born in the wrong body and is not comfortable with his female sex organs.
  3. The patient was not born with both sex organs. Sometimes, people are born with both male and female sex organs. A person who was born intersex has other biological explanations underlying their gender confusion and, therefore, is not considered to have gender identity disorder.
  4. The condition causes distress or impairment. If your patient is upset and/or is unable to succeed in his job or in social situations, they are experiencing distress and/or impairment.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account
Support