A Critique of Gender Identity Disorder and its Application

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Title: A Critique of Gender Identity Disorder and its Application
Authors: Macdonald-Labelle, Stefan
Date: 2012-01
Abstract: For some, Gender Identity Disorder (GID) becomes the only way to achieve sex reassignment surgery (SRS). It will be shown that GID acts as a problematic regulatory mechanism based on its application. It will be argued that GID normalizes a dichotomous view of gender. In this way, GID’s implicit applications allow the mental health professional to assert their views of what proper gendered behavior is, further normalizing a binary view of gender. Insurance companies require a GID diagnosis in order to provide economic assistance to those wishing to undergo sex reassignment surgery. Those who cannot afford to transition must fall under GID’s gaze in order to achieve SRS. This will be shown to be unacceptable and a way in which GID operates as a regulatory mechanism. Appealing to a GID diagnosis can further stigmatize the individual who wishes to transition due to the necessitation of distress as an explicit mechanism of diagnosis. Having to fall under GID may internalize the negative aspects of the diagnosis. A criticism of GID as a form of psychopathology will be given and also be linked to the idea of GID as a regulatory apparatus. It will be shown that there should be no link between ethical discomfort and GID-free sex reassignment surgery. Also, it will be shown that psychopathology has normalizing capabilities that further entrench gender binaries. It is important to consider the removal of GID from the DSM, but, as a condition, still offer funding for sex reassignment surgery without having to appeal to a mental health professional’s assessment.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/34381
DOI: DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18192/riss-ijhs.v2i2.1520
CollectionRevue interdisciplinaire des sciences de la santé // Interdisciplinary Journal of Health Sciences
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