DISORDERS OF GENDER IDENTITY/ROLE. TRANSPOSITIONS VERSUS INTRUSIONS OR DISPLACEMENTS

Gender identity/role disorders occur most frequently in people with normal external and internal reproductive anatomy. Sexual pathways of the central nervous system (CNS) do not show gross morphological changes to which gender identity/role disorders might be attributed. This is not surprising, since one would expect CNS functions mediating such disorders to be related to the dynamics of neurochemistry, specifically of neurotransmitters, and thresholds of arousal and inhibition in neuro-sexual pathways. Identification and measurement of these functions is not technically possible at the present time.

Some clinicians use the term disorder in connection with gender identity/role, to refer only to male-female transpositions. Sometimes known as gender dysphorias, these transpositions contain the syndromes of transsexualism and transvestism. They also may include homosexualism and bisexualism, though neither of these need be considered pathologies or disorders (see below).

Other clinicians include in the category of disordered gender identity /role all the paraphilias. Paraphilia refers to a condition in which sexual arousal and performance is dependent on highly specific imagery, perceived or remembered, other than imagery of the erotic partner. A paraphilia may be benign or noxious. The imagery of a paraphilia, as in fetishism, for example, may be in the nature of an imagistic intrusion, to be associated with the erotic image of the partner, or it may be rather a displacement or substitute for the erotic image of a partner, in whole or in part. A paraphilia can be regarded as a part of gender identity/ role in that it is essential to the person’s masculine or feminine erotic functioning. Thus for the male sadist, his masculine gender identity/role in its erotic manifestation is dependent on remembered or enacted sadistic imagery.

The list of the paraphilias is long. It includes, for example, masochism and sadism, rape and lust murder, voyeurism and exhibitionism, pedophilia and gerontophilia, amputeephilia (apotemnophilia), zoophilia, klismaphilia, coprophilia, urophilia, necrophilia, fetishism, and so on.

The transposition syndromes generally are classified along with the intrusion or displacement syndromes as paraphilias. There is not total professional consensus, however, especially in those cases of homosexualism (and by extension, bisexualism) in which the perceived or remembered imagery of erotic arousal and performance is concordant with the body and the person of the same-sexed, pair-bonded partner, the latter itself being the only unorthodoxy. Transvestism, because of its associated fetishistic dependency on clothing, qualifies as a paraphilia. So also does transexualism, for the transsexual person can function erotically only by reason of having or imagining having a body reassigned and transformed from that of the sex of birth.

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Posted on Tuesday, April 7th, 2009 at 4:47 am and is filed under Men's Health-Erectile Dysfunction. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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