Only limited research has been carried out to determine the causes of gender and sexuality of the brain and genetics. Some of the findings are a starting block to a ‘real’ medical reasoning instead of societal one.
Why are TS’s the way they are
Most people including many TS’s feel that there were family problems whilst growing up, parent wanted a girl, a lack of a father figure. Or they were dressed in clothing of the opposite gender. Some feel that TS’s are simply confused.
A first and the most recent study was done by a Dr. Swaab of the Netherlands. He took post-mortem brains and examined them slice by slice to define differences in males and females. Eventually he encountered one.
He discovered a region of the brain called “the central subdivision of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis” or BSTc for short. It’s a tiny structure in the hypothalamus of the brain that seems to be linked to our gender identity. This section is bigger in men than it is in women by about 44 percent. The amazing thing he’s found is that in male-to-female transsexuals, the BSTc has female size, and in female-to-male transsexuals, it has male size. The size of this structure in the brain doesn’t seem to be affected by hormonal changes, aside from perhaps during foetal development.
This research suggests that gender is determined in the brain prenatally. However, the sample of transsexual brains were small. It was limited to ten, mainly due to the very difficulty of finding undamaged post-mortem brain tissue. Die to the sample size , most view this research as interesting, but highly inconclusive. Thus research would need to be carried out on a larger scale and repeated before it would be considered conclusive.
Recently research has been conducted at UCLA. Dr. Eric Vilain has been researching human genetics and how they affect pre-natal development prior to hormones. He and his team have discovered 54 genes that link to gender. Prior to this discovery, it was believed that hormones did everything in distinguishing the body between males and females. However, these genes are activated before the SRY gene switches on. That’s the gene responsible for the testosterone hormone wash in the Y chromosome.
Of the 54 genes, 18 were produced at higher levels in the male, and 36 were produced at higher levels in the female. This research could help to determine where the transgender phenomenon comes from. It may have everything to do with why transsexuals report feeling that they were born in the wrong body. As of now the research continues and I am sure that eventually we will find that answer. It is just a matter of medical interest then the transgendered community may have a solid base in society.
Transsexuality (also known as transsexualism) is one of a number of behaviours or states collectively referred to as transgender , which is generally considered an umbrella term for people who do not conform to typical gender roles . However, many in the transsexual community do not identify as transgendered. Some see transgender as subsuming and erasing their identity, rejecting the term for themselves because to them it implies a breaking down of gender roles, when in fact they see themselves as fitting a gender role – just not the one they were assigned at birth.
A transsexual (sometimes transsexual ) person establishes a permanent identity with the opposite gender to their assigned (usually at birth) sex . Transsexual men and women make or desire to make a transition from their birth sex to that of the opposite sex, with some type of medical alteration ( gender reassignment therapy ) to their body. The stereotypical explanation is of a “woman trapped in a man’s body” or vice versa , although many members of the transsexual community, as well as some outside the community, reject this formulation. For the exact wording of formal diagnosis , see gender identity disorder .
The minimum requirements for a person to be considered transsexual are debated. Some feel that hormone -induced changes, without surgical changes, are sufficient to qualify for the label transsexual . Others, especially health care providers, believe there is a certain set of procedures that must always be completed. The general public often defines “a transsexual” as someone who had or plans to have a ” sex change ” surgery. The current term in widest use for modification of sexual characteristics is sex reassignment surgery (SRS), a term which reflects the belief that transsexual people do not consider themselves to be changing their sex, but to be correcting their bodies. However, it is also often accepted (and is also evident in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual ) that to express desire to be of the opposite sex, or to assert that one is of the sex opposite to the one with which they were identified at birth, constitutes being transsexual. (This does not include delusions about ones current sex.) In contrast, some transgender people often do not identify as being of or wanting to be the opposite sex , but as being of or wanting to be another gender