2011 Volume 14 Issue 2 Pages 166-189
Gender Identity Disorder (GID) is the mental disorder described in DSM-N-TR. Earlier literature speculated that the cause of GID is genetic or biological, and thus physical treatments are selected (over psychological treatments) in clinical settings. However, physical treatments of GID have many problems, such as the ignorance of diversity within gender identity and the invasiveness of medical operation. Moreover, a large number of studies indicate that the psychological difficulties people with GID experience have a negative impact on the mental health of these individuals. These facts suggest that psychological support is needed for people with GID in order to understand cross-gender transition and experience the process of social re-adaptation in cross-gender transition by means of semi-structured interview to FTM individuals.
Results from Modified Grounded Theory Approach (M-GTA) show the following three phases: “Discomfort towards previous adaptive condition and anxiety of diverting from that situation”, “Exploration and conflict of social adaptation to new gender”, “Autonomous re-construction of social adaptation and struggle with the dichotomous (i.e. male to female) sex”. Among these three phases, difficulties regarding sex distinction pose different meanings. Furthermore, in the third process (i.e. autonomous re-construction of social adaptation), FTM accepts one’s characteristic as a person beyond his/her sex and hope for a society where GID can be as he/she is. These results suggest that psychological professionals have a potential role in not only assisting people with cross-gender transition, but in the advocacy and empowerment of these individuals. Future research should broaden the scope of the present findings to MTF and aim to benefit the QOL of all GID people.