Abnormal psych research paper

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Gender Identity Disorder
Chelsie Davis
Abnormal Psychology
Psyc 4153
01 April 2011

Abstract

Gender identity disorder is a disorder in which people suffer from relentless feelings that an error has been made in which gender they have been born. Sufferers of this disorder are extremely confused and agitated on a constant basis in their everyday lives. Most people with gender identity disorder will live pretending to be the sex or gender that they believe they should have been. These people are many times disgusted with their own bodies and feel a disconnect with who they feel that they are and who they see when they look in the mirror; this causes them to question their own identity, depression, sadness, among others. Several people that suffer from gender identity disorder become suicidal. The unhappiness and depression from the confusion that they feel every day many times becomes so unrelenting and unbearable that they feel suicide is the only way to put a stop to all of the pain and confusion that they feel. Many people argue that this disorder should not be classified as a psychological disorder, but instead, a medical condition. They believe that this is a condition that simply causes unhappiness like many other medical conditions and should be classified they same way. This view point on gender identity disorder could possibly be a more valid way to diagnose and treat the disorder, however, psychologists stand firm in the belief that this disorder is psychological and should be treated as such. This disorder differs from the majority of psychological disorders in that “men with gender identity disorder outnumber women by around 2 to 1” (Comer 2010, p.445). And, although it is surprising to find that there are more men than women with this disorder, it only affects a very minute percent of adults, “considerably less than 1 percent” (Comer 2010, p.445). There are several treatments for gender identity disorder such as psychotherapy, biological interventions, hormone treatments and sex-change surgery. While the others seem to work in certain situations, sex-change surgery is on the rise. It has become a very popular solution to those people who seek to be a different gender and has even grown to be more socially acceptable in most recent years. In 1993, 21 year-old Teena Brandon was murdered in Falls City, Nebraska essentially because of her gender identity disorder. Shortly after, in 1999, the movie Boys Don’t Cry, a depiction of Teena Brandon’s story, was released. This movie was controversial and disturbing to most that viewed it, and it served as an “eye-opener” for viewers as to what gender identity disorder was like and the struggles and emotions that go along with it. In the movie, Teena Brandon, who mainly goes by the name Brandon, is what seems to be a charming, fun, caring young man. What most people around him are not aware of is that Brandon, the charismatic, free-loving young guy, is really a girl. She runs around her hometown of Lincoln, Nebraska pretending to be a boy, the gender she believes she was supposed to be born as, dating the young girls and trying to live her life as a boy. Problems arise when many people in town find out about her gender. She meets some people at a bar and returns to Falls City with them. She enjoys all the new and exciting things she gets to experience with her new group of friends. She does everything she can think of to fit in with “the guys”, she gets drunk and rough houses with them trying to set in stone her male identity. Brandon, always looking for girls, meets Lana, a 19-year-old factory worker and friend of the group that Brandon has been hanging out with. Brandon immediately falls head over heels for Lana and will do anything to be with her. Although Lana is also attracted to Brandon, John, a member of the group of friends, loves Lana as well and wants to keep the two of them apart. As Lana and Brandon fall deeper and deeper in…