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Transgender People ValidatedBy Aussie Research

Aussie researchers have reported finding a link between a gene and the production of testosterone in Male to Female transsexuals. After some ground breaking research on this condition which still baffles many people, there finally seems to be some light at the end of the tunnel.

The transsexual condition known in the medical field as Gender Dysphoria has long been a part of society dating back to Roman times. There are reports of crude sex change surgeries being done with stones and primitive tools. Throughout the ages the phenomenon has continued. Regardless of much skepticism by many in the medical profession the condition is still shrouded in controversy and often misunderstood, regardless of thousands seeking sex re-assignment surgery every year.

112 M2F transsexual volunteers underwent the study, and most of them were found to have a longer androgen receptor gene, resulting in a weaker distribution of testosterone in the individual. Testing was done on three specific genes involved in sexual development. These included the receptors for androgen and oestrogen and an enzyme that converts testosterone to oestrogen.

“We think that these genetic differences might reduce testosterone action and under-masculinise the brain during fetal development,” said Lauren Hare from Prince Henry’s Institute of Medical Research.

This evidence validates what many transgender people already believe to be fact. It was also stressed that other genes and biological factors may also play a part in forming one’s gender identity.

In the past there have been tests on the similarities between transgender brains and female brains but nothing conclusive due to a major lack of study in this field. Co-author Professor Vincent Harley added: “There is a social stigma that transsexualism is simply a lifestyle choice; however our findings support a biological basis of how gender identity develops.”

Hopefully these findings will not only help better educate society, but also those in the medical profession who treat those born with gender dysphoria.

Many transgender people have believed for the longest time that biology had been the cause. I myself believe this as my earliest memories were that of wanting to be a girl even before I learnt to spell. Hopefully further studies like this will prove beyond a shadow of doubt that the phenomenon is a natural occurrence, leading to social acceptance of transgender people.

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Comments

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Leece

Leece said on the 27th Oct, 2008

its about time they did resurch on us.
i get sick of been told i am a freak or it is some sort of wild fantasy

meezon04

meezon04 said on the 27th Oct, 2008

That is brilliant - and I agree it is about time!

GenesisInVain

GenesisInVain said on the 27th Oct, 2008

amen :) your word is good and its about time!

atari

atari said on the 27th Oct, 2008

While there may well be a biological basis for my own sense of sex (like dreadcircus, but in the opposite direction - I wanted to be a boy before I could spell - and very much fit the 'FTM transsexual box') I find it frustrating that such research is necessary to legitimise my experience, and more broadly have reservations about the medicalisation of gender (for this often reinforces a very rigid binary system of sex that contradicts both sociological and biological understandings of sex).

I feel research like this is similar in objective to the search for the 'gay gene' - and ultimately fear that the findings could well be used to enforce heterosexism and transphobia (at worst perhaps using it to screen for deviations from hetersexuality and 'normative gender expression').

Ultimately, I'd rather the world concentrated on accepting, acknowledging and affirming diversity.

Eek. Rant over.

ZoeB

ZoeB said on the 27th Oct, 2008

This isn't the strongest evidence we have of this - but it is another piece of the puzzle.

akkaz

akkaz said on the 27th Oct, 2008

Biology is part of the cause I think, its not the whole answer, but a step in the right direction for TG people.

darrard

darrard said on the 28th Oct, 2008

It is good to see this research and although the research will not be published until early next year the direct link to the Prince henry Institute press release is http://www.princehenrys.org/news/media_releases/genetic_link_to_gender_identity.htm

As per this press release there is a lot of scientific work to be done in validating the research, not the people, the acceptance and validation of people is something we can all do, or not, already. I agree with atari that while we should welcome the pushing back of knowledge frontiers we need to always ensure our focus on acceptance and celebration of diversity as a neccesary prerequisite to ensuring that new knowledge, such as this, is used wisely and appropriately.

taylor-dayne

taylor-dayne said on the 30th Oct, 2008

let's hope this isn't used against the transgender community ... like screening them out in future etc.

dreadcircus

dreadcircus said on the 30th Oct, 2008



Yeh this is the fear. Now that they have answers in our genes... Now they can play Hitler and stamp out the "problem". I had a dream last night about this subject. It was like clockwork orange as they made me watch movies on how to be a man whilst placing drops in my eyes...

Creepy

Asherbella

Asherbella said on the 1st Nov, 2008

Yes, I agree. Transgender affinity and surgical sex re-assignment isn't a recreational fashion trend into the cutting edge world of 'androgyny chic' or something. It's a legitimate bio-psycho-social condition that deserves clinical credibility and ethical sensitivity.

I can't even imagine the psychic & biological trauma of having been born the wrong gender. Who'd voluntarily want to be (thought of as) such a misfit?