April 1973

Gender Identity Change in a Transsexual

Author Affiliations

Jackson, Miss
From the Department of Psychiatry, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1973;28(4):569-576. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1973.01750340089014

To our knowledge this case represents the first successful change of gender identity in a diagnosed transsexual. After initial attempts to change patterns of sexual arousal and suppress central transsexual fantasies failed, components of female role behavior in a 17year-old male transsexual were defined, measured, and modified piece by piece.

Male and female components of sitting, standing, and walking were identified and changed from feminine to masculine. Next, masculine social behavior and vocal characteristics were instigated; following this, male sexual fantasies were initiated and strengthened. At this point attempts to change patterns of sexual arousal from homosexual to heterosexual, which had failed earlier, were successful. In many instances the procedures were experimentally demonstrated to be responsible for changes. These data indicate that gender role may not be as inflexible as assumed.