August 1979

Gender Identity Change in TranssexualsFollow-up and Replications

Author Affiliations

From the Section of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Brown University (Dr Barlow), Providence, RI; the Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University (Dr Abel), New York; and the Department of Psychology, State University of New York (Dr Blanchard), Albany.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1979;36(9):1001-1007. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1979.01780090087009

• An apparently successful change in gender identity of an adolescent transsexual was reported several years ago. Gender-specific motor behavior, appropriate sex role social behavior, cognitive sexual activity, and finally sexual arousal patterns were defined, measured, and sequentially modified. In this report, a 61/2-year follow-up is presented and the application of a similar therapeutic package to two additional cases is described. In the first case, sweeping changes in gender identity, sex-role behavior, and sexual arousal patterns were observed. In the second of these cases, rigid feminine gender was given up, but the patient chose to retain homosexual arousal. Social adaptation was satisfactory. These findings and other recent developments point to the possibility of psychosocial intervention as an alternative to surgery in the treatment of transsexualism.