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September 9, 1974

Sexual Identity Conflict in Children and Adults

Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1974;229(11):1508-1509. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230490086045

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Verbatim data are presented from transsexual patients—children and adults—and their parents and partners. The emphasis is on men who wish to become women and to a lesser extent on women who wish to become men. The male "feels himself more woman than man," he "cannot bear to live as a man," seeking "full acceptance by society as a woman," requesting female hormones to bring his body contours closer to female proportions, pleading for "genital surgery to remove male anatomic insignia," and "a birth certificate designating female status."

"Feminine boys" are sissies, and "masculine girls" are tomboyish. The former often dress in female clothing, are poor mixers, take feminine identity in their own fantasies, choose toys usually selected by girls, avoid rough-and-tumble play and sports, and show considerable interest in play acting. This pattern is frequently recognized by the child and his parents at or before age 5. Psychological test studies