A Christian, intra-religious translating dictionary
Gender identity terms & concepts
About gender identity:
The vast majority of people:
|Identify themselves as either male or female.|
||Have genitalia that are clearly either male or female.|
|Have either a XX chromosome or a XY chromosome in every cell of their body
indicating maleness or femaleness.|
Further, the vast majority of people are cisgendered:
|The gender that they identify themselves as matches their genitalia and
chromosomes. Some feel themselves to be a female, do have female internal and
external sex organs, and do have XX chromosomes in cells throughout their body.
Others feel themselves to be a male, do have male external sex organs, and do have XY chromosomes in cells throughout they body.
However, about 3 of every 1,000 persons will either:
- identify themselves as being of
one gender, while their genitalia and chromosomes point to the other gender, or
- identify themselves as having no gender, or
- identity themselves as having male and female gender at different times.
They are often referred to as transgender or transsexual. Their condition was often referred to as Gender Identity Disorder or GID. However, in 2012 the American Psychiatric Association, noting that this term was widely perceived as stigmatizing, replaced it with "Gender Dysphoria." "Dysphoria" means a state of unease or generalized dissatisfaction with one's life.
Some will describe having a permanent feeling of being a woman trapped in a
man's body, or vice versa. This is sometimes described as having a male brain in
a female body, or vice-versa. They can become profoundly depressed. Their
death rate was once estimated at 50% by the age of 30 -- usually by suicide. However, puberty blockers, hormone treatments, and sexual reassignment surgery, many transsexuals now look much closer in appearance to the gender with which they identify. The success of these treatmenets appear to have drastically reduced the suicide rate -- at least for persons who have the finances to afford the treatments.
that therapy, counseling, and/or prayer has had a zero success rate at resolving
their internal conflict.
Differences in terminology that prevent dialog and resolution:
|Common definition of terms and
concepts by religious conseratives
||Usage by others *
||"Confusion" implies uncertainty that might be curable through prayer or therapy; "identity" implies fixed and certainty.
|Gender is determined at birth, by the person's DNA and
||Gender is normally determined at birth. However, for transsexuals, gender identity is determined later in life.
||The difference generates a great deal of confusion, and makes
|Gender is immutable
|Gender can change.
|Gender is determined by objective criteria: genitalia and
|Gender is determined by subjective criteria -- the person's
|A male is a person with male genitalia and XY chromosomes
|A male is a person who sincerely identifies themselves to be male.
|A female is a person with female genitalia and XX chromosomes
|A female is a person who sincerely identifies themselves to be female.
|Resolution is by changing gender identity to bring it into
harmony with genetic gender via prayer and therapy
|Resolution is by changing physical appearance to bring it into
line with gender identity via hormones and, optionally, surgery.
||There is essentially no room for compromise between these two
|A transsexual who was identified as male at the time of birth and who transitions to female remains a male
|A transsexual who was identified as male at the time of birth and who transitions to female is a female and is accepted as female.
||The two practices depend upon whether gender is defined at birth or by gender identity later in life.
|A transsexual who was identified as female at the time of birth and who transitions to male remains a female
|A transsexual who was identified as female at the time of birth and who transitions to male is a male and is accepted as male.
|A transsexual who was identified as female at the time of birth and who transitions to male and is sexually attracted to women is a lesbian -- a person with a homosexual orientation.
|A transsexual who was identified as female at the time of birth and who transitions to male and is sexually attracted to women is a heterosexual.
||This is where things get a bit confusing.
|A transsexual who was identified as male at the time of birth and who transitions to female and is sexually attracted to men is gay -- with a homosexual orientation.
|A transsexual who was identified as male at the time of birth and who transitions to female and is sexually attracted to women is a lesbian.
Things really get confusing when one considers which marriages involving a transsexual are same-sex marriages and which are opposite-sex marriages.
* "Others" include most mental health professionals,
transgender persons, transsexuals, gays, lesbians,
bisexuals, religious liberals, social liberals, etc.
Copyright © 2009 to 2015 by Ontario Consultants on Religious
Originally written: 2009-JAN-15
Latest update and review: 2015-DEC-20
Author: B.A. Robinson