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Transgender persons and transsexuals.


2017: A detailed discussion in 9 essays
about why some people are transgender:

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A transgender woman 1

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Why are some people transgender?

That is: why does a small group of people -- about 0.6% of all adults, and a larger percentage of children -- strongly feel that their gender does not match the sex with which they were identified at birth?

This is not something that they choose. Many explain that they have a female brain controlling a male body, or vice-versa. The conflict between their gender identity and the sex of their body is often debilitating, leading to depression, anxiety, and sometimes suicidal ideation. On the order of 40% of transgender individual attempt suicide one or more times during their lifetime.

Being transgender is not generally considered to be a mental illness by most therapists and counselors. However, some of the results of their gender/sex conflict are severe. This conflict is referred to by mental health professionals as gender dysplasia.

As with so many topics related to human sexuality, major differences in beliefs concerning transgender topics often exist among:

  • Religious conservatives, including fundamentalist Christians, other evangelicals, Roman Catholics, etc., along with social and political conservatives, etc.,


  • The transgender/transsexual community, the rest of the LGBT community, religious liberals, including Atheists, Agnostics, NOTAs (those who are NOT Affiliated with a religion), secularists, 2 etc., along with social and political liberals, most human sexuality researchers, therapists, & most of the rest of the medical community.

In this essay, for simplicity, we will simply refer to these groups as "conservatives" and "liberals."

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Topics covered in this section:

  • Part 1: Working toward a future consensus. Major articles on gender identity and transition in the popular print media: in Scientific American and National Geographic magazines.

  • Part 2: Conservative & liberal beliefs. How many genders are there?

  • Part 3: A special case: Persons with Complete Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (CAIS). They have some experiences similar to being transgender

  • Part 4: Why are some people transgender? Research findings, based on imaging studies or autopsies of brains.

  • Part 5: Beliefs expressed by conservative religious sources.

  • Part 6: More beliefs among conservatives.

  • Part 7: Beliefs expressed by ten Roman Catholic cardinals & bishops

  • Part 8: Beliefs of another Catholic bishop & patriarch. Beliefs by additional conservative Protestant groups.

  • Part 9: Some more liberal religious beliefs on transsexuality.

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Reference used:

The following information source was used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlink is not necessarily still active today.

  1. Anonymous woman, almost certainly not transgender. Photo credit: Pixabay at: (Creative Commons CC0)

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Copyright 2017 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally posted on: 2017-JAN-19
Most recent update: 2017-JAN-31
B.A. Robinson
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