Outcomes of Treatment for Gender Dysphoria

Carroll, Richard A.
September 1999
Journal of Sex Education & Therapy;1999, Vol. 24 Issue 3, p128
Academic Journal
This paper reviews the empirical research on the psychosocial outcomes of treatment for gender dysphoria. Recent research has highlighted the heterogeneity of transgendered experiences. There are tour possible outcomes for patients who present with the dilemma of gender dysphoria: an unresolved outcome, acceptance of one's given gender, engaging in a cross-gender role on a part-time basis, and making a full-time transition to the other gender role. Clinical work, but not empirical research, suggests that some individuals with gender dysphoria may come to accept their given gender role through psychological treatment. Many individuals find that it is psychologically sufficient to express the transgendered part of themselves through such activities as cross-dressing or gender blending. The large body of research on the outcome of gender reassignment surgery indicates that, for the majority of those who undergo this process, the outcome is positive. Predictors of a good outcome include good pre-reassignment psychological adjustment, family support, at least l year of living in the desired role, consistent use of hormones, psychological treatment, and good surgical outcomes. The outcome literature provides strong support for adherence to the Standards of Care of the Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association. Implications to be drawn from this research include an appreciation of the diversity of transgendered experience, the need for more research on non-reassignment resolutions to gender dysphoria, and the importance of assisting the transgendered individual to identify the resolution that best suits him or her.


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