chapter  6
72 Pages

Transsexualism and Transvestism

Transsexual males appear at psychiatric clinics for an operation to change them into women. They express a persistent wish to be a member of the opposite sex; which is epitomized by the desire for sex reassignment surgery. Their external anatomy is usually normal and male, although many have already received some form of hormonal treatment and electrolysis for hair removal to be more convincingly feminine. Transsexuals argue that they are really females trapped in male bodies; that nature made a mistake. They often stick to their conviction rather firmly. They simply want a psychiatrist to approve an operation to have their penises and testicles removed and to create artificial vaginas. At times they may be very convincing females, such as Mr. A. His psychiatrist described their first encounter as follows:

On the other hand, some patients who appear for sex change surgery are the most unconvincing females. They may come to the clinic dressed in male attire or as a female but with black facial beard showing under heavy rouge and lipstick and a body build that suggests they might make a good football player.