The diagnosis of Gender Identity Disorder is a controversial one, not unlike the controversy that arose in the 1970s regarding the DSM's inclusion of homosexuality as a diagnosable mental disorder. For this reason, the criteria and name of Gender Identity Disorder (GID) will likely be changed in the upcoming revision to the DSM.
In order for someone to be diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder today, they must exhibit a strong and persistent cross-gender identification (not merely a desire for any perceived cultural advantages of being the other sex). In children, the disturbance is manifested by four (or more) of the following:
In adolescents and adults, the disturbance is manifested by symptoms such as a stated desire to be the other sex, frequent passing as the other sex, desire to live or be treated as the other sex, or the conviction that he or she has the typical feelings and reactions of the other sex.
Persistent discomfort with his or her sex or sense of inappropriateness in the gender role of that sex.
In adolescents and adults, the disturbance is manifested by symptoms such as preoccupation with getting rid of primary and secondary sex characteristics (e.g., request for hormones, surgery, or other procedures to physically alter sexual characteristics to simulate the other sex) or belief that he or she was born the wrong sex.
The disturbance is not concurrent with a physical intersex condition.
The disturbance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
These are the proposed criteria for adults and teenagers for the upcoming DSM-V.
A. A marked incongruence between one's experienced/expressed gender and assigned gender, of at least 6 months duration, as manifested by 2 or more of the following indicators:
B. The condition is associated with clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning, or with a significantly increased risk of suffering, such as distress or disability**
Post-transition, i.e., the individual has transitioned to full-time living in the desired gender (with or without legalization of gender change) and has undergone (or is undergoing) at least one cross-sex medical procedure or treatment regimen, namely, regular cross-sex hormone treatment or gender reassignment surgery confirming the desired gender (e.g., penectomy, vaginoplasty in a natal male, mastectomy, phalloplasty in a natal female).
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 8 Sep 2011
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