May 5, 2010

Master thesis on transgender narratives, including autogynephilia

I have found a very interesting paper for you. It is a master thesis called They Need Labels: Contemporary Institutional and Popular Frameworks for Gender Variance, written by Ophelia Bradley.

Ms. Bradley manages to give a very intelligent and insightful analysis of both the socio-cultural aspects of transgender issues, as well as the different types of research done in this area. And she does so without becoming too politicized or partial.

The review of current biological research on sex, gender and transsexuals is very useful, and her handling of the current transgender controversy ("classic transsexuals" vs. "transgender") is interesting.

Here is the abstract:

"This study addresses the complex issues of etiology and conceptualization of gender variance in the modern West. By analyzing medical, psychological, and popular approaches to gender variance, I demonstrate the highly political nature of each of these paradigms and how gender variant individuals engage with these discourses in the elaboration of their own gender identities.

I focus on the role of institutional authority in shaping popular ideas about gender variance and the relationship of gender variant individuals who seek medical intervention towards the systems that regulate their care.

Also relevant are the tensions between those who view gender variance as an expression of an essential cross-sex gender (as in traditional transsexual narrative) and those who believe that gender is socially constructed and non-binary. I finally argue that the standards of treatment for gender variant individuals pertains more to the medical legitimization of their identities than with necessarily improving outcomes."

You can download it here.

Discuss crossdreamer and transgender issues!