Social Question

polinsteve's avatar

What causes sexual dysphoria, nature or nurture?

Asked by polinsteve (329points) August 6th, 2010

Is it pre or post natal and do you consider it to be a mental illness.
Sexual (gender) dysphoria includes transsexuality, transgender identity, and transvestism.

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8 Answers

Frenchfry's avatar

I think they were born that way.I do not consider it a mental illness. Something in the genes. BUT I am not a expert.

Incinerator's avatar

I’m not either but I read a study long ago that proposed, pregnant women who were under great stress had a higher presentage of children that were later gay. PTSD is a real thing for people of any age. Perhaps it can effect a fetus as well. (Post Tramatic Stress Disorder)

tedd's avatar

I don’t think its as cut and dry as that. I’m sure that elements ranging from genetics to social upbringing to anything probably all have an effect on someones sexuality and how it develops/what it develops into.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I don’t think that cross-dressing should be listed with gender-identity issues. One is a kink, a fetish; the other is a deep identity issue. I’m no expert, so anyone who is please correct me.

polinsteve's avatar

Hello stranger_in_a_strange_land, please may I correct you? Most cross dressers/transvestites start at a very early age, 4 years of age and onwards is very common. Taking this to be the case and considering that sexual awakening typically starts in the early teens, is it likely to just be a kink? I think you will also find it to be as deep-rooted as any other sexual identity dis-order and likely to cause as much mental stress.

If you visualise a transvestite, what image comes to mind? What may be a “typical” transvestite profile?

MacBean's avatar

We’re born trans, not raised to be. And it’s a physical problem, not a mental one—it’s fixed by making the outside fit the inside, not the other way around.

Also, @stranger_in_a_strange_land, you’re right. Most transvestites are straight and don’t feel much if any actual dysphoria. They tend to know and be happy to be who they are.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@polinsteve If it manifests that early, then I agree with you that it’s more than a kink, might be an outward sign of gender issues. I don’t know what the statistics are, but my understanding is that most adult transvestites are heterosexual, some gays and lesbians might cross-dress but don’t consider themselves transvestites.My business partner is lesbian and often dresses quite “butch”, but doesn’t consider herself a transvestite. Anyone have any hard numbers?

downtide's avatar

I’m not an expert although I am transsexual (female to male). One theory is that it’s neither genetic nor a result of upbringing, but that it’s related to the hormones that the foetus is exposed to whilst in the womb. I don’t think it’s genetic, otherwise I would have expected there to be other transsexual or genderqueer people in my family, but there are none.

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