About Harry Benjamin Syndrome (HBS) or Transsexuality (TS)
HBS/TS is a mistery.
Why someone that has normal genitals with a typical sexual development would feel and self-identify as pertaining to the opposite sex?
Psychiatrists and psychologists immediately concluded: they have a mental problem! They have not a correct perception of REALITY!
From then on, to have any help, these people were considered to have a mental problem - a lack of correct perception of reality.
The point was, psychologists and psychiatrists - as doctors and families, including the law - understood some aspects of "reality" from a particular point of view:
- 1. The gender/sex bipolarity was "normal" and "radical", in an absolute (ideological) point of view;
- 2. The absolute determination of gender by genital conformation as an absolute (ideological) reality;
- 3. Each individual that would not perceive reality THAT WAY would surely not perceive (ideological) "reality" in the proper way, and would need a mental evaluation and mental treatment;
- 4. Any body change, mainly genital correction would not be a "correction" but a "crime" against the individual (due to its lack of good perception of reality), against society, against "God".
On one point, almost all therapists agreed: Someone that would like to "change sex", would necessarily be really a " radical homosexual". A kind of "foolish" homosexual - for whom to be a homosexual would not be enough, to change the body would be also necessary.
Then, someone that shows the necessity to "change sex" and was not a "homosexual" would be really absolutely unexpected. To change sex M to F and later act as a lesbian! Or vice versa as a gay man! Foolishness! A kind of "autogynephylia" or a kind of "autoandrophylia".
REMARK! TAKE CARE!
WHEN ENGLISH SPEAKING PEOPLE STARTS MIXING UP LATIN WITH GREAK - THAT MEANS THEY DON'T KNOW ABOUT WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT!
All these reactions to the FACT that gender identity IS NOT DEFINED by the genitals - nor the chromosomes, nor any other simple one cause - one effect, mislead the "experts", most up until today.
Another important FACT was, for almost all the time, the "experts" ignored that the self-perception is something erected THROUGH THE BRAIN, and so the brain is necessarily important in that erection of gender identity.
Since the 60's, Dr.Gunther D�rner, Ph.D., the head of the Department of Endocrinology of Humboldt University in Berlin (East side of Berlin then) started researching the sex differentiation of the brain - in rats and other rodends. He perceived, when he destroied parts of the brains of the rats, they changed their sexual posture. Original males showed "female lordosis" positions, and vice versa. The genitals were normal, the genetics were normal, the brains were manipulated.
In a way, the rat "self-perception" changed, changing the brain.
Dr.D�rner was generating "transsexual rats" in laboratory.
Unfortunately, the own researcher did not understand correctly his own results - in the 60's and 70's even 80's transsexuality was not the problem but homosexuality - and he interpreted his results as if the rats were changing from heterosexual rats to homosexual ones.
That way, his research was not accepted very well in Western world, and most of his research was almost wasted with time.
At the same time, in USA, Dr.John Money, Ph.D., stated TWO BIG DOGMAS:
1. That someone HUMAN "learns to be a boy or a girl as learns a language".
2. Only humans have gender identities - other animals even primates did have no sense of identity at all!
At the same time he did show David Reimer as the evidence, the sure evidence of his research and conclusions. Later, through Dr.Milton Diamond, Ph.D. and the journalist John Colapinto, the world knew David Reimer's results were a fake (later he took suicide), and he never learned how to be a girl.
Gunther D�rner was much more near the reality than John Money - and we took the wrong way.
The brain is the core part where all our self-perceptions are formed - including about gender.
The differentiation processes that govern the sexual differentiation of basal parts of the brain as stria terminalis, hypothalamus, amydalas and other parts of the lymbic system, is different when compared with the genital tissues differentiation. They happen with different controls, at different moments during gestation. And a lot of experiences with Rhesus shows these basal brain parts are well developed and formed at birth for all primAtes, including man. So, as I stated in 1995, and was published in Brazil in 1998 ("Meu Sexo Real"- Martha Freitas (my pseudonym) - Vozes Editors, 1998), the gender identity is erected in the brain, and its core kernel part is the basal brain - and in primates, that formation happens during gestation - and may be in NEURODISCORD OF GENDER in relation to the genital tissues.
That term, Gender Neurodiscord (Neurodiscord�ncia de G�nero - the original in Portuguese), was established by us - Dr.Dorina Epps Quaglia,MD, Ph.D.; Dr.Jalma Jurado, MD, Ph.D.; Dr.Julio Cezar Meirelles Gomes, MD, Ph.D. and myself, after a meeting held in Brazil about these matters, and later was considered in some papers.
Let's consider again the old points of view:
- 1. Gender is a bipolarity. Simply, it IS NOT A BIPOLARITY. It is a spectrum, where extreme events as gender neurodiscord - or transsexuality or Harry Benjamin Syndrome - surely happen. Happen at low probabilities, they are rare, as big earthquaques
< are rare. But they exist and they ARE REAL, they are a part of reality.
- 2. Gender IS NOT DETERMINED BY THE GENITAL CONFORMATION. That is a simplification that leads to big mistakes. Gender identity is related to the brain - the brain is a part of the body. The brain need not to be in harmony with the genital tissues, due to the fact that the formation processes are different, with different controls, organized in different ways at different moments. The brain processes are much more complex than the genital ones, and both are complex and no simple relations exists among them.
- 3. The perception of reality is not based in Gaussian means only. Reality is something extremely complex, something that need Quantum Physics for some scales and Relativity Theory for others. Reality is in our scale much times fractal, self-similar, extreme events may happen and are real. The old simplicity - and the elimination of the unexpected as "abnormal" was the problem of lack of reality. The problem was in a superficial perception of "science" by "experts" and not in the subjects suffering from a gender neurodiscord - or a HBS/TS.
- 4. Why someone that feels bad with a part of the body, may not have the best correction to feel a whole person, in inner harmony?
Also gender neurodiscords (HBS/TS) are not foolish gays or lesbians. Nor nothing of that kind.
Extreme events happen. They happen in Nature. They happen inside our brains, inside our lives.
The HBS-Harry Benjamin Syndrome (gender neurodiscord or TS-transsexuality) is a radical development of gender identity, since the womb - perceived as since the first childhood - in an unexpected way - as an extreme event among all possible states determined by gender identity development.
It has a possibility of "diagnosis" (our Gendercare Web-based method we believe is the best for that evaluation/diagnosis), may be easily recognized, is rare, is extreme, and need medical help.
It is not necessarily related to a mental problem - very rarely it is related to a mental problem, and when that happens, the mental problem is not the cause, but one effect from a suffered life.
The medical help HBS/TS needs are a good and fast evaluation (as Gendercare's), later transition (MtF or FtM), with hormone therapy until the desired SRS-sex reassignment surgery, and a perfect post-op follow up - and from then on, the patient needs to live as a normal woman or a normal man - among the local society.
So, there is an explanation for HBS/transsex, and there is a cure - to assign the person properly to have inner and social harmony.