, Volume 36, Issue 1, pp 117-118
Date: 30 Dec 2006

Exploring Transsexualism

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The idea that surgery can be used to help a transsexual person to change their physical sex and confirm their core gender identity is not only incorrect, it is “mad.” What then is the alternative for someone who comes presenting all the characteristic features of transsexualism? Psychological solutions, particularly psychoanalysis. In a nutshell, this is the thesis and recommendation that emerges in this short book. Chiland does not argue that psychoanalysis has all of the answers, but rather argues that it is a more fruitful domain to explore than surgery itself. By so arguing, Chiland positions herself at various points against the Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association (recently renamed the World Professional Association of Transgender Health), the French government (which since 1992 has recognized change of sex in civil status records for those in whom the “syndrome of transsexualism” is present), and the vast majority of transsexual people described in the book.