Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 4, Issue 6, pp 639–656 | Cite as

A body image scale for evaluating transsexuals

  • Thomas W. Lindgren
  • Ira B. Pauly


Body image has come to mean not only the way one perceives his body but also how one feels about these perceptions. It is an important part of one's total self-concept. As such, it can present a significant problem for many individuals. For individuals with gender identity problems, such as transsexuals, body image dissatisfaction and distortion are a fundamental aspect of their condition. It is possible to more fully understand this condition by appreciating the distinction between the reality of the transsexual's body and his preferred body image. The Body Image (BI-1) scale presented here represents an effort to quantify the transsexual's body attitude. It consists of 30 body features which the subject is asked to rate on a 5-point scale of satisfaction. This test, as part of a larger seven-test battery, was administered to 16 male and 16 female transsexuals. The data have been analyzed for comparisons between males and females, for the effects of endocrinological and surgical treatment on body attitude, and for the common denominators which characterize the transsexual's body attitude. This instrument is being used as an additional tool in evaluating the transsexual's request for sex-reassignment surgery and in following those individuals who have been accepted for treatment as they progress through the evaluation and treatment program.

Key words

transsexualism body image sex reassignment hormone treatment 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas W. Lindgren
    • 1
  • Ira B. Pauly
    • 2
  1. 1.University of Oregon Medical SchoolPortlandUSA
  2. 2.Columbia Psychiatric ClinicPortlandUSA

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