Robert Stoller’s Sex and Gender: 40 Years On
- 856 Downloads
By its title, Sex and Gender announced a conceptual breakthrough in distinguishing basic elements of human experience. In Robert Stoller’s first book, patients illustrating this divergence were lucidly presented. Transvestites and the newly publicized transsexuals were two examples. Clinical and dynamic distinctions between the two formed a basis for Stoller’s criteria for patient selection for “sex change.” They remain current. The complex identity of the intersexed was described with sensitivity and insight. It, too, remains timely. An innovative description of the genesis of boyhood transsexualism was presented in considerable detail. This finding is less commonly reported today but is also not looked for. Stoller was sympathetic to the request for sex change. He credited a biological contribution to the development of masculinity and femininity. Both stances were remarkable for a psychoanalyst. Robert Stoller introduced the term “gender identity.” It is now our vocabulary when we articulate this bedrock of personhood.
KeywordsGender identity Transsexualism Transvestism Intersexuality Psychoanalysis
This essay is modified from an invited address at the Robert Stoller Foundation, Los Angeles, CA, 20 November 2009.
- Benjamin, H. (1966). The transsexual phenomenon. New York: Julian Press.Google Scholar
- Cairns, K. (1997). Counseling the partners of heterosexual male cross-dressers. Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, 6, 297–306.Google Scholar
- Chiland, C. (1988). Transvestism and transsexualism. International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 79, 156–159.Google Scholar
- Docter, R. (1988). Transvestites and transsexuals: Toward a theory of cross-gender behavior. New York: Plenum.Google Scholar
- Green, R. (1974). Sexual identity conflict in children and adults. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
- Green, R. (1987). The “sissy boy syndrome” and the development of homosexuality. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
- Green, R., & Money, J. (Eds.). (1969). Transsexualism and sex reassignment. Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins Press.Google Scholar
- Green, R., Stoller, R. J., & MacAndrew, C. (1966). Attitudes toward sex transformation procedures. Archives of General Psychiatry, 15, 178–182.Google Scholar
- Intersex Society of North America. (1994). Recommendations for treatment. Available at www.isna.org.
- Money, J., Hampson, J. G., & Hampson, J. L. (1955a). Hermaphroditism: Recommendations concerning assignment of sex, change of sex, and psychologic management. Bulletin of the John Hopkins Hospital, 97, 284–300.Google Scholar
- Money, J., Hampson, J. G., & Hampson, J. L. (1957). Imprinting and the establishment of gender role. Archives of Neurology and Psychiatry, 77, 333–336.Google Scholar
- New, M. I. (2001). Congenital adrenal hyperplasia. In A. Margioris & G. Chrousos (Eds.), Adrenal disorders (pp. 263–271). New York: Humana Press.Google Scholar
- Sperling, M. (1964). The analysis of a boy with transvestite tendencies. Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 19, 470–493.Google Scholar
- Stoller, R. J. (1968). Sex and gender: Vol. 1. The development of masculinity and femininity. New York: Science House.Google Scholar
- Stoller, R. J. (1973). Splitting: A case of female masculinity. New York: Quadrangle Books.Google Scholar
- Stoller, R. J. (1975). Sex and gender: Vol. 2. The transsexual experiment. London: Hogarth Press.Google Scholar
- Stoller, R. J. (1979). Sexual excitement. New York: Pantheon.Google Scholar
- Stoller, R. J. (1982). Near miss: “Sex change” treatment and its evaluation. In M. R. Zales (Ed.), Eating, sleeping, and sexuality (pp. 258–283). New York: Bruner/Mazel.Google Scholar
- Telegraph. (2002, 15 July). The psychiatry of transsexuality.Google Scholar