The Spectrum of Gender Identity Disturbances

An Intrapsychic Model
  • Allan Beitel
Part of the Perspectives in Sexuality book series (PISE)


Psychosexual disorders such as fetishism, transvestitism, effeminate homosexuality, and transsexualism, have been discussed in the literature as separate entities with their own unique psychodynamics (Fenichel, 1930, 1953; Freud, 1927, 1955; Stoller, 1968) or as “perversions” with similar psychodynamics, only the choice of symptom being different (Socarides, 1969, 1970). Classical psychoanalytic formulations have evolved from the early view that these were primarily oedipal disorders to the more current focus on preoedipal etiologic factors (Bak, 1968; Greenacre, 1968), stressing either separation—individuation issues (Greenson, 1968; Person & Ovesey, 1974a, 1974b; Socarides, 1969, 1970), primitive internalized object relations (Volkan, 1979), or disturbances in the sense of self (Person & Ovesey, 1976). Of the recent theorists, Stoller (1975) has maintained that transsexualism alone is the result of a nonconflictual reversal in core gender identity, whereas Person and Ovesey (1974a, 1974b) contend that the four disorders occur on a spectrum and that each, including transsexualism, is deeply rooted in conflict.


Gender Identity Object Representation Gender Identity Disorder Transitional Object Object Relation Theory 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Allan Beitel
    • 1
  1. 1.Clarke Institute of PsychiatryChild and Family Studies CentreTorontoCanada

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