Explore BrainMass

Gender Dysphoria and Sociocultural Contexts

Discuss the challenges clients with gender dysphoria face in counseling and larger sociocultural contexts. Address the following:

1.What are your personal reactions to psychosocial theories explaining gender dysphoria, considering your own assumptions and beliefs?

2.What challenges do clients with gender dysphoria face in therapy? As a counselor, how would you support your client's growth and development in overcoming these challenges?

3.What are your beliefs about pathologizing sexual preferences or labeling some as mental disorders?

Book we are using-- Nolen-Hoeksema, S. (2011). Abnormal psychology (5th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill. ISBN: 9780073382784

Solution Preview

1. What are your personal reactions to psychosocial theories explaining gender dysphonia, considering your own assumptions and beliefs?

Gender dysphonia recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders {DSM-IV-TR [APA]. 2000) as "Gender Identity Disorder", and is characterized by a strong and persistent cross-gender identification, which is the desire to be, or the insistence that one is not the other sex (DSM). While gender Identity are and gender dysphonia may be utilized interchangeably, sexual orientation and these dysfunctions must distinguished from one another, which refers to erotic attraction to males, females or both (p. 535). A personal reaction to the way in which the terms sexual orientation and sexual dysphonia (or sexual identity) can be used is problematic. For instance, based on the DSM-IV characterization, sexual dysfunctions are disturbances in sexual desire and psycho physiological changes.

However, given the limitation of a uniform set of criteria by which to diagnose the disorder, studies drawn from the DSM-IV-TR's (APA, 2000) classification could be subjective and biased. As an example, the data is simply stated that a cross-dressing identification must be present and persistent with data on women with this disorder is lacking. Yet studies are presented on women with the disorder often associated with deviant or promiscuous behaviors. O'Donahue, Regev, and Hagstrom (2000) argue that the absence of empirical information regarding the reliability and validity of DSM-IV diagnoses often result in subjective and/or biased diagnosis. For instance, they suggest that the presence of sexual difficulties may be more highly indicative of a lack of sexual satisfaction than the presence of dysfunction.

More recently, the Sexual Objectification theory (Frederick & Roberts, 1997) has emerged as a useful tool upon which to understand women's experiences in a socio-cultural context (Segmansld, Moffitt & Carrr, 2011). The Sexual Objectification (SO) theory provides a framework for women' in which the female body is sexually objectified. On the other hand, the theory encourages the counseling psychologist to adopt multicultural and ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses challenges faced by individuals with gender identity disorders in a socio-cultural context, including personal responses, in almost 1300 words, with references.