Homosexuality was classified as a mental disorder until 1973. Now, it is seen as a normal variant of sexual behavior. Today, another diagnosis called gender identity disorder (GID) is undergoing a similar debate. Present the diagnostic criteria of GID to your class, and ask them to consider the role of cultural and historical relativism in understanding this diagnosis. Should this diagnosis be removed from the DSM.as it was in the case of homosexuality or should it remain in the DSM as a mental disorder?
Let's take a closer look:
1. Present the diagnostic criteria of GID to your class.
According to the DSM-IV-TR, individuals with Gender Identity Disorder are uncomfortable with their apparent or assigned gender and demonstrate persistent identification with the opposite sex. Specifically, the Diagnostic criteria for Gender Identity Disorder are:
A. A strong and persistent cross-gender identification (not merely a desire for any perceived cultural advantages of being the other sex). In children, the disturbance is manifested by four (or more) of the following:
(1) repeatedly stated desire to be, or insistence that he or she is, the other sex
(2) in boys, preference for cross-dressing or simulating female attire; in girls, insistence on wearing only stereotypical masculine clothing
(3) strong and persistent preferences for cross-sex roles in make-believe play or persistent fantasies of being the other sex
(4) intense desire to participate in the stereotypical games and pastimes of the other sex
(5) strong preference for playmates of the other sex. In adolescents and adults, the disturbance is manifested by symptoms such as a stated desire to be the other sex, frequent passing as the other sex, desire to live or be treated as the other sex, or the conviction that he or she has the typical feelings and reactions of the other sex.
B. Persistent discomfort with his or her sex or sense of inappropriateness in the gender role of that sex. In children, the disturbance is manifested by any of the following: in boys, assertion that his penis or testes are disgusting or will disappear or assertion that it would be better not to have a penis, or aversion toward rough-and-tumble play and rejection of male stereotypical toys, ...
Rigid extremes of gender behavior are discussed. References are also provided to further validate the findings.