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Human sexuality topics


Transgender persons and transsexuals:
What do they believe about gender?
What is the cause(s) of their belief?
Are they just confused?
Does their belief have a physical cause?
What can a parent do to help?

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The term "LGBT" is an acronym for "Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals,
transgender persons/Transsexuals. Sometimes, additional letters
are added, like "Q" for Queer or questioning, "I" for Intersexual.

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Gender identity, cisgender & transgender persons, and transsexuals:

This section discusses gender identity. That is what a person perceives their gender to be.

  • Most adults are cisgendered: they believe that their gender -- as identified at the time of their birth and recorded on their birth certificate -- is the gender that they have had throughout their lifetime, up to and including the present time.

  • A very small minority of adults consider themselves to be transgender or transsexual. They regard themselves as either male, or female, or of neither gender, or of both genders. That is:

    • In most cases they regard themselves as being born with a body of one gender and a brain that tells them firmly, irresistably, and unambiguously that they are of the other gender.

    • A few transgender persons will not regard themselves as having a gender. The concept of gender has no meaning to them.

    • A few experience their gender identity switching from time to time between male and female;

    • A few believe that they are continuously both male and female.

To be a transgender person is sometimes referred to as having gender variance, gender creativity, gender independance, gender non-conformity or gender fluidity. For simplicity we will use "transgender" in this section.

Many cisgendered people find this alternate view of gender to be puzzling.

As with most topics related to human sexuality, the opinions of conservatives and liberals differ greatly:

  • Many religious and social conservatives believe that a newborn's gender is determined by their genital organs; that their gender is registered on their birth certificate accordingly, and that their gender continues unchanged through the rest of their life. Once a baby boy, always a male; once a baby girl, always a female. Conservatives often refer to people who identify themselves as transgender to be "gender confused," and that believe that therapy and/or prayer can cure a transgender person's internal conflicts.
  • Many religious and social liberals consider gender to be a much more complex phenomenon:
    • The vast majority of people are "cisgender." Most liberals agree that the gender of almost all newborns is determined by their genital organs.

    • But some babies are intersexual so that their gender at birth is unknown. Their genital organs are ambiguous.

    • Further, some people are identified as male or female at birth, but identify themselves as transgender later in life.

A person's gender can thus be a very complex topic. If you ask a transgender person; they will almost always agree with the liberal position.

Decades ago, the conflict that permeates the life of a transgender person was so disturbing that they developed a rule of thumb: that half of them committed suicide before the age of 30. But now with gender reconstruction surgery (GRS), and hormone therapy, the majority of transgender individuals who identify their gender as opposite to their birth assigned gender can have their body modified to more closely resemble their gender identity.


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Topics covered in this section:


Background information:


Introduction to transgender persons, transsexuals, etc. << Please read this material first

bullet Understanding the terms transgender & transsexual:
bullet 2014-FEB: Facebook changes how members define their gender identity. Contrasting views of gender identity. How there can be dozens of gender identities based on only two genders

bullet Cause(s) of transsexuality according to medical researchers:

bullet Fetal exposure to abnormal androgen levels?

bullet Genetically determined at conception?
bullet Causes of, and cures for, transsexuality according to religious groups:


Beliefs of conservative Protestant groups: Part 1  Part 2

bullet Beliefs of individual Christians

bullet Terms and concepts used by evangelicals

bullet Teachings of the Roman Catholic church
bullet star How should a parent react to a child who identifies as being transgender?
bullet Bible passages which may impact transgender/transsexual topics
bullet Prevalence of transsexuality
bullet Transsexuals in history
bullet Transitioning from female to male or vice versa
bullet Transitioning success rates

How a lack of consensus about gender identity harms transgender individuals. Webmaster's rant 

bullet Using medication to delay puberty in transgender pre-teens and teens
bullet Is transsexualism linked to homosexuality?

bullet Involuntary sexual reassignment of infants: Creating transgender persons via surgery

bullet Discrimination against transgender persons & transsexuals:

bullet Resolutions by the American Medical Association and American Psychological Association

bullet Homelessness

bullet Personal stories of success and difficulties transitioning

bullet Discrimination against transgender persons and transsexuals in the military


Ending employment discrimination due to sexual orientation or gender identity (The ENDA bill)


Studies and polls about transgender persons:

bullet Discrimination and lack of protection by US state governments


Acceptance and rejection within religious denominations:

bullet Political and religious conflicts over sexual orientation & gender identity. Are they resolvable?

bullet Anti-discrimination laws across the U.S.

bullet Laws in other countries that oppress or protect LGBT persons

bullet International declarations on the rights of LGBT persons
bullet Conflicts over the use of washrooms and dressing rooms in stores.
bullet Glossary of terms relating to transgender persons:

bullet Words beginning with A to S

bullet Words beginning from T to Z
bullet Transsexual information sources:

bullet Web sites

bullet Books for transsexuals, their families, and co-workers

bullet Biographies, books on transsexuality, books for therapists, etc.
bullet News & major developments:

bullet 2008 to now: News and information from the media concerning the transgender/transsexual community


2014-FEB: Facebook gives members 54 more options for gender identity: Part 1  Part 2

References used:

The following information source was used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlink is not necessarily still active today.

  1. Barack Obama, "A Proclamation..." White House, 2009-JUN-01, at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/
  2. Charlie Butts and Jody Brown, "Obama appoints transgender LGBT activist," OneNewsNow.com. 2010-JAN-07, at: http://www.onenewsnow.com/
  3. Jennifer Reitz, "What transsexuality is," at: http://transsexual.org/

A movie:

bullet Tom Murray produced and directed a video concerning transsexuality. It is titled: "Almost Myself: Reflections on mending and transcending gender." See: http://www.almostmyself.com/

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Copyright © 2007 to 2015 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Original posting: 2007-JUN-08
Latest update and review: 2015-JAN-02
Author: B.A. Robinson

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