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Health care of transsexual persons causes unnecessary suffering
Date:11/15/2011

In 1972, Sweden became the first country in the world to legislate healthcare for transsexualism within the state-financed healthcare system. In an international perspective, this was considered to be radical. It was expected that the life situation of people in the transsexual group would improve, now that state-financed healthcare was available for this group. A thesis published at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, however, describes this care as an oppressive gender-conservative system that causes suffering for transsexual persons.

"Those who qualify for gender-corrective measures also known as sex reassignment treatment, become legally acknowledged as the gender in which they recognise themselves. But a prerequisite for this is that they lose something: namely the possibility of having biological children, since the law states that a transsexual person must be sterilised (sterile) ", says ethnologist Signe Bremer. Her thesis describes studies of autobiographical blogs and in-depth interviews with people at various stages of gender-corrective care.

The requirement for sterilisation is not the only aspect that causes suffering. The compulsory psychiatric gender investigation of minimum duration 2 years for those who wish to change their legal sexual identity can also give rise to anxiety.

"Waiting is sometimes experienced as being nearly impossible to bear", says Signe Bremer.

Her thesis shows that the physical bodies that transsexual persons wish to correct, play an important role in the assessments made by the psychiatric system about who is considered to be suitable for gender correction. A transsexual woman who demonstrates visible beard stubble, for example, may receive negative comments, while a transsexual man with a muscular body and flat chest may receive compliments. In summary, a "suitable" body can be described as a body that health care staff consider compatible with that gender that the transsexual pers
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Contact: Signe Bremer
signe.bremer@ethnology.gu.se
46-317-865-389
University of Gothenburg
Source:Eurekalert

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