gender dysphoria

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    Gender dysphoria is a medical condition characterized by a disconnection between someone's assigned and perceived genders. Individuals with gender dysphoria usually identify themselves as transgendered or transsexual, depending on their ideological feelings about sex and gender. Some transgendered individuals also disagree with the categorization of gender dysphoria as a medical condition, as part of a larger exploration of gender identity and what “normal” gender is. It is also important to differentiate a transvestite from someone with gender dysphoria; medically, a transvestite is someone who wears clothing belonging to the opposite gender, but is both happy and secure with his or her gender identity.

    People of all ages can experience gender dysphoria, although most patients experience a sense of disconnection from a very young age. A little boy who longs to be a little girl throughout childhood may not seek treatment until he is much older, but the underlying feelings are still there. Adolescence is also a common time period for the emergence of symptoms, while, more rarely, some adults only start to question their gender when they are much older. The acceptance of gender dysphoria as a condition requiring compassionate treatment, rather than an abnormality, began in the mid twentieth century, but was not widespread until the 1980s.

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