Gender dysphoria (GD) is often accompanied by dissatisfaction with physical appearance and body image problems. The aim of this study was to compare body satisfaction with perceived appearance by others in various GD subgroups.
Data collection was part of the European Network for the Investigation of Gender Incongruence. Between 2007 and 2012, 660 adults who fulfilled the criteria of the DSM-IV gender identity disorder diagnosis (1.31:1 male-to-female [MtF]:female-to-male [FtM] ratio) were included into the study. Data were collected before the start of clinical gender-confirming interventions. Sexual orientation was measured via a semi-structured interview whereas onset age was based on clinician report. Body satisfaction was assessed using the Body Image Scale. Congruence of appearance with the experienced gender was measured by means of a clinician rating.
Overall, FtMs had a more positive body image than MtFs. Besides genital dissatisfaction, problem areas for MtFs included posture, face, and hair, whereas FtMs were mainly dissatisfied with hip and chest regions. Clinicians evaluated the physical appearance to be more congruent with the experienced gender in FtMs than in MtFs. Within the MtF group, those with early onset GD and an androphilic sexual orientation had appearances more in line with their gender identity. In conclusion, body image problems in GD go beyond sex characteristics only.
An incongruent physical appearance may result in more difficult psychological adaptation and in more exposure to discrimination and stigmatization.
Full article at: http://goo.gl/h6yHWx
By: van de Grift TC1,2, Cohen-Kettenis PT3, Steensma TD3, De Cuypere G4, Richter-Appelt H5, Haraldsen IR6, Dikmans RE7, Cerwenka SC5, Kreukels BP3.
- 1Department of Medical Psychology, Center of Expertise on Gender Dysphoria, EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, VU University Medical Center, P.O. Box 7057, 1007 MB, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 2Department of Plastic, Reconstructive & Hand Surgery, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. email@example.com.
- 3Department of Medical Psychology, Center of Expertise on Gender Dysphoria, EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, VU University Medical Center, P.O. Box 7057, 1007 MB, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
- 4Center of Sexology and Gender Problems, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium.
- 5Department of Sex Research and Forensic Psychiatry, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.
- 6Department of Neuropsychiatry and Psychosomatic Medicine, Division of Clinical Neuroscience, Rikshospitalet, Oslo, Norway.
- 7Department of Plastic, Reconstructive & Hand Surgery, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
- Arch Sex Behav. 2016 Apr;45(3):607-17. doi: 10.1007/s10508-015-0657-3. Epub 2016 Jan 12.
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