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Transgenderism is a mental health issue?
in General

By ZeusAres42ZeusAres42 191 Pts
This is one debate where I am open to being persuaded providing someone can give me a brilliant argument as to who transgenderism is not a mental health issue.

According to the DSM (if memory serves me correctly) transgenderism is only a mental health issue if the individual is experiencing extreme distress, depression, etc. This to me seems like a cop-out. If someone believes or feels that they are a different sex than what they are then I think this also meets the criteria for the mental health issue. Wouldn't it make more sense for the DSM to find ways in which to help convince the individual that they are the sex that they are biologically and help them realize that with conviction?

It seems like the DSM is taken the view that because they pose no harm to themselves or others then let them do and think/believe whatever they want.
 
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Persuaded Argument

  • Sammo123Sammo123 10 Pts
    Winning Argument ✓
    Transgenderism is not a mental health issue. Rather, the implications of identifying as transgender in a heteronormative, cisgender society increases the chance of experiencing mental health issues, eg; depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts. 

    This is because society sees gender as a fixed, binary state. Thus, transgender individuals experience oppression, discrimination, stigma and prejudice. 

    I would argue three key elements have caused this perception that transgenderism is not a gender but a mental health disorder. 

    Historically, Western views on gender were dictated by religion which is heteronormative and cisgender. Identifying as transgender was a sin, as was being homosexual. 

    Secondly, historical science has premises that gender and sex are interrelated. Scientific explanations for the sperm and the egg, for instance, took on a gendered perspective. The egg is described passively, waiting for the sperm to fertilise it. While the sperm is highly active and requires plenty of energy in the race to penetrate the egg. Because science was a male dominated field, society was encouraged to believe that bodily functions also had gendered orientations. Thus, if historical science only recognises the sex and genders of males and females, there are no other rational explanations for transgenderism but being some kind of mental fault or disorder. In the past, quantitative science would have extreme difficulty defining transgenderism as anything else. 

    The third element, is that the DSM is also heteronormative and cisgender and that has great affect on any amendments that are made. It’s important to note the DSM categorised homosexuality as a mental disorder because doctors and psychologists refused to acknowledge the connection between societal discrimination and the increase in the mental health issues in this group. Homosexuality was illegal around the world for a long time. It took many applications for amendment before the DSM removed homosexuality as a mental health disorder. It is likely the same applies to transgenderism. 
    ZeusAres42



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Arguments

  • @ZeusAres42
    It seems like the DSM is taken the view that because they pose no harm to themselves or others then let them do and think/believe whatever they want.
    Well... I would contend that it's the same with any philosophy, or any other belief really like religion for exemple... I don't know how much of an "health" issue transgenderism really is... It may sound weird, but if gender is a social construct, we could argue that it's possible to be a female "man" and a male "woman", as the terms "man" and "woman" refer to "roles" not biology... Yeah, semantics gymnastics maybe but eh... trying to bring fuel to this topic... ;) 

    And like any other belief (whether philosophical or religious), as long as the individual holding said belief is able to function in society, I don't see the problem... It could be argued that the actual problem comes from those trying to deny transgender individuals the right to hold their belief... 

    I'm not transgender and personally don't know any transgender people, to be honest I don't understand the need they have to identify as something other than what we're traditionally accustomed to, at least those who don't actually want to change their sex, that I can understand, but the fact that I don't understand something doesn't mean it's wrong or invalid...
    ZeusAres42
    " Adversus absurdum, contumaciter ac ridens! "
  • The mental health issue is with the people who oppose transgender people. They are so conditioned to arbitrary norms on gender, sexual preference, religion,,,, that they tend to attack anybody who does not conform to their expectations. Who gets to decide what is normal or acceptable? I can't stand jesus freaks, but as long as they leave me alone, they are free to freak on. Live and let live.
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