Case Study: Bruce /Brenda

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Case Study Reflection: Bruce/Brenda
Gabriel R. Boynton
Abnormal Psychology
Professor Wolfson
September 24, 2012

Diagnostic Overview:
Gender Identity Disorder (GID) is defined as: “strong and persistent cross gender identification” and “persistent discomfort with his or her sex or sense of inappropriateness in the gender of that sex (DSM-IV)”. Put simply: it is a painful inner conflict between a person’s physical gender, and the gender he or she identifies as. For example, a person who identifies as a boy may actually feel that he is, and act like a girl. In response to those feelings, people with GID may act and/or present themselves as members of the opposite sex. The disorder may affect things such as their choice of sexual partners, mannerisms, behavior, dress, as well as their own self-concept.
Males with GID are often characterized by feminine behaviors such as: “wearing his mother’s clothing, displaying a great interest in girls’ toys, playing with girls, and showing distress over having male genitalia (Gooran)”. In contrast biological females with GID will most likely exhibit typical masculine behaviors such as: “rough (masculine) games, refusing to wear dresses, becoming very athletic and strong, and identifying more with her father (Gooren)”. “True cases of GID are fairly rare and occur in only 3 to 5 percent of the U.S. population (Meyer)”. The exact cause of GID is unclear, however “hormones in the womb, genes, and social and environmental factors (such as parenting) may be involved (NLM)”. Observable symptoms almost always present in early childhood.
Case History:
David Reimer was born as a twin on August 22, 1969 to Ron and Janet Reimer. His given birth name was Bruce; his twin brother was named Brian. Both babies were born as healthy males.
When the twins were about 7 months old, their mother noticed that “the skin on the tip of her sons’ penises was sealing over, making the act of urination particularly painful and difficult. On



Bibliography: 1. Meyer, R.G., Weaver, C.M.: Case Studies in Abnormal Behavior 9th edition 2. DSM-IV-TR 3. Cohen-Kettenis &Gooran: Transexualism: A review of etiology, diagnosis, and treatment 1999 4. The U.S. Natinal Library of Medicine (NLM) 5. CBS News: David Reimer: The boy Who Lived as a Girl July 2002 6. Cohen, A., Sweigart, S.: Sex Unknown; NOVA, PBS Airdate: October 30, 2001 7. John Money: Man Woman, Boy Girl: 1972 8. Hamzelou, J: Transexual differences caught on brain scan- January 26, 1011 9. The Harry Benjamin Internatinal gender Dysmorphia association- 1985

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