Topics: Gender, Transgender, Brain Pages: 2 (404 words) Published: April 12, 2013
Scientific Research on Transgenders

In the 1950’s and 1960’s, transgenders, or men and women who feel they are trapped in the wrong bodies, would be considered mentally ill. However, since then there have been many studies on this issue and it has been proved to be plausible; this condition is also popularly referred to as Gender Identity Disphoria. Though the studies are yet to be conclusive, it was found that transgenders were not mentally ill, as previously diagnosed, but it is a result of abnormalities in the brain. Some examples of studies done on this are below: * In 1995 the Journal Nature reported on the findings in Holland concerning an area of the brain called the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BST) region and its put it forth as a possible explanation for Gender Identity Disphoria. The BST region had long been believed to influence sexual behavior, and is known to be larger in male vertebrates, which was why the researchers compared the brains of six transsexuals to the brains of non-transsexual men and women. Although the sampling was small, the BST regions in all six transsexuals were closer to the average size observed in female brains. * Antonio Guillamon's team at the National University of Distance Education in Madrid, Spain, think they have found a better way to spot a transsexual brain. In a study due to be published next month, the team ran MRI scans on the brains of 18 female-to-male transsexual people who had no treatment and compared them with those of 24 males and 19 females. They found significant differences between male and female brains in four regions of white matter – and the female-to-male transsexual people had white matter in these regions that resembled a male brain.

* In a separate study, the team used the same technique to compare white matter in 18 male-to-female transsexual people with that in 19 males and 19 females. Surprisingly, in each transsexual person's brain the structure of the white matter in...

References: Hamzelou, J. (2011, January 26). Transsexual differences caught on brain scan - life - 26 January 2011 - New Scientist. Science news and science jobs from New Scientist - New Scientist. 
Zhou, J., Hoffman, M., Gooren, L., & Swaab, D. (1995). A Sex Difference in the Human Brain and its Relation to Transsexuality. Nature, 378, 68-70.
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