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Critique Essay Law/Legal Natural Sciences Nonfiction Social Sciences Theory

Pathologizing trans people: Exploring the roles of trans people and medical personnel

By Kinnon R MacKinnon, 2018

Despite the 2013 decision to replace the diagnostic labelling of gender identity disorder with gender dysphoria, there remains wide consensus amongst scholars that transgender identities are pathologised. Yet the claim that trans identity has been pathologised has yet to be rigorously substantiated. Adapting a model for verifying the credibility of medicalisation claims, this inquiry confirms that the human phenomenon of gender-variance has underwent pathologisation to embed trans identity within a medical model by (1)historicising how trans identity became viewed as a medical condition; (2) highlighting that medical explanations for trans identityare adopted by trans people and the culture at large; and (3) showing that medical theory for trans identity gains traction over any other explanation. [Article copies available for a fee from The TransformativeStudies Institute. E-mail address: Website:

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