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Scans show difference in transgender brains

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  1. Why do you insist on using the word transgender, when the article clearly states transsexual? Please recifty immediately.
    If you knew anything about transsexuals you would know that we find the use of the word transgender as abhorrent we discussing anything regarding our medical condition. Transsexuality, and Intersexed, are medical conditions and have been accepted as such for a long time. There is no medical evidence whatsoever to show that transvestites, cross-dressers, drag queens, she-males, cissies or whoever identifies as transgender have any form of medical condition so why are we lumped together as such?

  2. theotherone 26 Jan 2011, 3:20pm

    please ‘me’ you are bathing me in spittle.

  3. I’m very happy as as a TS woman to be associated with the whole trans and gender queer community as well as the LGB.

    Me speaks for herself

  4. Seriously “Me” – chill out. And don’t generalise us. I’m a TS who much prefers the word transgender. I don’t think that transsexuals should be trying to distance ourselves from or make ourselves feel superior to other people with an alternative gender experience.

  5. OrtharRrith 26 Jan 2011, 3:55pm

    Not got an issue with being assosiated with transgender myself, there is nothing wrong with the word or any of those that are a part of the transgender community.
    I do think that if you are talking about a specific segment of the transgender community, in regards to medical treatment or discoveries then accurate terminology should be used, but only because transgender is a catch all term for everyone in the community and not because “they don’t belong”. That said, they are for the most part interchangable and it doesn’t do any harm – aside from confuse a few cis-gender folk who don’t understand any of it.
    About the only time I would complain is if I was refured to as transgendered – which to my mind makes me invision a ludicrous senario of a transman or woman jumping out from a bush, “tagging” the first person they encounter and making them transgender! THEN you could say they were then transgendered!

    Anyway, at least this new research should go some way to persuading the doubters, that we aren’t just making it up

  6. “The researchers, at the National University of Distance Education in Madrid, Spain, believe their technique could help doctors identify transgender people at an early age, giving them more options for treatment, such as delaying the onset of puberty”

    So what if a young person said they wanted to change sex and then decided when they were an adult they had made a mistake. Just curious?

  7. @ Jamie

    You stop tacking the puberty blocker and you go through puberty like everybody else.

    The blockers just give the teenager time and space to work out who they are without developing the often un-reversable sex characteristics puberty develops.

  8. OrtharRrith 26 Jan 2011, 4:12pm

    “So what if a young person said they wanted to change sex and then decided when they were an adult they had made a mistake. Just curious?”

    Surgury is not performed on children, they are given hormone blockers to stop puberty, and they are encouraged to live as their target gender until they are old enough for the procedures to occur – or the courts rule that they can have surgury. The hormone blockers are fuller reversable and if the child stops taking them then puberty resumes as normal (all be it later then it would have without the blockers).
    Beleive me when I tell you it was horrifying to go through what felt like the wrong puberty. I was mortified and depressed. It can also cause complications afterwards as it the transperson must then fight the effects the hormones had on their body – often requiring more surgical procedures.
    This research will go some way to making that easier on future trans children and for making people and doctors believe the child when/if they can tell them.

  9. This is not about thinking i am superior to anyone but its about time common sense prevailed. I have seen the marginalisation of transsexuals in recent years by those who identify under the term ‘transgender’. Transsexuals have a recognised medical condition, the transgender dont. Simple. Yet the transgender dont want to accept that. There has been a deliberate move over the years to suggest TV’s become TS as if it is some kind of progression. That is utter nonsense and downright dangerous. We end up with people who are really TV’s being encouraged to believe they are TS’s and going to down the medical intervention route which is utter madness and dangerous.
    We have also seen demands for people who ‘believe’ they are TS, to change their birth certificates based purely on what they believe without any medical intervention. NO ONE should ever been classed as a female if they have a penis and NO ONE should ever be classed as a male if they have a functioning vagina.
    These people who believe they are the opposite gender, without any medical diagnosis or intervention, need a huge reality check and told to grow up., not pandered to by the state.
    There are only two genders, male and female. This occurs in every species on planet earth and has done for millenia. We have hermaphroditism and the ability to change genders in species. We do not have anyone born and have a birth certificate saying cis male/cis female, gender queer, transgender. Just male and female so get over it.

    1. i believe there should be more options for androgynes. you are moronic

  10. Just further proof that transgender conditions should be taken out of the psychiatry books and reclassified as a subset of intersex.

  11. @ Me

    Please – if you’re going to try blanket essentialism, at least aim for accuracy.

    “There are only two genders, male and female. This occurs in every species on planet earth and has done for millenia.”

    Just so you know, many Bascidiomycete species (higher fungi) have thousands of different mating types.

  12. @ Sally

    Maybe the trans community would be better off believing they are Bascidiomycete species then. It offers them more variations.

    Here is a point to consider. Would people be allowed to ‘believe’ they have multiple sclerosis, have cancer, maybe a disability, they are a tree or even an animal? Doubtful.
    Then why pander to those who believe they have a medical condition without any diagnosis? Trust me, being transsexual is a condition I wouldnt wish on anyone and most of wish we were not transsexual.


  13. @ Me

    You sound like you might be an HBS-advocate. How do you stand as regards the following?

  14. It makes sense that someone who believes that there are only men and women also believe that there are only TVs and TSs – everything must be binary !

  15. Are people trans because their brain is different, or are people’s brain different because they are trans ?

    One’s experience of life does change the hormones released in the body, and affects how the brain develops. Which is the chiken, which is the egg ?

  16. Does “Me” know anything about FTM transsexuals because the surgery is still very risky with uncertain outcomes – so rather than taking that risk people don’t have it. Doesn’t make their brain any less ‘male’! And we can now point to the evidence to prove it. I can’t stand this endless insistence that everyone conforms to certain labels: there will always be the odd exception. Boxes on a census form aren’t designs for life. Personally I’d rather not be thought of as having a ‘medical condition’ but I don’t mind that Me wants to be defined like that! The important thing here is the advance in science and research, and the fact this is being looked into at all is a great step forward.

  17. @Me There are cultural differences over the use of Transgender and Transsexual. Where I live the prefered term is Transgender, while Transsexual is viewed as more of a derogitory term.

  18. No one has answered my query as to why transsexual, who have a medical diagnosed condiiton are lumped in with the transgender, from whom there is no such medical evidence. Why? because you cant.

    There is also no evidence there is more than two gender other than the fact the transgender community says so. Just because you outnumber the TS community by 30:1 you think you are right because you have a greater voice than TS’s. Rubbish

    You can believe whatever you want but that does not mean the rest of society has to accept you and move to accomodate you.

    There are no such things as men with vaginas and women with penises,simple facts. Yes you will go down the binary arguement because that suits your agenda.

    Others always drag up the relevance of ‘labels’. Well without labels we would not have any language.

    I know many TV’s who recognise and accept they are TV’s. They dress up when they feel like it. Its a form of self expression and to them its a hobby and i will fight for their rights to be accepted as such.

    Unfortunately we have those who wont accept they are TV, create this ‘belief ‘ they are more aligned to TS’s. demand dual passports, dual driving licences, probably dual birth certificate. Why because they are embarrased to be thought of as TV’s.
    Get over yourselves.

  19. proudtrans 26 Jan 2011, 9:55pm

    Totally agree with Me. Transsexuals are just being selfish and spoiling it for other Trans people. Pink News, get your facts right.

  20. I really cant be bothered explaining stuff to a HBS fundamentalist who will reject me as being TS because I transitioned at 34.

    No such thing a binary male and female, everyone is in some way variant existing somewhere between the two in that wonderful grey area of gender.

  21. I am a transgender man with a medical diagnosis and I am really tired of people who think that they have the right to speak for anyone other than themselves.
    The use of “I” statements would be mature and allow for differences of opinion without any unnecessary misplaced anger.

  22. @Me

    So there’s “no such thing” as a man with a vagina then huh? Do you think I want to have been born with it!?

    You need a reality check and you need it fast. You’re the equivalent of a Daily Mail reader speaking within our community. What a shame I was naive enough to believe that all TS people have gone through enough themselves to be open and accepting of others.

    Do some research and get some knowledge in that little brain of yours.

    Why is it always the most ignorant people who have the most to say?

  23. Funny how a mental “disorder” can be treated using surgery. I’m not a trans person so I can’t speak, but I do detest the labelling of trans people as if they have some mental health problem. Transgenderism is a completely normal variation of gender; which may or many not cause gender dysphoria, the conclusion of which may or may not be a sex change surgery

  24. theotherone 26 Jan 2011, 11:43pm

    ‘me’ is a reactionary stereotype and gives the Community a bad name.

    Me: I ‘transisioned’ five years ago and I do not identify as Transexual. Neither do I identify as a Woman, or as a man or as a ‘third gender.’

    Closing your little mind to variance will do you no good in the long run.

  25. To expand on my post: I don’t believe gender is just a male or female thing, although I believe gender has routes in the sex dichotomy. However, it appears possible to feel a belonging to both typical genders, neither of the genders, or both genders situation/time dependant. I really would find it hard to believe that all transsexual people experience gender and sex in the same way – In Fact: I don’t think we experience gender, sex, gender roles or sexuality in the same way, regardless of whatever these parameters are. AND I think all of these parameters are determined by biological influences, rather than environmental influences – the environment and nurture merely cause behaviours based on these to be expressed in certain ways and suppressed in others.

    As for filling in forms, I wholly support people just ticking the gender they feel they are inside. Who cares if a woman has a penis or if a man has a vagina – unless employers have started checking?

  26. @Jamie: Gender identity is inborn and unchangeable. Studies show us gender variant children follow one of three trajectories and that trajectory is clear by age 12:

    1. Most go on to be gender normative (gender variance was a phase)

    2. Some come out as gay/lesbian.

    3. The remainder are transsexual.

    Notice I said age 12 which is before any medical treatment is started. As a result people don’t “change their mind”. Need more proof? The Dutch gender program has been treating transsexual teens for 15 years and as far as I know they have NEVER had a single one “change their mind”.

    Transition isn’t something done willy-nilly. There is plenty of science that back transsexualism. Transition is also a long, expensive, medically monitored process. Meaning people who aren’t transsexual are weeded out and not allowed to transition.

    Transition works! It has just about the highest efficacy rate for any medical treatment period.

  27. is there any connection between transsexualism and body dysmorphic disorder?

  28. here is a report about a man with body dysmorphic disorder who had part of his leg amputated

  29. @xrk9854. I agree thoso who are not medically diagnosed as transsexual are not allowed to transition therefore no access to any medical or surgical intervention that transexuals undergo. However those who have been weeded out now demand to be classed as transsexual purely because thats what they believe. That is why the change to gender reassignment in the Equality Act is wrong and needs to be changed back. NO ONE should be allowed to use the definition ‘gender reassignment’ unless under medical supervision.
    We already have TV’s/TG’s seeking to have facial surgery and breast augmentation but refuse to have SRS or take hormones and this is fundamentally wrong.

  30. @ Me

    Why? Shouldn’t they be allowed to decide what they do with their own bodies and their own money?

    @ anon

    No connection between transsexualism and body dysmorphic disorder has ever been established.

  31. Nikki Hatch 27 Jan 2011, 3:03pm

    @ Me: I think your comments are both ignorant and elitist. Most of us as transsexuals go through phases such as cross dressing until we understand our gender identity and decide to fully transition. Anatomical/ Biological gender is binary, except for Intersex people. Brain gender is a spectrum. Transsexuals are at one end of the spectrum and others may be anywhere else along the continuum from A to Z. No two transsexuals are identical. To say that transsexuals have a medical condition and others with less severe gender incongruency do not is just the height of ignorance.

  32. @ Nikki Hatch

    I am in no way elitist, Time and again i have asked for proof that TG’s have anything in common with TS’s other than being human beings. None has been forthcoming. Your arguments and exactly the same as the twaddle spouted by the tg brigade based on believe with absolutely no substance. I have know since i was four i was TS. Might not have known the name but i knew i was in the wrong body and most TS’s tell you the same. This crap about being crossdressers, then TV’s then TS is just that, crap. Where is your proof?
    As for being ignoran then you are way off base. Just because i dont believe your propaganda and that of the TG’s in your minds makes me a bigot. Far from it, i bring reality and many of you serious need a reality check.

    1. @ Me
      I do not understand here. You are not transgender? Then why did you transition? Isnt transgender meaning you are not the sex mentally you were born as and there for try to change that through transitioning? At one point you were physically male and/or female and transitioned over to the opposite. Right? I dont understand where you mad at. Are you mad because transpeople who did not get SRS yet are called transsexuals? Medically diagnosed? I thought you had to be Diagnosed with being transgendered and that when you Surgically modify yourself by which ever means to look like the opposite sex, you were transsexual. Or at the very least after the SRS. Please explain to me what the difference between Transgender and Transsexual is other then one is the beginning and one is the end.

  33. @ Me

    Do you suppose that transgender and transsexual people might be at risk of having similar kinds of prejudice directed at us, as people who are perceived to be “breaking the rules” where gender is concerned?

  34. Me – so I’m “invalid” then as a TS because I didn’t know when I was 4? What the hell? I, like a lot of others, didn’t know fo sure until I tried to form relationships in my biological gender and found this consistently impossible. After feeling sick with my body since puberty I experimented with transgenderism before heading for medical treatment. I am now waiting to start hormones and have never felt better in my life.

    That makes me invalid? As invalid as being a man with a vag does I suppose? Do you know anything about FtM surgery? Most of us never have genital surgery because the results are so poor. But according to you “you can’t be a man with a ‘functioning’ vagina”. What’s a functioning vagina? One that can have a penis up it or one that can give birth? If the latter then you probably mean transmen should have hysterectomies. I happen to believe this as well. Still, stop pissing all over my gender identity cos you know eff all about it.

    Oh and by the way, how would you have liked it to be told to – in your words – “grow up” when you came out as a TS?

  35. Me: “Time and again i have asked for proof that TG’s have anything in common with TS’s other than being human beings.”

    The research in the article goes some way to explaining, I believe. If the brain can be masculinised or feminised, there is the possibility for degrees of masculinisation/feminisation. It in no way suggests its an all or nothing phenomenon. the article states that “The trans women’s brains showed that the structure of the white matter was halfway between a typical male and a typical female brain.”

    I don’t know how you can conclude, from this piece of research, that there cannot be varying degrees of this medical condition.

  36. Rather than scanning the brains of gender-nonconforming kids to figure out if they might be trans, couldn’t they just let it be known to children that puberty delay is an option and let the ones who want it ask for it? I can’t see how it could be economical to scan every kid. And if a kid does ask, then you don’t need to scan their brain because you know they may have gender issues.

  37. They need a butch control group me thinks

  38. OrtharRrith 27 Jan 2011, 8:31pm

    “They need a butch control group me thinks
    jj ”

    So you are suggesting that transmen are infact etremely butch lesbians? And therefore by extention transwomen are actually effeminate gays?
    Transgender conditions have absolutely nothing to do with a persons sexuality. Like everyone else transpeople can be homosexual, hetrosexual or bi, the fact they – we – are trans has no barring on that at all.
    Therefore a “control” group such as you suggest is irrelevent and more to the point offensive to the transpeople taking part as it implies that the transcodition is not being taken seriously.

  39. Rather than putting people in boxes, we should just accept the variety of personal experiences – and there is a lot of literature out there that shows that people have, indeed, very different experiences.

    However the medicinal corp refuses to listen to individual experiences and instead decide to put people in boxes. Either you follow this narrative and you’re this, or you follow that narrative and you’re that.

    I identify as transgendered, MtF, not as transsexual – because I do not want to medicalise my gender expression. So while I agree with Me here, I do not make this a general rule – this only applies to me. And I don’t see why this would stop me from getting legal recognition – the thing about penises is just silly ; we identify and interact with people based on their gender expression, not based on what’s in their trousers/skirts.

    There are many women out there who refuse us because, by calling ourselves women, we challenge their identity and the validity of their experiences. And there are transsexuals who have had a medicalised condition who will refuse other trans people for the same reason – because if other people can call themsevles transsexual without having followed the same narrative, it’s a challenge to their identity.

  40. I really enjoyed reading the discussions taking place here.

    It was explained to me that transgender is an umbrella term for many different categories(for lack of a better word) . The individual groups themselves are too small to form a strong community, so they all come together to form one big community of acceptance.

    Yes there are differences between the them, but the over all message is the same. “We are not alone.”

    So yes, you can reject the term if you please, but many people find comfort in not having to categorize themselves into sub groups. There is strength in numbers and acceptance in communities.

  41. @ Orthar Rrith who clearly doesn’t understand science or gender.

    Butch is primarily to do with gender not sexuality.

    If butch brains were found to be the same as ftm brains it would rubbish the idea that ftms are identifiable with a brain scan. If they were found to be different it would be very strong support. Thats how science works, whether you like it or not.

  42. I’m trying to get my head round Me’s thinking (and coming up with that sentence wasn’t too easy!!)

    Are you truly saying that if somebody has been diagnosed as transsexual they need to have gender reassignment surgery otherwise they are not really transsexual but are, in fact, transgender. This is how it seems.

    If that is what you are saying can you please inform us as to where you have gleaned this information from or is it, as I strongly suspect, your own desire to see everybody who has been diagnosed as TS go through painful, difficult and dangerous surgery.

    Why are you so threatened by people who, for whatever reason, don’t want to have this done. It’s not like it’s life saving surgery. It’s surely similar to somebody deciding not to have a birth mark removed from their face because they cannot face the treatment to do it.

    You really need to learn to live and let live.

  43. Me…. relax, you’re going to give yourself a heart attack.
    As far as your “NO ONE should ever been classed as a female if they have a penis and NO ONE should ever be classed as a male if they have a functioning vagina.” statement…
    *IF* I could financially afford and GET a functioning penis, I would. But truth is, I’ve spent the last 19 years living in my “new gender” and no one questions my manhood.

  44. OrtharRrith 1 Feb 2011, 5:10pm

    “@ Orthar Rrith who clearly doesn’t understand science or gender.

    Butch is primarily to do with gender not sexuality.

    If butch brains were found to be the same as ftm brains it would rubbish the idea that ftms are identifiable with a brain scan. If they were found to be different it would be very strong support. Thats how science works, whether you like it or not.
    jj ”

    I would like to state that I have never heard the term “butch” used in relation to anything other then a descriptive term for overtly masculine dressing and behaving lesbians – and yes I am well aware that many transmen who go through a period of trying to be lesbian could identify as butch lesbians during that part of the process, however until now I’ve never heard of the term having any association to being transgender. If that is indeed the case – and until either my own research or someone contradicts you I have no reason to doubt you – then I stand corrected.
    You learn something new every day.

    I would like to state though, that I do have some understanding of gender!

  45. Sorry for jumping in later than everyone else, but I have a rather unphilosophical issue with the “penis-bearing individuals may never be legally called female” train of thought.
    Simply put, many people can’t afford surgery. Insurance companies are notoriously stingy in giving out funds for such procedures, and there are scads of people with no insurance whatsoever.
    As everybody here knows, being stuck with ID unreflective of one’s gender is a pain at best, and downright dangerous at worst. If such a policy is in place, we’re effectively forcing the poorer members of the community to choose between (relative) safety and living as their gender.

  46. SaintSuelle 21 Dec 2011, 10:01pm

    Fatal flaw in this study is that all the living T-folk involved in the scans were ALREADY TREATED (in spite of claims to the contrary), and the PROOF of ‘treatment is the FACT they ALREADY WERE LIVING in the gender they identified as. This in and of itself, with the fact that all human brains are neuroplastically reshaped according to their physical and emotional behavior. This is precisely why ‘living in their gender already’ would give their brains a similar brain scan pattern as others of the same gender.
    However, the BSTc, as tiny as it is, is the ONLY distinct differences for all members even if they NEVER have lived the gender that they know is there gender. That BSTc study were specifically of those who switched midway in life for gender expressed living (GEL), because the BSTc is the one thing that’s impossible to change, their developed gender that finalized-for-life in infancy BEFORE living any GEL.

    1. SaintSuelle 21 Dec 2011, 10:16pm

      So, logically, since all humans exhibit changeable brain patters (as the scan indicates similarities and differences), it is entirely predictable, the similar behavior physically and emotionally, will have similar brain patterns in the changeable areas (not the unchangeable areas like the ‘gender area’ (BSTc)).
      Cis-Females, Trans-Females, Cis-Males, and Trans-Males will all have similar statistically ‘male-like’ brain patterns (the easy to spot neuroplastic parts), if all four groups behave like ‘very masculine men’. Ditto for ‘female-like’ and corresponding ‘very feminine women’.
      Problem is, not all four groups are so inclined equally to behave equally; nor are all four groups anatomically predisposed to move dynamically (affects brain patterns), as soon as any one NOT behave as such, they exclude themselves from a similar pattern
      BTSc=only gender difference: Finalized-for-life BEFORE all behavior changes that affect neuroplastic areas of the brain.

      1. SaintSuelle 21 Dec 2011, 10:26pm

        And Predictably:
        A FEMALE, like most transfemales, will have lived a predominantly initial macho MALE Gender Expressed Life (GEL), which will most likely alter her ‘living brain’ to a pattern similar to a MALE (typical macho ‘cismales’). That is, until she finally transitions over to the FEMALE GEL. However, her BSTc will be distinctly Female regardless of GEL.
        A MALE, like most transmales, will have lived a predominantly initial feminine FEMALE Gender Expressed Life (GEL), which will most likely alter his ‘living brain’ to a pattern similar to a FEMALE (typical feminine ‘cisfemales’). That is, until he finally transitions over to the MALE GEL. However, his BSTc will be distinctly Male regardless of GEL.
        Even if a butch lesbian female, will exhibit the same ‘macho=butch’ neuroplastic pattern, but BTSc may or may NOT be male at all.
        Even if a effeminate male, will exhibit the same ‘girly’ neuroplastic pattern, but BTSc may or may NOT be female at all.

  47. Where I come from, the term “Transgender” is a term which describes any person who feels their gender is misalligned with their born sex, and a “Transsexual” is somebody who has begun transition (sometimes) as well as somebody who has undergone SRS. Transsexuals are therefore Transgenders who are so misalligned with their born sex that they cannot bear not to be in the same body anymore. I’m a TG who is seeking medical help to begin transition, but as it happens its quite expensive. As much as I cannot stand my body, the money I’m in is making it very difficult to continue! And, as a matter of fact, beyond just the TG and TS community, there are individuals who cannot stand their bodies but have no preference as to which gender they are. They should be allowed to get a body they desire, and allowed to then express whichever gender they desire – even if it is no gender at all or both at once. There are also those who can stand to be with their bodies, but mentally cannot stand (cont…)

  48. (cont…) as their sex. As such they will dress as the opposite sex, but never pursue SRS. The fact is, everything in gender is very much on a spectrum. Even in the Cisgendered world there is such extreme variance in gender expression that it is foolish of anyone to try to make it a “bilinear” type world. That’s my two cents, and it saddens me that people who have to experience the same hardship are against one another.

  49. lol i actually hang out with transsexuals and transgenders and neither has a problem with the word “transgender”. you are being very silly and missing the point of this article. why do you seem so quick to distance yourselves from other types of transgender’s as if they are some lower form of existence than yours.

    ps: a little something else. my therapist thinks the word transgender means a girl trapped in a guys body, and transsexual means cross dresser. he’s been in school for 28 years.

  50. like this stupid transsexual ripping on transgenders saying drag queens, interesex, androgynes, etc should not be recognized as anything but male
    how ignorant
    it pisses me off x4 when its homos and trannies who are against other homoes and trannies

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