In 2021, transphobia still exists and it’s still quite rampant wherever you go. This goes as far as to debunk transgenderism with anti scientific sentiments mostly coming from ultra-religious people equating trans people with spawns of the devil. In today’s topic, we’re going to discuss the science behind transgender people and transgenderism.
This guide wasn’t created to attack a group of people or to discredit the emotions that people have against transgender people. Everything that will be listed here will be based on facts and is created for educational purposes only.
The science behind the determining factors of what our sex and gender would be is quite complicated. More than the gender binary (male and female) are a plethora of other instances which sometimes, involve transitioning and gender expression; and this is where transgenderism comes to play.
In the U.S., only 0.3% identify as transgender individuals. This may be the reason why transgender studies are often discredited and not given enough attention. Furthermore, psychological studies about transgender people are not given enough respect for the majority to believe its existence.
However, according to biological studies, gender identity is genetic. Transgender genetics studies have begun in the late 90s but up to now, a lot of naysayers are still reluctant in digesting the facts. One way to test whether a trait (which can range from hair color to cancer susceptibility to interests) is related to genetics and environment and it’s usually done by utilizing TWIN STUDIES.
- Identical twins share the same genetic background and often share the same environment.
- Fraternal (nonidentical) twins however, share only half of their genes, but are often raised in the same environment as well.
If identical twins share a trait more than fraternal twins, it’s probably related to genetics. Added to that, several studies have shown that identical twins are more often both transgender than fraternal twins, which says a lot about genetics relating to transgenderism.
Transgender genetics and what genes might be responsible
According to studies, transgender women’s brain cells resemble cisgender women’s (assigned female at birth and identify as women) more than they do with cisgender men’s (assigned male at birth and identify as men).
Two sexually dimorphic (what differs between men and women) areas of the brain are often compared between women and men.
- The BSTc (Bed nucleus of the stria)
- and sexually dimorphic nucleus
of transgender women are more alike to those of cisgender women’s than those of cisgender men’s. Suggesting that the general brain structure of these women matches their gender identity.
Added to that, scientists discovered that male-to-female (MTF) transgender individuals’ BSTc more closely resembles a cisgender woman’s in both size and cell density by two independent research teams in 1995 and 2000.
What causes Transgenderism?
Now that you know the science behind transgender individuals and that genetics are involved as to why some people are transgender, it’s also time for you to get into the psychological aspect of transgenderism.
In psychology, transgenderism has been proven to exist because of the mental disorder (not to be confused with mental illness) called gender dysphoria. It’s a disorder that deals with someone whose gender identity doesn’t match their assigned gender at birth.
It’s easier to determine someone who has gender dysphoria rather than someone who’s transgender because of genetics. People who are transgender mostly manifest the traits of a trans person simply by their gravitation towards the aspects that are more associated with the gender that they identify with.
Gender dysphoria is quite common in transgender people and varies at different levels. This is why some choose to undergo sex reassignment surgery SRS (Transsexual People) and some do not. Some trans people get the top surgery (removal or augmenting of the breasts) and are completely fine with just that while some don’t want to undergo any surgery at all.
Hormone Replacement Therapy
The majority of trans people’s gender dysphoria is treated with the help of hormone replacement therapy (HRT). It’s what provides them the medication in order to get the physical and mental characteristics that are more in tune with their true gender identity and not their assigned sex.
However, please know that HRT and SRS aren’t the only determining factors whether a person is of a transgender identity. As mentioned before:
- gender dysphoria
- or gender identity disorder (GID)
varies at levels.
Why knowing Transgender Science is Important
The reason why one must know the basics in transgenderism, most especially the science behind it, is plays a role in educating people that transgender people didn’t just spring out of nowhere. They exist for a reason and they deserve a place in this world. This is also to properly categorize them as transgenderism is often mistaken with homosexuality and sexual orientation which is pretty common in a lot of countries.
Some people think that:
- trans women and gay men are the same
- and that lesbians are the same as trans men.
This is incorrect and a misrepresentation of each community.
Added to that, transgender people are a group of people that experiences a lot of discrimination. They experience a lot of trauma that strips away their dignity and are not given the equal opportunity that cisgender people get without an effort be it in:
- and more.
Moreover, in some countries, being transgender can prove to be fatal which we will be talking about in the next section.
Transgender abuse support
Transgender people, most especially trans women in the United States, are being killed because of their gender identity every month. It seems like it’s a never ending battle and the only way to put a stop to this is by helping.
If you know anyone who’s experiencing abuse and you want to help, you may save a life by contacting the hotlines below.
Too many lives have already been lost. How much more are we going to take? It’s never too late to do the right thing. If you find it in your heart to stop these crimes, the best thing that you can do is to spread awareness.
Transgender people, like you, deserve a dignified life. Their existence needs to be acknowledged and they also deserve respect. Kindly share this article on your feed to stop the stigma today. Let them discover the science behind transgender today!