Transsexualism is a condition in which a person experiences a discontinuity between their assigned sex and what they feel their core gender is. For example, a person who was identified as "female" at birth, raised as a girl, and has lived being perceived by others as a woman, may feel that their core sense of who they are is a closer fit with "male" or "man." If this sense is strong and persistent, this person may decide to take steps to ensure that others perceive them as a man. In other words, they may decide to transition to living as the sex that more closely matches their internal gender.
Although the term transgender is increasingly used to refer to those whose gender identity or expression diverges from culturally defined categories of sex and gender, less is known about the self-identities of those who fall within this category.
...we who treat transgender or gender nonconforming youth and their families need to go through our own process of self-reflection and scrutiny of our own biases and feelings about children and youth who go against the gender grain. We also need to unlearn theories of gender that bound us to a binary notion of normative masculinity and femininity.
However, despite the fact that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals are frequently discussed as a single group of sexual minority individuals (i.e., LGBT), little is known about whether these work experience constructs, their measures, and their links with criterion variables are applicable to transgender people. In fact, there is a dearth of instrumentation to assess transgender individuals' workplace experiences.
While dealing with transgender employees in the workplace is largely uncharted waters, statistics show that as many as 200,000 people have undergone a gender change during the last several decades in the United States. With the growing number of people choosing to openly change their gender, without changing their jobs and communities and starting over somewhere else, employers will increasingly be faced with dealing with managing transgender employees’ transitions in the workplace. Despite this reality, there are few organizations with the training or knowledge to deal with this issue. Even fewer organizations have guidelines or policy in place offering guidance on how transgender transitions should be handled in the workplace.
Transgender individuals report widespread exposure to prejudice. For instance, a recent national report documenting the experiences of 6,450 transgender and gender nonconforming respondents revealed that 47% reported an adverse job outcome, 29% reported police disrespect or harassment, and 15% of students in either K–12 or higher education left their school as a result of severe harassment.
Transgender identity issues are commonly assumed to be about sex. Occasionally this is the case, but far more often they are about identity itself.
Societal oppression of gender noncon- formity makes transgender people especially vulnerable to HIV infection and transmission. This oppression reduces transgender people’s visibility and creates economic hardship, which can lead to HIV risk.
'Transgender' includes gender identities that have, more transitionally, been described as 'transsexual,' and a diversity of genders that call into question an assumed relationship between gender identity and presentation and the 'sexed' body.
What causes transsexualism? No one knows the answer to this question, although there is much research currently in progress investigating it. Among the theories being investigated are genetic influences, in utero hormonal influences, and other brain structure/brain chemical influences.
Human sex and gender are very complex, and it is unlikely that any simplistic analysis will definitively answer this question.