Treating Transgender Children and Adolescents: An Interdisciplinary Discussion

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Jack Drescher, William Byne
Routledge, Oct 10, 2014 - Psychology - 232 pages

Extremely gender variant children and adolescents (minors), increasingly referred to as 'trans' or 'transgender children,' are small in number. In recent years, their situation has become highly sensationalized, whilst the matter of how to best treat them remains an area of controversy. A growing body of research supports emerging treatment approaches, but more research is still needed to answer a host of questions: Do trans minors have a psychiatric disorder or a normal variation of gender presentation? Should treatment be aimed at helping them accept the bodies into which they were born or should parents, clinicians and schools accommodate their wishes of transition? At what age should transition begin? What are the implications – physical, psychological, social and ethical – of various treatment approaches?

The first part of this volume explores different clinical approaches to transgender minors in the USA and abroad. The second part contains responses to these approaches by commentators from various fields including biology, child psychiatry, civil rights activism, ethics, law, gender studies, queer theory and psychoanalysis. The work will be an invaluable source for parents and families looking at how to proceed with a trans child, as well as clinicians seeking to make appropriate referrals.

This book was originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Homosexuality.


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About the author (2014)

Jack Drescher, MD, is Clinical Associate Professor at New York Medical College, USA. He is President of the Group for Advancement of Psychiatry and a member of DSM-5 Workgroup on Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders, and the WHO Working Group on (ICD) Classification of Sexual Disorders and Sexual Health. Previous publications include Psychoanalytic Therapy and the Gay Man (1998). He is Emeritus Editor of the Journal of Gay and Lesbian Mental Health.

William Byne, MD, PhD is Associate Professor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, USA. He is Director of the Laboratory of Neuroanatomy and Morphometrics, and Chair of the American Psychiatric Association Task Force on Treatment of Gender Identity Disorder.

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