- Consistently strong desire to change one’s anatomical gender. Some transsexuals were misassigned gender at birth (for example, being anatomically male but raised as female), either on purpose or due to indistinct anatomy. Most, however, are perfectly normal physically. Transsexuals may dress and behave as individuals of the opposite sex, and may choose to use hormones or surgery to develop desired secondary sex characteristics. Surgery to change the appearance of the external genitals is known as sex reassignment surgery. Surgery and hormonal treatments for gender reassignment are available for both male and female transsexuals. Transsexualism is distinct from transvestism (cross-dressing), and does not always indicate a change in the individual’s sexual preference.
* * *1. The state of being a transsexual. 2. The desire to change anatomic sexual characteristics to conform physically with one's perception of oneself as a member of the opposite sex, coupled with a desire to live full-time in the role of the opposite sex.
* * *n.the condition of one who firmly believes that he (or she) belongs to the sex opposite to his (or her) biological gender. The roots of such a belief usually go back to childhood. Children with such beliefs are treated with encouragement to engage in the activities appropriate to their biological sex and to work through their difficulties in psychotherapy. Adults with such beliefs can seldom be persuaded to change them; surgical sex reassignment is sometimes justifiable, to make the externals of the body conform to the individual's view of himself (or herself).• transsexual adj. n.
* * *trans·sex·u·al·ism (tran-sekґshoo-əl-iz-əm) 1. the most severe manifestation of gender identity disorder in adults, being a prolonged, persistent desire to relinquish their primary and secondary sex characters and acquire those of the opposite sex; particularly describing those persons who go so far as to live as members of the opposite sex through dress, hormonal treatments, or surgical reassignment. 2. the state of being a transsexual.
Medical dictionary. 2011.