0
Get Alert
Please Wait... Processing your request... Please Wait.
You must sign in to sign-up for alerts.

Please confirm that your email address is correct, so you can successfully receive this alert.

Article   |    
MEDICOLEGAL ASPECTS OF TRANSVESTISM
KARL M. BOWMAN; BERNICE ENGLE
Am J Psychiatry 1957;113:583-588.
View Author and Article Information

Medical superintendent, The Langley Porter Clinic, and professor of psychiatry, University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco, Calif.

Research associate, California Department of Mental Hygiene, San Francisco, Calif.

text A A A
PDF of the full text article.
Abstract

The causes and character of transvestism are not well understood. Hereditary and constitutional factors appear in the background of some transvestites, and there is some indication that intersex of a subtle degree may be involved. According to psychologic explanations, transvestism is the result of intense castration fears, as are homosexuality, exhibitionism, and fetishism.All agree that treatment of transvestism at present is difficult and prolonged, and results are most unsatisfactory. Most patients do not wish psychotherapy. Surgical transformation is also rejected because it plays into the patient's illusions and does not really solve the problem. In most states it is considered that mayhem statutes can be made to prohibit the use of surgical transformation.The degree of desired change varies from case to case. Some male transvestites desire breast enlargement and perhaps castration; a few insist on both castration and penotomy, with the construction of a urethra; a very few may request a plastic vagina. So far, no one has been reported to request the implantation of ovaries, fallopian tubes and uterus, although a female patient is said to have arranged for the implantation of testicles. Male parthenogenesis does not yet seem to be within the realm of possibility.Female transvestism may be more frequent than is indicated by the number of reports in the literature.It is possible that eventually castration by hormonal medication may bring about great changes in sexually deviant individuals such as transvestites and partially solve this problem. Administration of hormones, as a medication, does not run into the same legal bars as does surgery. It should be noted, however, that hormonal castration constitutes a medical decision and intervention, with quite as definite sequelae as in other medical treatments; for example prolonged hormonal medication raises the question of the danger of cancer.The treatment of choice is probably intensive, prolonged psychotherapy in suitable cases, in order to relieve tension and bring about a better adjustment; techniques may be found to make the patient more accessible to psychotherapy. So far, there are no reported successfully treated cases. Until more appropriate and successful therapies are found, present methods of treatment will continue in use.

Abstract Teaser
Figures in this Article

Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.
Sign In Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.
Sign In to Access Full Content
 
Username
Password
Sign in via Athens (What is this?)
Athens is a service for single sign-on which enables access to all of an institution's subscriptions on- or off-site.
Not a subscriber?

Subscribe Now/Learn More

PsychiatryOnline subscription options offer access to the DSM-5 library, books, journals, CME, and patient resources. This all-in-one virtual library provides psychiatrists and mental health professionals with key resources for diagnosis, treatment, research, and professional development.

Need more help? PsychiatryOnline Customer Service may be reached by emailing PsychiatryOnline@psych.org or by calling 800-368-5777 (in the U.S.) or 703-907-7322 (outside the U.S.).

+

References

+
+

CME Activity

There is currently no quiz available for this resource. Please click here to go to the CME page to find another.
Submit a Comments
Please read the other comments before you post yours. Contributors must reveal any conflict of interest.
Comments are moderated and will appear on the site at the discertion of APA editorial staff.

* = Required Field
(if multiple authors, separate names by comma)
Example: John Doe



Web of Science® Times Cited: 16

Related Content
Articles
Books
The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Psychiatry, 5th Edition > Chapter 17.  >
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition > Chapter 0.  >
Topic Collections
Psychiatric News