Bioethics News

Causes of transsexualism. Is there a transsexuality gene?

Definition of transsexuality

According to the most recent psychiatric medical criteria, transsexuality can be defined as a disorder of sexual identity causing gender dysphoria, understanding as such the possible psychological imbalance that may arise when there is antagonism between a person’s desired and perceived body image. This psychological imbalance can be permanent or may be resolved at any time of life, especially after adolescence.

According to the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD)-10″, transsexualism can be defined as the “desire to live and be accepted as a member of the opposite sex, usually accompanied by a sense of discomfort with, or inappropriateness of, one’s anatomic sex, and a wish to have surgery and hormonal treatment to make one’s body as congruent as possible with one’s preferred sex”.

Sex and gender

Before proceeding any further, however, we think it necessary to introduce the precise terminology, to define the meaning of sex and gender. Sex is defined as the genetic, biological, anatomical and psychological characteristics of a person, while the term gender refers to the psychological identification that a person attributes to themselves — man or woman — and to their social assignment (1). Sexual identity refers to the sex to which a person feels sexually attracted (2).


Before continuing, it should be noted that, when talking about transsexualism, we are not referring to genetic sexual abnormalities, such as Turner’s or Klinefelter’s syndrome for example. (2)

When assessing the biomedical aspects of transsexuality, the first question that must be asked is whether0 transsexuality is genetically determined, i.e.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.