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 Post subject: Causes of Gender Dysphoria: Any Clearer?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:40 pm 
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So, this explanation for why we ended up trans always made most sense to me, but I was aware the scientific evidence is lacking and not clear-cut. I'm not clever enough about science to fully understand things - I'm seeking a layman's understanding, but ideally with cited sources etc.

This is the simplified explanation I used in my coming-out letter 5 years ago:

Gender Dysphoria has a biological explanation.

When you’re a foetus in your mum’s womb, your brain develops before your genitals do.

For the first 12 weeks of development a foetus is asexual.

If a foetus is to be born male, it gets exposed to 2 bursts of the male hormone testosterone: one at 12 weeks, the second at 16 weeks.
The first of these begins the process of giving the foetus the physical characteristics of a male infant, whilst the second is believed to begin the process of developing a masculine brain.

Scientists reckon transgenderism occurs when, for unknown reasons, one of these testosterone bursts fails to occur e.g. a foetus exposed only to the testosterone burst at 16 weeks will have female physical characteristics but the brain of a male infant.

So for most foetuses, brain and genitalia are in sync. They fit together: you have either a female brain and female genitalia or a male brain and male genitalia. However, for some people (like me) they don’t match.



But I've read a lot of disagreements with this. And this YouTube comment today has sent me into a downward spiral; I can't find anything that refutes it. Without the X chromosome, would we still have been exposed to testosterone in the womb at the incorrect time? Apologies for my ignorance. Please don't read this if you're easily upset re: the possible causes of transgenderism/whether it's a real condition etc.

Spoiler:
Most transgenders are fake, anyway.

It is only possible to have a female brain in a male body, but not the reverse. This is because, in the womb, your brain develops first (and we are all developed female, too), and about 2-3 weeks after conception, the brain 'checks' the cells' chromosomes to determine if it is a male or female.

If it sees a "Y" chromosome present in the 23rd pair, it will then release many male hormones (mostly testosterone) and this will convert the bundle of cells into a male human being (and thus develop into a man). Problems with this includes the hormone production being faulty, etc. leading to the brain 'staying female-orientated', but the body develops into a male one anyway. A few years later, enter male-to-female transgender. Now, with this in mind, it is utterly IMPOSSIBLE to get a male brain in a female body. No way is it possible for the male hormones to be released without a Y chromosome present, and even then, there's no way to localise them to ONLY the brain, but not the body. So if you ever see a female-to-male transgender, they are faking it. What they have is nothing like 'dysphoria', it's more of a self-induced psychosis based on the need for pity and attention.

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 Post subject: Re: Causes of Gender Dysphoria: Any Clearer?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:11 pm 
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Its fine to admit when you don’t have the answer for something, it’s still early days not only for our understanding of transsexualism but the human brain in general, I would suggest keeping an open mind and following the evidence to where it leads, but that explanation above doesn’t tell me a whole lot or give me any kind of comfort and honestly just sounds like speculation to me.
I'm more interested in finding out what transsexualism even is, how it comes to be is secondary to me because I have experienced it, I know it affects me regardless of knowing the cause and the cause tells me nothing about what this even is that I'm experiencing.

My main issue is that transsexualism is ill-defined and we get lumped in with a lot of people who clearly have very different experiences from our own and few seem to stop and consider what it is actually like to be a transsexual and what distinguishes transsexuals from cis people.
All the behaviour that leads people to believe I am simply delusional are considered perfectly healthy in the opposite ***, I don’t display any behaviour that doesn’t already exist in half of the population and everything I do would be considered perfectly reasonable had I been born as a dickless female-looking male.

I have no reason to believe my discomfort with my breasts was in any way distinctly different to my Cis brothers discomfort with his gynecomastia. We have both had surgery now and we both feel better for it.
It seems like everything that makes me trans would just be considered normal male behaviour had I been born male.
The idea that all of this is simply a delusion that has developed in my brain independently seems more far-fetched to me.

At the same time, there’s trans people who transition that I just can’t Identify with, their experience is entirely different. I saw a trans couple on YouTube who de-transitioned and then transitioned again. Part of their de-transition was to put on a dress and a wig as if de-transition to them was about displaying as a woman again. I have no interest in displaying as a woman or a man, I am just me and even if I went off hormones for health reasons, which was one of their reasons to de-transition, I wouldn’t start wearing a dress and trying to look like a woman again, that’s just not me and has never been me.
I am convinced that not all trans people are trans for the same reason or to the same extent and there would be no harm in making distinctions for medical purposes, which is why I call myself a transsexual and not transgender, as transgender is a broader term.
If its possible to female to have inherited male traits then it seems reasonable if not garanteed that they can inherit these traits to a less or greater degree, and although this doesnt make for a great case that transmen are just male brains in female bodies, it doesnt make your experience less legitimate and maybe we just need to change our view to better represent reality.
Ultimately so long as I can keep on doing what I'm doing I dont really care what some nobody on the internet thinks.

I am not worried about what science uncovers about transsexualism, I think my behaviour in and of itself isn’t a mental illness, the only thing disorderly about it is that I am displaying this behaviour as a female, which is unfortunate but you deal with the hand you are dealt.

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 Post subject: Re: Causes of Gender Dysphoria: Any Clearer?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:38 pm 
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For me, it feels important to discover whether it is physiological or psychological, so I can understand myself better. I'll freely admit that I definitely WANT it to be a congenital physiological condition. I imagine it will screw me up pretty bad if science proves that it's purely a mental disorder. But I can't claim for sure that it is physiological, without better scientific evidence. And without evidence, I can't distinguish - in a factual way, rather than anecdotal - the difference between myself and those whose 'symptoms'/'experiences' seem to be a whole other thing to my own. So yeah, I agree that my aim is discovering what transgenderism IS, but to me this is linked to understanding what causes it.

When I stumble upon pseudo-scientific anti-trans arguments, for peace of mind I'd like to be able to counterbalance them - even if just in my own head - to reassure myself that my transition has not been the actions of a deluded, mentally ill individual. Some days, it's difficult to do that.

This is in the Questions board, not the Debates board, so I'll tread carefully... But I, too, have started to think of my own condition as transsexualism. As mentioned in another thread ('Truscum?'), I think I'm what's classed as a trans-medicalist. Just less aggressive than many others who take that same stance.

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 Post subject: Re: Causes of Gender Dysphoria: Any Clearer?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:51 pm 
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I understand totally that you want scientific evidence, so do I, but I feel fine in waiting until the evidence is there rather than speculating. I also dont think you can determine a cause without determining what that thing is in the first place and I dont think we are even to that point yet and have to consider the variation of experiences of those who call themselves trans and choose to transition.
I think proving that transsexualism is a delusion is an even greater feat as we already have evidence of the same behaviour transexuals exhibit in cis-people and that it would be unlikely to manifest completely independantly. But thats only from the perspective of someone with my experience, as I said, other transsexuals have different experiences with likely different causes.
I dont really care if people are upset with "trans-medicalism" ultimately the scientific method will uncover the truth and theres nothing you can do about that.

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 Post subject: Re: Causes of Gender Dysphoria: Any Clearer?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:09 pm 
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Does it not bug the **** out of you that you can't say being transgender is definitely a valid thing, and the current treatment paths for it the correct ones?

[quote="JayM"]
as we already have evidence of the same behaviour transexuals exhibit in cis-people and that it would be unlikely to manifest completely independantly.


Not sure what you mean by this, sorry? The way it reads, that's the exact reason why it seems valid for people to claim 'socially constructed' etc., and we're just confused and latching onto the opposite *** and imitating behaviour. But i think I've misunderstood ya. Which behaviours?

I think prior to increased awareness, the fact many people turned up at gender clinics reporting similar sensations, behaviours and experiences, independently of each other, suggests that it is a real thing for sure. But now someone would only have to trawl, say, the threads of this forum to know exactly what things to report to a gender specialist and get diagnosed with dysphoria. And it also doesn't prove it's a real, physical thing as opposed to a real mental disorder. Plenty of people with schizophrenia share sensations, behaviours and experiences in common with each other (speaking as somebody who was also diagnosed with this in the past).
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 Post subject: Re: Causes of Gender Dysphoria: Any Clearer?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:12 pm 
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Sure, It’s important to remember that every aspect of human behaviour has evolved, every aspect of normal, healthy behaviour has been beneficial to our species at some point in our evolution.
That being said, there’s a biological reason why males would be uncomfortable displaying female characteristics and females displaying male characteristics. That feeling doesn’t exist in some completely abstract way, it exists for a reason. Typically, females having breasts doesn’t bother them at all, but displaying masculine features generally does. I speculate that this is because humans are generally heterosexual for the purpose of reproduction, and displaying opposite-*** characteristics will affect your ability to acquire a desirable mate and pass on your genes and have your offspring reach healthy adulthood. So it would make sense that males would want to have traits desirable to females and vice versa.
I recognize from my experience that I’m not just trying to mimic a male for some abstract reason, this affects me on an instinctual level. So it’s that instinct that I feel is out of my control that I consider my transsexualism and its that which you have to convince me is a delusion, completely materialising out of nowhere, it just seems more likely that since this feeling is something males who display female characteristics typically exhibit and resort to equivalent solutions to rectify, that its more likely that I am experiencing something that is actually perfectly normal, though admittedly, typically not in females.

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 Post subject: Re: Causes of Gender Dysphoria: Any Clearer?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 2:05 am 
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When I hallucinated cars coming at me on the road, I instinctively jumped back from them. Doesn't mean the perception of the car was valid just because it lines up with survival instinct - those cars were still false. And related to a mental illness.

All we have to go on, to support our belief that we feel instinctively driven to behave like males, are our own feelings and experiences. It is so fucking fallible. I guess what you're saying is that a mental illness would not be strong enough to compel us to instinctively deny our own biology? But depression has driven people to kill themselves, which goes against survival instinct. And delusions (by which I don't mean transsexualism) have driven men to hack off their own genitals, which goes against reproduction.

How can we know for sure that something didn't happen early on in life that made us believe we were boys/should be boys, and so we subconsciously suppressed our biology?

I'm questioning this as an intellectual exercise (like I said above, I'm heavily invested in this NOT being psychological), but I guess I'm also asking do you have any examples that could prove beyond doubt that it's physiological? Stuff that you instinctively did (pre-T). There are things I rely on (again, to keep me sane and convinced that this is real and not rooted in my mind being fucked up), and that I guess the GIC accepted as solid proof. But then...some of the people I see getting diagnosed, the stuff they're basing it on doesn't make sense to me, so I'm starting to freak out that the diagnostic criteria is changeable ********.

Spoiler:
Would be unfair of me to ask you to list **** when I'd held back.
So examples of what I mean are
- From age 6, masturbation always involved thrust motions and a weird pressure thing, outside the underwear, and it didn't occur to me until my very late teens that penetration stuff was probably meant to be involved. I knew about vibrators and I knew wanking basically mimicked ***, yet I'd only ever made a connection between being penetrated and...well, women.
- Even after 25 years of socialisation as a female, my instinct was still to shake hands with blokes and it always felt very odd for someone to lean in to do a cheek kiss instead.
- My humour leaned towards making jokes about my ***** and I'd have to censor/'correct' myself all the time.
- I generally dreamed myself as male and, the times when I didn't, gender stuff would be a focus in the dream and very confused.
- I felt compelled to try peeing standing up when I was a little kid, and never told anybody about it because I sensed it was weird and bad.

And that's enough confessional shiz to be getting on with. Lol. I wanted to include being drawn to friendships with boys and men, and not feeling right in all-female company, but I think masculine cis-women experience that kind of awkwardness and preference as well.

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 Post subject: Re: Causes of Gender Dysphoria: Any Clearer?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:16 am 
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I don’t think a hallucination of a car is equivalent, rather, the instinct to jump back itself. Can your instinct to jump back be a completely delusional fabrication independent of the actual, intrinsic instinct of jumping back when startled?
My issues with my body and gender Identity developed before I questioned my gender so I feel that I would have had to developed these issues due to subconsciously wanting to be a boy, but that still doesn’t explain away some other behavioural aspects that developed as I became sexually aware.
Again, behaviour displayed by transsexuals is common throughout the healthy human population. Cutting off your ***** and suicide is not.
Let me make this easier by using animals instead, because I think we have a tendency to believe humans have more free will than animals.
When studying animals, you can distinguish quite easily what behaviours are natal, what are caused by illness, disease or environmental influences and what behaviours are intrinsic to the male or female of the species. If a rat is running around in circles and chasing cats, it likely has a disease ( there is a disease like this but I forget the name) You know this behaviour is abnormal because it doesn’t exist in healthy populations. Then there are some animals where the sexes display specifically different behaviours, such as mating rituals and brooding. If a female of a species starts displaying a male behaviour such as a mating ritual to attract a female then you could say that animal has a mental illness, but then you must explain how it came to display the exact same behaviour that is common in the males of that species, and that this behaviour developed completely independently and had absolutely nothing to do with their genetics.
I don’t think animals, including humans work this way.

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 Post subject: Re: Causes of Gender Dysphoria: Any Clearer?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:45 am 
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I think that for transsexualism to be a delusion, not only would my brain have to completely fabricate, quite accurately, the mechanisms that cause males to behave the way they do, but simultaniously supres my natal female instincts and come out the other end perfectly mentally sound.
I dont have to put effort in to being trans, it comes naturally to me, but I would have to make an effort to live as female and become stressed because I am unable to display my natural behaviour as it would with a cis male who was raised female.
I'm not even sure if this kind of thing qualifies as a delusion by the definiton of a delusion. Maybe someone can correct me, but I always assumed a delusion was more of a failure to rationalise correctly and beleiving things that are untrue. I dont beleive I am male, I am female. I feel a pressure to behave in a way that is typical of males. Obviously theres more to it than this, I do Identify as male, but concentrating on these more obviouse aspects of transsexualism is just easier to discuss than a sense of gender Identity.

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 Post subject: Re: Causes of Gender Dysphoria: Any Clearer?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 12:31 pm 
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I don't know anything about the science behind transsexualism.
For me it doesn't matter.
All I know is being seen as a male and not having to curtail the way I act due to my perceived former gender has made my whole life better.
Even if it is a mental thing that wouldn't bother me because at the end of the day you've just got to be the best you that you can be.
People suffer with debilitating depression but still live and sure I probably could have remained female and existed, if there was no medical intervention available.
I see being transsexual similar to being gay, its just something you are, and you can choose to ignore it your whole life if you want to, but is it living?

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