From the Gender Identity Disorder diagnosis to the redescription of the transsexuality experience: a reflection on gender, technology and health

Márcia Arán Daniela Murta About the authors

Based on a study on health practices of the main services that assist transsexuals in Brazil, this paper discusses the challenges for public policies management for this population, particularly, the need for a Gender Identity Disorder diagnosis as condition to access. To light up this debate, there is a reflection on gender, technology and health, based on the contributions of Bernice Hausman and Joanne Meyerowitz on the constitution of the transsexuality phenomenon in mid 20th century. It highlights the importance of analyzing the progress of medical technology and the revolution of custom's influence on the debate on the immutability of the sex and on the construction of the gender category as condition to understand the reason why the regulation of health access for the modification of bodily sexual characteristics was associated with the definition of the transsexual condition. Then it argues that if firstly the institutionalization of assistance to transsexuals in Brazil was associated with the strictly biomedical model, the notion of integral health must promote an opening for the redescriptions of transsexual experience in a permanent articulation between the dominant biopolitical knowledge and the multiple local and minority's types of knowledge.

transsexuality; health; gender; technology; subjectivity; culture


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