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  1. P. T. Cohen-Kettenis

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy1008

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Cohen-Kettenis, P. T. 2010. Transsexualism. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.

Author Information

  1. VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


The term transsexual has existed in the professional literature since the early 1920s (Hirschfeld, 1923). In the psychiatric classification system of the current Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders (American Psychiatric Association, 2000), the term transsexualism was replaced by gender identity disorder (GID). This term is used for individuals who show a strong and persistent cross-gender identification and a persistent discomfort with their anatomical sex, as manifested by a preoccupation with getting rid of their sex characteristics or the belief that they were born in the wrong sex. Some individuals, however, have no desire to live completely and permanently in the opposite gender role and have no desire for a complete sex reassignment. The term transgender has become an umbrella term for those who show a diversity of gender-variant behaviors and may have cross-gender feelings in different intensities.


  • gender dysphoria;
  • gender identity disorder;
  • transsexualism;
  • transgenderism