Adult Male-to-Female Transsexualism

Journal of Phenomenological Psychology 46 (1):33-68 (2015)
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Abstract

Male-to-female transsexualism manifests itself in the form of a discrepancy between the male sex assigned at birth and the subjective experience of belonging to the female gender, which in many cases also involves a somatic transition by cross-sex hormone treatment and genital surgery. Until now, no studies related to MtF transsexualism have been carried out within the framework of a phenomenological/existential approach. This paradigm would make it possible to better articulate the transsexual experience beyond the simplistic diagnostic criteria by which it is currently defined. In this study, I will reread MtF transsexualism in the light of Ludwig Binswanger’s theories on Mannerism and Jean Paul Sartre’s remarks on the self and the body. I will do this largely by focusing on first-hand accounts of the MtF transsexual’s experience, in other words from a first-person viewpoint. Finally, I will present some considerations on the meaning of psychological intervention in this field.

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Roberto Vitelli
University of Naples Federico II