Gender dysphoria–a medical perspective

 

Transgender people are a very diverse group who experience varying degrees of gender incongruence, with estimated prevalence rates of approximately 0.5%. Transgender people, experience gender incongruence as a discordance between their personal sense of their own gender (their gender identity) and the sex assigned to them at birth, ‘trapped in the wrong body’. Reported throughout recorded history, gender dysphoria has become a prominent medical, societal, cultural and theological issue. Transgender people experience increased rates of psychosocial stress, anxiety and depression. There is increasing demand for transgender health services in Australia and overseas. These may include cross-hormone treatment and surgery to allow transitioning to the desired gender. The medical evidence regarding benefits and risks of such treatments is limited; largely uncontrolled surveys have reported improved mental health outcomes and social distress following gender reassignment. Professional medical bodies such as the Endocrine Society have published guidelines on the implementation of “gender affirming care”.

In this presentation, as a practising Endocrinologist, I will provide an overview of gender incongruence, with a focus on the available medical evidence, to equip Christians with scientific material to inform a Biblical response to gender dysphoria and transgender people.

 

Prof. Mathis Grossmann
MD PhD FRACP, Department of Medicine (Austin Health), The University of Melbourne
Endocrinologist, Department of Endocrinology, Austin Health

Mathis Grossmann is a physician-scientist trained in both basic biology and in clinical endocrinology. He is Professor of Medicine at the Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne, Austin Health, Australia. As a Consultant Endocrinologist at Austin Health, he runs Endocrine Men’s Health and Endocrine Breast Cancer Clinics. He graduated with an MD from Heidelberg University Medical School and did his internship in Munich, Germany. He then spent 4 years in basic research at the National Institutes of Health, USA, and obtained a PhD at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne, followed by clinical training leading to FRACP. He joined the University of Melbourne at Austin Health in 2006.