According to the DSM-5, gender dysphoria is

a marked incongruence between one’s experienced/expressed gender and assigned gender.

This might be something which arises out of the patient’s perception of gender roles as defined by society, i.e., girls should wear pink and play with dolls, while boys should wear blue and play with toy cars.

Would an intervention to help the patient question, challenge and cope with societal gender-based expectations regarding appearance and behavior help alleviate gender dysphoria?

Such an intervention could focus on the possibility of existing or identifying as a masculine woman or a feminine man. It could also include education on the fact that the concept of a third gender is a possibility and is present in several cultures around the world. For example, according to a research article from the American Indian Culture and Research Journal, Some traditional Diné Native Americans acknowledge a spectrum of four genders: feminine woman, masculine woman, feminine man, and masculine man.

I was unable to find research on this type of intervention and am looking for references to any relevant research.

My Research

I have found a few relevant questions here but none that directly answers my question or links to relevant research.

Conscious basis for gender identification – Here, a case is presented for an underlying biological mechanism for gender identification, but there is no mention of the effectiveness of expanding or relaxing the patient’s definitions/expectations of the two genders as an intervention against gender dysphoria.

On what basis do professionals who recognize gender dysphoria support risky and permanent medical intervention for those seeking gender re-assignment? – Here, an “affirming approach” is presented as the best method to alleviate gender dysphoria. However, no explicit mention is made of trying to expand the patient’s definition and expectation of their gender.


1 Answer 1


this is what FAQ about gender dysphoria says:

Gender dysphoria can often be relieved by expressing one’s gender in a way that the person is comfortable with. That can include dressing and grooming in a way that reflects who one knows they are, using a different name or pronoun, and, for some, taking medical steps to physically change their body. All major medical organizations in the United States recognize that living according to one’s gender identity is an effective, safe and medically necessary treatment for many people who have gender dysphoria.

from Frequently Asked Questions about Transgender People by The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE)

I've highlighted what is effective, so it's not changing perception of reality what works, it's living that life.

The other part, from same page - it's society which presses person to be what they want despite inner being of person, so suggestion to change views is irrelevant.

It's important to remember that while being transgender is not in itself an illness, many transgender people need to deal with physical and mental health problems because of widespread discrimination and stigma. Many transgender people live in a society that tells them that their deeply held identity is wrong or deviant. Some transgender people have lost their families, their jobs, their homes, and their support, and some experience harassment and even violence. Transgender children may experience rejection or even emotional or physical abuse at home, at school, or in their communities.

  • $\begingroup$ How do you conclude from this that the "suggestion to change views is irrelevant"? I see your point that actually expressing one's gender is what works, but gender education can help the patient realize the possibility of expressing their gender in a different way than what they have been doing. So, it can eventually lead to expressing one's gender in a new way. $\endgroup$
    – hb20007
    Commented Jun 3 at 14:28
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @hb20007 The point made is that those views are not made by individuals, they are made by society as a whole, so it's not something that one person can change. $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause
    Commented Jun 3 at 15:22
  • $\begingroup$ @BryanKrause It's the realization that these are just society's views, rather than biological realities, which might help with gender dysphoria. $\endgroup$
    – hb20007
    Commented Jun 3 at 16:02
  • $\begingroup$ @hb20007 let me give you one example why changing perception of reality will not work, but changing of living conditions will work: if person with gender dysphoria lives in locality, which stands high risk for their life or permanent health, no matter how they 'change perception', it won't be safer; while moving to other locality let them live lesser risk life and no need in change of perception. This is already reality for most of trans persons in US, UK and other countries with elevated number of right politics taking over power. $\endgroup$
    – aytvill
    Commented Jun 15 at 12:36
  • $\begingroup$ @hb20007 here is another person explains on Linkedin from practical session: why societal issues are NOT fixable by change of attitude 'Sexual harassment and violence are not women’s issues – they are societal issues that require collective action.' Active Bystander Training session organised by the Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner $\endgroup$
    – aytvill
    Commented Jun 15 at 13:57

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