The Division of Clinical Psychology has invited Professor Ken Zucker from Toronto's Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) as a keynote for their annual conference in December 2010 (www.dcpconference.co.uk). Professor Zucker is considered an authoritative figure in the controversial diagnosis and ‘treatment’ of children with ‘Gender Identity Disorder’ (Hill et al. 2005). Professor Zucker considers a diagnosis of GID when a child displays ‘gender incongruence’ that can present itself as a rejection of ‘culturally stereotypical’ feminine or masculine toys, clothes or activities (www.dsm5.org). A girl’s rejection of ‘feminine’ clothes is a common cause for referral to Zucker’s GID clinic (Zucker & Bradley, 2004). There has been much criticism regarding this diagnosis in the 30 years since its introduction to the DSM (e.g. Burke, 1996; Isay, 1997; Wilson, 2000; Wren, 2002; Menvielle &Tuerk, 2002; Hird, 2003; Langer & Martin, 2004; Lev, 2005; Bryant, 2008; Hegarty, 2009). Zucker and Bradley (2004) emphasize an association between GID and homosexuality and this has resulted in criticism regarding GID as a tactic to reinstate homosexuality as a mental illness, after its removal from the DSM in 1973 (Burke, 1996). There have also been concerns that GID ‘treatment’ is an attempt to prevent homosexuality in adulthood (e.g. Bartlett et al. 2000). Transsexualism is also portrayed as a common ‘problem’ or manifestation of GID (Hird, 2003) and despite the requirement of an adult GID diagnosis to justify available ‘treatment’ (Park & Manzon-Santos, 2000), there are concerns regarding the pathologisation of transsexualism and the overinclusiveness and ambiguity of the diagnostic criteria (Winters, 2000). Others argue that the GID diagnosis oversimplifies gender by constructing it as a binary of masculinity and femininity rather than a spectrum of possible gender variations (GID Reform Advocates, n.d.). Winters (2005) argues that this pathologisation of transsexualism exacerbates the stigma faced by gender-variant, gender- nonconforming, transgender, and transsexual people and highlights the similarity between these current perceptions of gender incongruence with perceptions of lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals prior to the declassification of homosexuality. Although, Winters (2000) encourages GID reform rather than declassification to make ‘treatment’ available to those who choose it. • We the undersigned object to the invitation of Professor Zucker as a keynote speaker to the Division of Clinical Psychology Annual Conference in December 2010. References: Bartlett, N., Vasey, P., Bukowski, W. (2000). Is Gender Identity Disorder in Children a Mental Disorder? Sex Roles, 43, 753–85. Bryant, K. (2008). In Defence of Gay Children? ‘Progay’ Homophobia and the Production of Homonormativity. Sexualities, 11, 455-475. Burke, P. (1996). Gender Shock: Exploding the Myths of Male and Female. London: Anchor Books. GID Reform Advocates (n.d.). Professionals Concerned with Gender Diagnoses in the DSM. Retrieved 2 November 2010 from http://www.professionals.gidreform.org/ Hegarty, P. (2009). Toward an LGBT-Informed Paradigm for Children Who Break Gender Norms: Comment on Drummond et al. (2008) and Rieger et al. (2008). Developmental Psychology, 45(4), 895–900. Hill, D., Rozanski, C., Carfagnini, J., & Willoughby, B. (2006). Gender Identity Disorders in Childhood and Adolescence: A Critical Inquiry. In D. Karasic & J. Drescher (Eds.), Sexual and Gender Diagnoses of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM): A Reevaluation. (pp. 7-34). New York: The Haworth Press, Inc. Hird, M. (2003). A Typical Gender Identity Conference? Some Disturbing Reports from the Therapeutic Front Lines. Feminism & Psychology, 13, 181-199. Isay, R. (1997). Remove Gender Identity Disorder from DSM. Psychiatric News, 32(22), 5. Langer, S., & Martin, J. (2004). How Dresses Can Make You Mentally Ill: Examining Gender Identity Disorder in Children. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 21(1), 5-23. Lev, A. (2005). Disordering Gender Identity: Gender Identity Disorder in the DSM-IV-TR. Journal of Psychology and Human Sexuality, 17(3/4), 35-69. Menvielle, E., Tuerk, C. (2002). A Support Group for Parents of Gender Non-Conforming Boys. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 41, 1010–1013. Park, P. Manzon-Santos, J. (2000). Issues of Transgendered Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, By Pauline Park, co-founder, New York Association for Gender Rights Advocacy and John Manzon-Santos, Executive Director, Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center. Retrieved 8 November 2010 from: http://www.apiwellness.org/article_tg_issues.html Wilson, K. (2000). Gender as Illness: Issues of Psychiatric Classification. In E. Paul (Ed.), Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Controversial Issues in Sex and Gender (pp. 31-38). Guilford: Dushkin McGraw-Hill. Winters, K. (2005). Gender Dissonance: Diagnostic Reform of Gender Identity Disorder for Adults. Journal of Psychology & Human Sexuality, 17, 71-89. Wren, B. (2002). "I Can Accept My Child is Transsexual but if I Ever See Him in a Dress I'll Hit Him": Dilemmas in Parenting a Transgendered Adolescent. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 11, 387-396. Zucker, K., Bradley, S. (2004). Gender Identity and Psychosexual Disorders. In J. Wiener & M. Dulcan (Eds.), The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. (pp. 813-835.). Washington: American Psychiatric Publishing.
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