How Gender-Confirming Treatments Affect Transgender People
Today, in the post-modern age, people who identify differently from their sex assigned at birth are treated more nicely. Whereas before, they are mocked and ridiculed for being different. This change in society has made the days brighter for the members of the transgender community. Now, they have more freedom to express themselves and explore their sexuality. For instance, sex doll manufacturers have made models that will suit their sexual needs.
The social change also gave birth to gender-confirming treatments. Researchers Sanne W. C. Nikkelen and Baudewijntje P. C. Kreukels made a study about this in 2017. The study aimed to figure out the role of desire for gender-confirming interventions, psychological well-being, and body satisfaction of transgenders.
This blog will present their process and the findings they made in the study in a simpler way.
Gender-Affirming Treatments and Procedures
These procedures help non-cisgender people to be closer to the sex they identify with. With these procedures, a man identifying as a woman can look like a real woman. Likewise, a woman identifying as a man will be able to look like a man.
Genital Tucking, Packing, and Chest Binding7
These are the simplest things transgender people can do to affirm their own identity.
Tucking is the practice in which a trans woman “hides” her male genitals to have a smooth crotch contour. This look is achieved by holding the testicles and the penis in a certain position. Then, by wearing tight-fitting underwear or using adhesives, the alignment is maintained.
Packing, on the other hand, is the placing of penile prosthesis in trans man’s underwear. Penis made for sex dolls or sex toys also work. Through this practice, they get an outward appearance or a bulge on their crotch, similar to a reg ular man. As for their chests, they hide their breasts through binding. It is where they wear tight-fitting sports bras, shirts, ace bandages, or special binders to achieve a flat-chested appearance.
These practices help make them feel like the person they believe they are supposed to be. However, they pose health risks like infections and irritations.
Men and women speak differently. There are dissimilarities in articulation, loudness, pitch, tone, resonance, stress patterns, and nonverbal communication. The body language of the two also has differences.
By undergoing voice therapy, transgender people are able to adapt the communication style of the gender with which they identify. Vocal coaches, theater professionals, singing teachers, and movement experts are some of the people who can help them achieve this goal. On top of that, vocal fold surgeries can make this process easier.
Since transgender people have a gender identity that does not match their physical bodies, they experience gender dysphoria or discomfort. To eliminate the discord between their gender identity and sex assigned at birth, they rely on intaking hormones for their transition.
Transgender men use exogenous testosterone to suppress feminizing characteristics. In contrast, exogenous estrogen is administered to trans women for them to develop feminizing qualities. Anti-androgens are used in conjunction with that, to help in suppressing masculinizing features.
Sex Reassignment Surgeries
People are not like sex dolls whose genitals can be attached and detached to switch genders. Instead, transgender people need to undergo sex reassignment surgeries to have the genitals they believe they should have. Surgical intervention is a major step for transitioning individuals. Once it is done, there is no coming back.
Male-to-Female Sex Reassignment Surgery
This process, known as vaginoplasty, reshapes the male genitals into the aesthetics of the female genitalia. Moreover, the outcome will be functional and not just for looks.
With this operation, trans women can finally get rid of the body parts that they feel are out of place. Also, it is safer than the aforementioned tucking of the penis. The operation will, of course, demand recovery time. Aside from that, as long as trained and skilled professionals performed the surgery, it should not cause any health problems.
Female-to-Male Sex Reassignment Surgery
Phalloplasty is a multi-staged creation of a penis. It involves taking parts of the forearm, the leg, or the side of the back to create an aesthetically appropriate phallus. Then, the urethra is made or lengthened, so standing urination becomes possible. Next, the placing of scrotum and erectile and testicular implants is done on the next stage. Lastly, vaginectomy or the removal of the vagina can be considered, but it is not required.
Comparison Between Three Transgender Subgroups
Going back to the study, the researchers observed the behaviors of three transgender subgroups. Their first group of respondents is transgender people who have do not plan to undergo gender-confirming treatments (GCT). The second is transgender people who have an unfulfilled desire for GCT, and the last is transgender people who already received GCTs.
They focused on how the desire for or how these procedures have affected their well-being and body satisfaction. They were measured by asking the same sets of questions to the three subgroups and comparing the data gathered.
First, the researchers wanted to know about the sexual behaviors of the subgroups. The respondents were asked whether they ever had sex. Then, they were asked if they had been sexually active in the past six months. Last, the researchers asked them if they ever masturbated, regardless if they did it vanilla or with a sex toy.
If they responded yes to any of the questions, they were asked how often they do it. Next, they were asked about sexual satisfaction – how pleasurable do they find sex and how important it is to them.
Then, the questions moved away from the sexual aspects. The respondents are asked about certain negative feelings they might have experienced during the last four weeks. After that, they are asked how content they are in their current bodies.
After analyzing the data collected from the questionnaires, the researchers arrived at these conclusions:
- Regarding sex, male-to-Female Transgender peoples’ sexual feelings improved after receiving GCTs. On the other hand, the level of sexual satisfaction remained the same for Female-to-Male individuals.
- Regarding well-being, transgender people who have not yet received GCTs still experience difficulties in expressing themselves. They are still conflicted with their feelings.
These results show how important their body image is for transgender people. It helps with not just their sexual health but also their emotional one. It is a good thing that gender-confirming treatments exist because they help these people a lot.