Transsexual body modifications as narcissistic self-regard, a UK context

Davy, Zowie (2005) Transsexual body modifications as narcissistic self-regard, a UK context. In: Visiting Speaker Seminar, University of Coimbra, Portugal.

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Official URL: http://www.ces.uc.pt/eventos/passados2005en.php

Abstract

The aim of my research is to investigate transsexual bodily aesthetics and the use that transsexuals make of body modification technologies in the construction of a gendered identity. This will be explored within the context of the UK’s Gender Recognition Act 2004 (GRA 2004), the Gender Recognition Panel (GRP), and the clinical setting. The focus will be on body parts that have specific relevance to transsexual experiences of gendered embodiment. Thus, focussing on other body parts in addition to genital surgery will enable us to understand in more depth the gendered ‘nature’ of body parts in relation to transsexual experiences. After all the genitals only represent about 1% of body mass (Valentine and Wilkins 1997). However, within the sexological literature, genital reconstructive surgery is implicitly and explicitly emphasised as the most important factor in the construction of a happy and satisfied transsexual identity. A consequence of this concentration is that the transsexual is constantly equated with genital surgery, which has implications for authenticity in the clinician’s office, transgender studies and transgender politics. I chose to focus on modifications of body parts and not solely on genitals because these other characteristics have been overlooked in much of the sexological and transgender literature. Furthermore, the UK’s Gender Recognition Act 2004 does not state that genital reconstructive surgery is a necessary body modification in order for the transsexual to apply for gender recognition.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Keynote)
Additional Information:The aim of my research is to investigate transsexual bodily aesthetics and the use that transsexuals make of body modification technologies in the construction of a gendered identity. This will be explored within the context of the UK’s Gender Recognition Act 2004 (GRA 2004), the Gender Recognition Panel (GRP), and the clinical setting. The focus will be on body parts that have specific relevance to transsexual experiences of gendered embodiment. Thus, focussing on other body parts in addition to genital surgery will enable us to understand in more depth the gendered ‘nature’ of body parts in relation to transsexual experiences. After all the genitals only represent about 1% of body mass (Valentine and Wilkins 1997). However, within the sexological literature, genital reconstructive surgery is implicitly and explicitly emphasised as the most important factor in the construction of a happy and satisfied transsexual identity. A consequence of this concentration is that the transsexual is constantly equated with genital surgery, which has implications for authenticity in the clinician’s office, transgender studies and transgender politics. I chose to focus on modifications of body parts and not solely on genitals because these other characteristics have been overlooked in much of the sexological and transgender literature. Furthermore, the UK’s Gender Recognition Act 2004 does not state that genital reconstructive surgery is a necessary body modification in order for the transsexual to apply for gender recognition.
Keywords:Gender Recognition Act, Genital surgery, transsexual, transgender
Subjects:L Social studies > L231 Public Administration
L Social studies > L320 Gender studies
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Health & Social Care
ID Code:5046
Deposited By: Zowie Davy
Deposited On:06 Apr 2012 12:12
Last Modified:13 Mar 2013 09:06

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