Gender dysphoria and being human

Rocha, Bella
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Malazita, James
Velho, Raquel
Campbell, Nancy
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Science and technology studies
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Scientific practices and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), now in its 5th version, produced by the American Psychological Association (APA), have been some of the strongest powers confining gender dysphoria to a mental disorder. The ways that science has pursued and justified sex differences has been heavily influenced by politics, neglecting other natural forms of sexual identification. The scientific systems that justify the need for a gender binary are the same systems that made it possible for the DSM-5 to confine gender dysphoria, both in its definitions and diagnoses processes, to a mental disorder. The irreconcilable amount of power that the DSM and science has, has inadvertently built walls around our own gender identities, keeping us in a dysphoric state. This thesis serves to expand on the definition of gender dysphoria within the DSM, as an effort to encourage our acceptance of gender dysphoria within our own lives. Through an application of thought practices from Judith Butler, Walter Mignolo, Anne Fausto-Sterling, Catherine Walsh, Londa Schiebienger, Wendy Brown, Frantz Fanon, and Julian Go, this thesis reconsiders the ways in which both scientific practices and the DSM have defined our gender identities. In doing so, fissures are created that allow for us to peer beyond a world with oppressive gender dichotomies, in order to reconcile with the ways we have been forced into feelings of gender dysphoria, and the ways that gender dysphoria can be reframed as a liberating inevitable experience.
School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
Dept. of Science and Technology Studies
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY
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