Transsexualism Is A Biological Phenomenon

Posted on 17 June 2008 by Gabrielle Chong Yong Wei

Many thanks to Professor Teh Yik Khoon for her permission to reproduce her article “Transsxualism Is A Biological Phenomenon”. This article was originally published in on 25th January 2006.

I refer to all the letters published recently on transsexuals. I feel that as a researcher in this area, I should speak out. Why is it so difficult for people to accept a person who is different from the norm even though this person has not done anything bad or hampered their quality of life? Why must people always be so judgmental and think that they are better than others?

They judge not only the transsexuals, but also physically challenged people, mentally-ill people, etc. Don’t forget that when you judge others and create hell for others, you are also being judged by God. God tells us to be kind and compassionate to others; not to take away the quality of life of others. At the end of the day, transsexuals themselves are going to answer to God, not to other people. So, please let God be the ultimate judge and not us.

As a researcher, there is already enough scientific research in the area of transsexualism to convince my colleagues and I that transsexualism refers to a biological phenomenon. This research is published in reputable journals as well as on the Internet. The debate on this issue goes on because people, especially those in authority, refuse to accept these scientific findings.

MCA’s Wanita chief Dr Ng Yen Yen did speak as a medical doctor once in support of transsexuals’ rights sometime back because she is aware of these scientific research.

The myths that male to female transsexuals are influenced to be one by their peers, that their parents dressed them up as girls when they were young because they wanted a daughter, that they were the only male child and were influence by their many sisters or that they were sexually abused when small, are still widely believed in society, including among professionals, as shown in TV3’s ‘Wanita Hari Ini’ programme on Nov 30 last year.

My research on 507 transsexuals in 2001, which has been peered reviewed internationally and accepted by the international academic community, shows nothing of the sort. Transsexuals start feeling different at a very young age, some as young as four or five years old. Their parents, especially their mothers, could not accept their cross-dressing let alone dressing them up as girls when they were small. They have both brothers and sisters as their role models. Many transsexuals were not sexually abused when small.

Researchers overseas that I know, including researchers like myself, started out wondering whether transsexualism is a social phenomenon. After carrying out our research, we all ended up believing strongly that you cannot ignore biological factors.

Concerning religion, I have spoken to an ustaz at Jakim (Jabatan Kemajuan Islam) and he said that if transsexualism is a biological factor, then Islam will have to reinterpret the matter. I hope the relevant authority will open up to the fact that transsexualism does have a biological factor. In Iran, the government has accepted the existence of transsexuals and pays for the sex change operation as they believe that quality of life is important to this community.

Lastly, I hope the media will be more balanced in their talk shows on marginalised communities as bias reporting will be very detrimental to their quality of life, creating more discrimination and marginalisation of these communities – like what TV3 has done with their ‘Wanita Hari Ini’ programme. I have already voiced out my dissatisfaction to them. Also, if everyone tries to have a friend among the transsexuals, you will have a different opinion about them.

5 Comments For This Post

  1. David G. Says:

    I beleive myself to be a M2F Transsexual.I live here in the United States,where there is still alot of predice against transsexual and others like them.I myself try not to judge others.Everyone who has someone who is Transgendered or a Transsexual should read this paper of yours.It is very interesting and to the point.

  2. Adriana Says:

    Hi!. I completely agree with the professor. I think that transsexualism is of biological origins, otherwise, how can it be that three or four years olds, who don’t even KNOW the difference between men and women yet, DO KNOW their own gender?. The Internationally approved concept of “Gender Identity Disorder” is wrong, but not because there isn’t a dissociation between one’s body and mind. There IS a disorder: having to live a life contrary to our own sentiments and feelings!. When you feel a girl trapped in a boy’s body, the problem is having to LIVE to that body and the concepts applied to that body. We don’t WANT to be women (or men, you know). We just ARE. I wasn´t raped nor abused, I wasn’t dressed as a girl (I did that MYSELF), I wasn’t part of a destroyed family or one with no masculine role-models. But I was aware of the problems that speaking out my truth could bring and, so, I kept silent for over three decades. People don’t realize that our suffering is a life-long experience and that that happens because we are afraid of being rejected by “them”. The professional community is just as narrow-minded as the overall society but, eventually, they will come to think of it in a rational way and agree that it IS a biological thing. Well, thanks for letting me express. Best regards from Argentina, Adriana Garzon

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  1. Tilted World » Blog Archive » Kelantan Religious Officers Arrested Transgender Women. Says:

    […] that relevant authorities, even in the light of the increasing evidences of transsexuality as a biological phenomenon during the past few years, would review this latest case of treatment towards transsexuals that […]

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