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How Does Science Explain Transgenderism?

Transgenderism and the transgender are topics that have gained notable momentum in the public conscious as of late. What exactly is this status, and what is the reasoning behind it? Here, we take a look at the scientific community’s efforts to explain and understand this personal preference and status.

Basic Status Definition

So, what exactly is transgenderism? For a straight-forward definition, the Merriam-Webster Dictionary makes it fairly clear. Transgenderism, or the act of being a transgender, is defined as “of, relating to, or being a person whose gender identity differs from the sex the person had or was identified as having at birth; especially: of, relating to, or being a person whose gender identity is opposite the sex the person had or was identified as having at birth.”

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Old Science

Having covered the basics of this status itself, let’s now look to the science world’s attempts to understand and compartmentalize this particular human sentiment. Although science has only really just begun looking to the subject in the last few decades, it has been involved long enough to generate a history of hypotheses and ever-changing theories with regard to the matter. One of the most notable and possibly most infamous attempts to explain transgenderism scientifically has been by way of trauma causation. This, like many other theories, went by the wayside as the medical and scientific communities encountered too many roadblocks to this being the absolute truth.

New Science

Today however, research has come much further. It has not conclusively explained the physiological reasons for this status, but reportedly, it is closer than ever before. Some great insights along these lines have come by way of an esteemed specialist in the matter, Dr. Johanna Olson, of the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles Transyouth Program.

According to Olson:

“We don’t know what causes someone to be transgender, but what we’re learning as we’re putting the pieces together is that there are likely many factors. Genetics, hormones or other elements likely play a role. The information that is being discovered now is indicating that the neural wiring in a transgender person’s brain looks more similar to their gender of identity rather than their gender of assignment at birth.”

Directly paralleling the findings and work of Olson and other important figures in the field, some very noteworthy psychobiologists and neuroscientists have recently uncovered some interesting and quite telling scientific clues in the matter. As detailed by publications at Scientific American, a recent brain-imaging study found conclusively that the shape and structural formation of the brain of transgender people is different from that of others born of the same physical gender. Specifically, it was found that the transgender brain actually resembles the brain of the transgender person’s personally identified gender as opposed to the physical gender of their birth.

To conclude, there is still plenty of research and solid knowledge to be gleaned in the area of transgender individuals. To some, the science behind it all really does matter, while to others, it’s truly not of much consequence. These are the basics of transgenderism, the transgender, and today’s general scientific stance on the matter.