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Do Transexuals have a "brain in the wrong body"?

50 Icy Spear Mends Space

Well-known member
I remember reading a study where they where trying to find structural differences between cis and trans, and they concluded that brain structures having similarities with the opposite sex are common in homosexuals, but not people with gender dysphoria. Like, if you are an androphilic male, your grey matter looks girlier than a cishet males & gynophilic MtF, but not as girly as androphilic females. The only study I've found to have observed that there's difference in white matter(which stops developing during middle age) surrounding the thalamus(not hypothalamus) is a post-mortem study of trans people that had been under Hormone Replacement Therapy, but with MtF people that hadn't been under HRT there was no observable difference* in either white or grey matter when compared to the cis male control outside the putamen, where they were larger than cis males but still smaller than cis women.

So what brain scans show is that they have difference with the bit that controls motor functions, learning**, and feedback(somatic nervous system).

So the "brain in body of opposite sex" thing would lead homosexuality to come with a nearly 100% rate of gender dysphoria. The bit homo & het T show differences in seems to be related to how they perceive their bodies, at most their brains are hermaphroditic, rather than male or female.

*When sexuality is taken out of the equation
**Similar results have been found in multilingual populations, which explains why mainland Europe is so full of the gays, most of them speak at least 2(English and whatever) by necessity. :p


Question is: Anyone know of studies to the contrary?
 
C

Celene

Guest
well giving you a benefit of the doubt and assuming what you say is true and such, we aren't really capable of analyzing and objectively categorizing the more cerebral and conscious part of the brain the 'mind' so to speak.

it's also since you're observing the brain in this case it seems after puberty, wherein the body usually goes through a massive change and adjustments relating to hormones and such which is probably what's changing everything around, since regardless of gender identity the biological processes of the body are likely flooding someones body with the commands of "YOU IS MALE MATE WITH FEMALE" or at least the brains interpretation of that gender dynamic. A study of Transgender children in this scenario would be the most true and accurate way to get actual data on this phenomenon but that's questionably moral and very hard to ascertain the certainty of the cases, and again we could have issues identifying the underlying issues, causes and relations to gender dysphoria within the comparatively androgynous children.
 

50 Icy Spear Mends Space

Well-known member
A study of Transgender children in this scenario would be the most true and accurate way to get actual data on this phenomenon but that's questionably moral and very hard to ascertain the certainty of the cases, and again we could have issues identifying the underlying issues, causes and relations to gender dysphoria within the comparatively androgynous children.
Ethics once again getting in the way of scientific progress. *rassum, frassum... having morals... mumble grumble*

well giving you a benefit of the doubt and assuming what you say is true and such, we aren't really capable of analyzing and objectively categorizing the more cerebral and conscious
Well, on phone now because I'm heading my work shift so I can't link atm, but in essence the few studies(and there really aren't that many that look at the brain meats) that focus on this all mention that there is observable sexual dimorphism in the cerebral structure of humans, and mammals in general.

If you want me to post the links to the studies, just let me know, and I'll get to it as soon as I'm able.
 

Lord Inquisitor Adornable

The Community Outreach Mod
Moderator
Somthing that needs to be kept in mind in mind is that most people who are diagnosed with gender dysphoria do grow out of it by the time they finish puberty. A large portion of them do end up being homosexual though.

This is a complicated topic to say the least.
 

BlindLine153

Well-known member
Somthing that needs to be kept in mind in mind is that most people who are diagnosed with gender dysphoria do grow out of it by the time they finish puberty. A large portion of them do end up being homosexual though.

This is a complicated topic to say the least.
That's why I get so pissed when I see idiots try to diagnose their 3 year old as trans. That and I think that hormone blockers shouldn't be used at least till puberty.
 

Heliostorm

Well-known member
well giving you a benefit of the doubt and assuming what you say is true and such, we aren't really capable of analyzing and objectively categorizing the more cerebral and conscious part of the brain the 'mind' so to speak.

it's also since you're observing the brain in this case it seems after puberty, wherein the body usually goes through a massive change and adjustments relating to hormones and such which is probably what's changing everything around, since regardless of gender identity the biological processes of the body are likely flooding someones body with the commands of "YOU IS MALE MATE WITH FEMALE" or at least the brains interpretation of that gender dynamic. A study of Transgender children in this scenario would be the most true and accurate way to get actual data on this phenomenon but that's questionably moral and very hard to ascertain the certainty of the cases, and again we could have issues identifying the underlying issues, causes and relations to gender dysphoria within the comparatively androgynous children.
Transgender children don't exist. Or rather, because gender identity is something children are in the process of learning, it is highly unreliable to definitely declare any child as transgender or not. So there's no sense in trying to study "transgender children".

As for the OP, I reject on principle the notion that it's possible to "have a brain in the wrong body", and think that this is a terrible way to conceptualize gender dysphoria. However, what he actually seems to be asking for is whether or not there is evidence that transgender individuals have statistically significant differences in brain structure from cisgender individuals. That's a really complicated question to which the answer is yes in at least some things, but really I think it's a useless subject to for a non-researcher to understand at this point since the significance of the detected differences is completely unknown. Even if there are differences, it's impossible to say whether or not these differences are congenital or were induced by upbringing--because brain structure is as much a product of environment as genetics. Ultimately, all mental states are going to be represented physically in the brain somehow, so the discovery of differences in brain structure between people with different personalities is entirely unsurprising, but that doesn't mean that it actually means anything besides "different people are different".
 
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50 Icy Spear Mends Space

Well-known member
. Even if there are differences, it's impossible to say whether or not these differences are congenital or were induced by upbringing--because brain structure is as much a product of environment as genetics.
I am more curious on if the research on the topic exists in the first place, not so much the cause, but the fact that I have been able to find very little of it.
 

Muldoon

What is this devilry?
Brain structure isn't a set thing, it can change over the course of a life and responds to outside stimulus. In other words your world around you and intense emotional states can alter your brain structure. People with depression for instance have a different brain structure to those without, but they weren't born that way and depression is not genetic. Likewise people who suffered serious childhood trauma also have different brain structures to those who didn't, and in some studies there is the suggestion that you can alter it through choice such as by doing repetitive tasks to train your mind. It is the basis of psychotherapy.

So while there may be differences in brain structure with trans folk the question would be why? Was it nature or was it nurture, were they born like that or have they become like that through outside stimuli? This also raises the question of whether or not it can be changed to be a different gender through living and being said gender. But fundamentally brain structure isn't set in stone and varies over a lifetime and in response to events.
 

50 Icy Spear Mends Space

Well-known member
Brain structure isn't a set thing, it can change over the course of a life and responds to outside stimulus. In other words your world around you and intense emotional states can alter your brain structure. People with depression for instance have a different brain structure to those without, but they weren't born that way and depression is not genetic. Likewise people who suffered serious childhood trauma also have different brain structures to those who didn't, and in some studies there is the suggestion that you can alter it through choice such as by doing repetitive tasks to train your mind. It is the basis of psychotherapy.

So while there may be differences in brain structure with trans folk the question would be why? Was it nature or was it nurture, were they born like that or have they become like that through outside stimuli? This also raises the question of whether or not it can be changed to be a different gender through living and being said gender. But fundamentally brain structure isn't set in stone and varies over a lifetime and in response to events.
TL;DR: Grey matter stops natural development a bit past puberty, and white matter past middle age.
 

Frogbat

Active member
Transgender children don't exist. Or rather, because gender identity is something children are in the process of learning, it is highly unreliable to definitely declare any child as transgender or not. So there's no sense in trying to study "transgender children".

As for the OP, I reject on principle the notion that it's possible to "have a brain in the wrong body", and think that this is a terrible way to conceptualize gender dysphoria. However, what he actually seems to be asking for is whether or not there is evidence that transgender individuals have statistically significant differences in brain structure from cisgender individuals. That's a really complicated question to which the answer is yes in at least some things, but really I think it's a useless subject to for a non-researcher to understand at this point since the significance of the detected differences is completely unknown. Even if there are differences, it's impossible to say whether or not these differences are congenital or were induced by upbringing--because brain structure is as much a product of environment as genetics. Ultimately, all mental states are going to be represented physically in the brain somehow, so the discovery of differences in brain structure between people with different personalities is entirely unsurprising, but that doesn't mean that it actually means anything besides "different people are different".
My niece who is 12 would beg to differ. She started self-harming due to her dysphoria. Her mental health greatly improved once she started being treated with her identity as female taken into account. Looking back, she knew at a very early age what was up.
 
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Lord Inquisitor Adornable

The Community Outreach Mod
Moderator
My niece who is 12
Again most people who experience gender dysphoria find that it dissipates by the END of puberty. I understand that your niece must have some very traumatic experiences do to her condition, and I hope she goes on to lead a very fullfilling and happy life, but the unfortunate reality is that by the time she's in her mid 20s she may be racked with regret.

Though that would still be preferable to her ending her own life if she just couldn't cope with her condition untreated.


At the end of the day some people are just dealt a shitty hand in life and gender dysphoria is a bad card no matter how you cut it.
 

Frogbat

Active member
Again most people who experience gender dysphoria find that it dissipates by the END of puberty. I understand that your niece must have some very traumatic experiences do to her condition, and I hope she goes on to lead a very fullfilling and happy life, but the unfortunate reality is that by the time she's in her mid 20s she may be racked with regret.

Though that would still be preferable to her ending her own life if she just couldn't cope with her condition untreated.


At the end of the day some people are just dealt a shitty hand in life and gender dysphoria is a bad card no matter how you cut it.
Considering her uncle just came out as transgender in his 30s (the signs were there for the last decade in retrospect but niece's success re: family making an effort gave him the courage to come out) I highly doubt this is going to be a mind change scenario mate.

Like, I'm not saying it never happens but I suspect the regret is more about suffering side effects (re: society and medical because all medical interventions have side effects).
 

Horton

Cat
Administrator
Partly and partly not


Gender dysphoria is suggested to be a consequence of sex atypical cerebral differentiation. We tested this hypothesis in a magnetic resonance study of voxel-based morphometry and structural volumetry in 48 heterosexual men (HeM) and women (HeW) and 24 gynephillic male to female transsexuals (MtF-TR). Specific interest was paid to gray matter (GM) and white matter (WM) fraction, hemispheric asymmetry, and volumes of the hippocampus, thalamus, caudate, and putamen. Like HeM, MtF-TR displayed larger GM volumes than HeW in the cerebellum and lingual gyrus and smaller GM and WM volumes in the precentral gyrus. Both male groups had smaller hippocampal volumes than HeW. As in HeM, but not HeW, the right cerebral hemisphere and thalamus volume was in MtF-TR lager than the left. None of these measures differed between HeM and MtF-TR. MtF-TR displayed also singular features and differed from both control groups by having reduced thalamus and putamen volumes and elevated GM volumes in the right insular and inferior frontal cortex and an area covering the right angular gyrus.The present data do not support the notion that brains of MtF-TR are feminized. The observed changes in MtF-TR bring attention to the networks inferred in processing of body perception
It’s the case that even though there are some links and connections, the main reason is mainly based on bodily perception, more so then they have flat out girls brains in most cases if the current medical research is correct.

So wrong brain? Not quite
Born that way? Yes, it’s who they are.

So just don’t be a dick is all I say? Flat out telling trans people they’re not real woman is fucking scummy, even if neurology is at its infancy, as the links in perception are clear from this.

Either way, transphobia is a good way of getting banned as I consider it akin to making fun of a torture victim. So don’t.
 
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Lord Inquisitor Adornable

The Community Outreach Mod
Moderator
Flat out telling trans people they’re not real woman is fucking scummy,
Just to clarify Horton, are you saying a poster can't make the claim that trans women aren't real women or just that a poster can't call out specific trans individuals and tell them they're not real women?
 
Somthing that needs to be kept in mind in mind is that most people who are diagnosed with gender dysphoria do grow out of it by the time they finish puberty. A large portion of them do end up being homosexual though.

This is a complicated topic to say the least.
That is not actually accurate. The two prominent studies which came to that conclusion were not based on actual diagnosis of gender dysphoria, but on counting every single case of gender-incongruent behavior in patient referrals in two specific clinics (one in Toronto for one study, and one in the Netherlands for the other study), and then concluded that any referral which did not correspond to an adolescent gender transition patient at the follow-up study equaled a case of "desistance", i.e. growing out of gender dysphoria. In the Netherlands study, over 45% of all the original patients could not be found or declined to participate in the follow-up; the original conclusion counted all of these as desistance cases. In other words, the studies' conclusions are flawed because most of the children they're counting never had gender dysphoria in the first place; they were gay boys who were referred to gender clinics by their disapproving parents due to "gender inappropriate behavior".

This is especially true with the Toronto clinic, which literally specializes in trying to dissuade children from identifying as trans; the head clinician there literally defines being transgender as an "unhealthy outcome" which should be avoided at all costs. Indeed, he has argued in professional writing that being transgender is so unhealthy that doctors should encourage parents to be aggressive and heavy-handed in trying to force their children to not be trans, using measures such as punishing them harshly for "gender incongruent behavior".

In other words, the 80% figure is bunk because even casual reading of the studies in question shows that the children who "desisted" never actually identified as transgender. In fact, when the exact same scientist who carried out the study in the Netherlands did a more detailed analysis of his original study data and concluded that intensity of early GD was a strong predictor of persistence, i.e. that if you filtered his own study data based on identifying children who actually asserted a cross-gender identity as opposed to merely children whose parents felt they weren't feminine or masculine enough, that group had almost zero "desistance". Here's the full follow-on study.

As far as further sources: the best peer-reviewed material I can find on this matter is "A critical commentary on follow-up studies and “desistance” theories about transgender and gender-nonconforming children". Unfortunately, this is paywalled unless you're at a university library that has the appropriate subscriptions. However, the authors of that very study summarized their own findings in this article published in the journal of the College of Family Physicians of Canada. Another good source is Julia Serranno's article on "Detransition, Desistance, and Disinformation", and her later article on "Reframing Transgender Desistance Debates" (which contains numerous additional source citations, if you're interested).

TL;DR: Young children who are merely exploring social and gender roles are not likely to actually be transgender. Young children who specifically insist that they identify as the opposite gender from their physical body, however, are very likely to actually be transgender.


It’s the case that even though there are some links and connections, the main reason is mainly based on bodily perception, more so then they have flat out girls brains in most cases if the current medical research is correct.
To clarify on this point: the studies about brain differences in transsexual patients are all focused on very specific areas of the brain, not large scale general anatomy -- the general anatomy of the human brain is not significantly gender differentiated anyway, so outside of very narrow specifics, it is not accurate to speak of "male brains" and "female brains".

In theory, the best possible study on this matter would be large-scale multi-stage studies where they identify all of the gender-differentiated regions of the brain and then check all of those areas across a wide sample of trans patients of all ages, both before and after transition therapy. However, no such study has been done due to a lack of funding and a lack of available bodies (most of these study rely on posthumous microdissection work).

However, it's fair to say that there is an increasing consensus in the field that being trans is in fact an intersex condition of the brain. It's not absolutely definitive, but there is substantial evidence for it and there is no credible counter-evidence against it.
 
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