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Journal of Indian Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health, v6 n2 p44-46 2010

Transsexualism is a desire to live and be accepted as a member of the opposite sex, usually accompanied by a sense of discomfort with, or inappropriateness of, one's anatomic sex and a wish to have hormonal treatment and surgery to make one's body as congruent as possible with the preferred sex (ICD-10). There are an estimated one million Hijras, the common Urdu term for transsexuals in India, representing approximately one in every 400 post-pubertal persons born male. Despite being acknowledged over centuries as "arvanis" in India, these transsexuals live on the fringe of the society as "third gender" and are often driven to eke out a living by begging and prostitution. The stigma and anonymity have an enduring effect on the mental health of the transsexuals. However, there is also a paucity of published literature about transgender/transsexuality in mental health journals. This article presents a case report of a transsexual individual, highlighting the psychosocial issues in the Indian context.

Descriptors: Mental Health, Surgery, Foreign Countries, Sexual Identity, Self Concept, Males, Social Bias, Social Attitudes, Psychological Patterns

Indian Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health. e-mail: jiacam[at]; Web site:

Autor: Vinay, B.; Krishna, Prasad M.; Suresh, Kumar; Srikala, Bharath


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