What makes someone feel like they were born in the wrong body?

What makes someone identify as another gender.

(this is a genuine curiosity, I'm not trying to be ignorant or start drama)


Ok I think I understand that your sex is what you are biologically and gender is what you identify as but what makes them feel like they are the wrong gender?


Hypothetically if men and women were isolated and kept from eachother until 21 so that up until the age of 21, they had no idea the other gender existed, would there still be transgender people? During those years of gender isolation would they think "I'm meant to be something else" would they still feel confused?


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Most Helpful Guy

  • I was extremely skeptical about this, but I think the answer is that there are two types of "transgender" people.

    One is the type that just doesn't like being associated with the behavior patterns that is socially defined and forced upon a particular sex. For example, you dislike how you are prevented from wearing the fancy colorful clothing and jewelry and whatnot that is created exclusively for females. Considering this type of socialization would be missing in your hypothetical scenario, and assuming every sex could do whatever they want as they are segregated, they would be socialized not to look for wanting to be the other sex, because the differences they desire and the restrictions they loathe would be gone.

    The other however is those who are legitimately feeling that there is something "wrong" with how they are. I started understanding this after watching this video

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HP3sBFDp9js

    Yes I know it's 15 minutes long, but hey, you asked. Take the case of David Reimer; his penis was removed because of a botched circumcision (yeah I know what you're thiinking, shh), and was an attempt to socialize him to be female. It did not work; he did take on the socialization elements that are associated with males. Nobody told him! He did that on his own. Essentially, the brain IS wired to be a particular sex, and takes the elements for that type of behavior from its surroundings. Which means, if there is such a wiring - a "mapping" for what one is meant to be like and if it's all fine and dandy - then that wiring can also be misaligned and broken. Similarly to how there are people who are born blind or are born with underdeveloped genitalia - hormones are imperfect, nature is imperfect.

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What Girls Said 4

  • Well the thing is that men and women's brains are wired differently so your thought processes would be different than those of your sex. If you were locked away I don't think there would be confusion because you would think the way you think is how everyone of your sex thinks.

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    • How would you know your thought processes are different and/or the same as the opposite gender.

    • Well you talk to other girls and realize you don't think the same way they do and then you talk to guys and realize your thought processes are much like theirs

  • Yes, even in your hypothesis where will be transgendered people.

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  • Why some people like chocolate ice cream? No real explanation, they just do and you just have to respect that.

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  • Porn
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What Guys Said 6

  • As a transsexual with trans friends I think I can offer some insight, and thank you for being polite about it. I will say you should read my myTakes on transgender people cause they might be able to help as well.

    Basically, its just a nagging feeling. For me, it was seeing boys doing something and thinking, "I want to be like that.". Not shirtless, but without breasts. Not having an embarrassing boner, but actually having a penis. It's like, somethings always wrong. But it takes time to figure out what.

    Basically, its like you just know something is wrong. You don't feel comfortable looking at yourself, touching your genitals, going in the bathroom/locker room designated for your biological gender. Some cross-dress to relieve stress, as I do. Some look for ways to hide their gender all together. Some just live life as the other gender. Whatever you do, it begins to feel more natural. Overtime, you notice you feel more comfortable as the other sex, being the other one. Being called by those pronouns, wearing the clothes, going in the locker room/bathroom. You notice it and it takes time, but you realize you might feel better actually BEING the opposite sex.

    Now this varies with people, but for me. It hit me. I like stopped and thought about it. I thought of this at 14. Now I'm 18 and finally have come to complete peace with that fact that I am a transsexual man trapped in a womans body.

    It's hard to explain, but it's kinda like being an animal in a zoo. You're trapped, no way out, people come and go and look at you and see the animal but don't see what it truly is: A living being that's trapped and almost unable to get out and sad. Then one day the zookeeper leaves the gate open and you explore, realize you like the feeling of freedom. You do it more and more and finally decided "I want out." So you escape into the wild and truly feel free and how you were meant to be in life. You may have lost family and friends throughout the journey, but you feel happier there than you have in years.

    Thats the best way I can explain what being transsexual is like. For now, I'm that wolf still in the zoo. But I'm plotting my escape. Already lost family and friends, but I'm getting there and I'm both anxious and excited.

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    • So hypothetically if at 14 you didn't know men existed and thought the world was filled with only women, you would have felt like you didn't belong in your body?

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    • No and yes. In a way, he's right. You are uncomfortable with your current state, but the gender itself not the physique of your body.

    • Perfect explanation

  • It is one of those impossible to answer questions so I googled a link that might help
    transequality.org/.../understanding-transgender-people-faq

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  • Neurological wiring. That's about it.

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    • So in my hypothetical scenario of the genders being separated, they would still feel out of place but wouldn't know why?

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    • I'm going to avoid the term "Mental Illness" because it's touchy. It is definitely considered a disorder though but even then that term is used lightly. There's nothing terribly wrong with the status but it does cause extreme distress to the person themselves. Also, it is "sort of like that" entirely; the only difference is that it's a "need" instead of a "want"; you wish you had those features and you'd be all good to go and these people are literally tormented that they do not have these features and if they did it would self-resolve. There is a good chance that transsexualism and transgenderism, due to their nature in humans being totally natural, wouldn't change with any particular type of research. Research would give more insight into why it happens and thus perhaps easing the process of resolution whatever it may be but beyond that like most mental illnesses there is no magic.

    • So changing their bodies to match their identity will remain the best way to make them feel more at peace?

      Do they generally experience an increase in their quality of life after having gender reassignment surgery?

      What about Rachel (I forget her last name) the white girl who claimed to be black. Do you think she actually believed she was black?

  • Wasn't born in a poodle, so that's a good start.

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  • I was a psych therapist in training before I changed career directions. Anyway I had one patient who I was dealing with who was a teenage boy who was convinced he was supposed to be born a woman and wished to have a sex change. After lots counseling time we spent with him, we soon realized he had family issues that led him to think this way. He grew up in a home where his sister was treated way better by his parents and relatives than he was. He felt neglected and lost because while his sister was achieving everything from good grades, athletic awards, and honor roll, he was struggling. His parents didn't foster much out of him and paid more attention to their daughter. This environment caused him to believe that if he was a girl, the world would treat him better.

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  • If men and women weren't exposed to each other there is no way we would have transgender people. People just hate something about their body, and instead of dealing with it fixate on it to the point they convince themselves it is their body that is the problem, and look towards another body type as what they wish they were.

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