Individuals who have a gender disorder identify with the sex opposite of their assigned biological sex. They feel as if they are not in the right body, and yearn to be someone other than who they are.
These feelings begin in early childhood and have been considered "disordered" thinking in the past. A psychological problem, like homosexuality was perceived years ago. Not too long ago, such gender issues were seen as "choices", not biologically bound within one's DNA. And as a result, many children, teens and adults would hide in shame. Some even choosing suicide.
More research, like this recent one from Australia, show that there is a genetic link for gender identity. "There is a social stigma that transsexualism is simply a lifestyle choice, however our findings support a biological basis of how gender identity develops, " reports Dr. Vincent Harley, Head of Molecular Genetics at Prince Henry's Institute.
This research will be published in the January 2009 journal Biological Psychiatry and suggest that pathologizing "Gender Identity Disorder" will be a thing of the past.