Technologies of Trans-Sexing: Discursive Tension and Resistance within Psycho-Medical and Transgendered Theorising of Transsexual Bodies

  • Katrina Roen


Throughout the twentieth century, there has been speculation about what is technologically possible in terms of transforming sexed bodies. This chapter argues that what can be done is actually less important than how we understand what is being done. As psychologists and psychiatrists are approached more and more often by people wishing to “change their sex”, we need to address theoretical issues behind this complex request. In this chapter, I draw from interviews with transsexual and transgendered research participants and discuss the various strands of meaning that get woven together in the process of making “sex change” make sense. Sex change may become more, or less, meaningful, according to the discursive negotiations between transpeople and clinicians. It is vital for theoretical psychology to engage with these issues, offering an understanding of transsexuality that challenges simplistic approaches.


Research Participant Gender Identity Gender Dysphoria Gender Identity Disorder Medical Advancement 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katrina Roen
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CanterburyUK

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