Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Transsexualism-History, Transsexualism-Diagnosis, Transsexualism-Hormone therapy, Transsexuals-Psychology, Transsexuals-Medical care, Sex change, Transgender people, Clinical social work, Transgender, Treatment, Surgery, Gender confirmation surgery, Sex reassignment, Standards of care, DSM


This article is a historical discourse analysis of the diagnostic and treatment protocols for transsexuals with implications for contemporary social work practice. The article uses the theoretical lens of post-structuralism and it complimentary methodology of historical discourse analysis to trace and critique the history of treatment and the power laden narratives used to regulate access to transition related care—particularly hormones and surgery. By analyzing these historical discourses, the article reveals the historical narratives and scripts that have constructed and pathologized transsexuals, and informed the evolution of the DSM and Standards of Care. Further, the article examines and critiques this history in relation to the current demographics of marginalization within the transgender community and the failures of clinical social work to meet the need of this vulnerable population.




iii, 33 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, 2013. Includes bibliographical references (p. 28-33)

Limited Access until August 2018