SEP 24, 2018 6:55 AM PDT

The Science of Being Transgender

Gender identity is an issue that some have trouble understanding. It’s not always about male or female, because gender can encompass more than those two options. When a person refers to themselves as transgender, it means that they identify with a gender that is different than their “genetic sex” which is the chromosomal allotment of X and Y that happens about seven weeks after an egg is fertilized. The SRY gene is carried on the Y chromosome and triggers testosterone and the development of male gonads. This gene is absent when a fertilized egg has two X chromosomes.

Sexual differentiation in the brain is apart from the chromosomal process. The brains of males and females do have structural differences; however, studies have shown that the brain of a person who is transgender shows more similarity to their experienced gender, that is the gender they live as and identify with, than the gender they were born with chromosomally. Specifically in cortical thickness and the size of the hippocampus, in transwomen, that is women who perceive themselves as female but were born male genetically, their brains are quite similar to those who were born and live as women. The pheromone androstadienone is also involved in masculinization and feminization and studies in patients identified as having gender dysphoria show that levels of it correspond to a person’s perceived gender rather than genetic gender. While it’s a complex topic, it’s important to remember that those who are transgender often have a higher risk for suicide or self-harm and treating everyone with respect should transcend gender, whether perceived or genetic.

About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
NOV 12, 2020
Health & Medicine
Measles Cases and Deaths Surge Worldwide
NOV 12, 2020
Measles Cases and Deaths Surge Worldwide
Today, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a stat ...
DEC 03, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
3-D Printed, Realistic Heart Model for Training Future Physicians
DEC 03, 2020
3-D Printed, Realistic Heart Model for Training Future Physicians
Building a realistic tissue model is critical for training young physicians and surgeons, and yet challenging due to the ...
DEC 12, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Superhighways in Space Enable Super Fast Travel Between Planets
DEC 12, 2020
Superhighways in Space Enable Super Fast Travel Between Planets
Astronomers from Serbia have found that invisible structures created by gravitational interaction in our Solar System ge ...
MAR 09, 2021
Plants & Animals
Sea Slug Shows Extreme Case of Regeneration
MAR 09, 2021
Sea Slug Shows Extreme Case of Regeneration
Some of the most interesting—and possibly strangest—scientific discoveries happen by accident. According to ...
MAR 31, 2021
Plants & Animals
Spring Winds Following Warmer Winters Cause Mass Jellyfish Strandings
MAR 31, 2021
Spring Winds Following Warmer Winters Cause Mass Jellyfish Strandings
Beachgoers are certainly not fond of jellyfish in the water, but seeing hundreds of them wash ashore is an interesting a ...
JUL 16, 2021
Earth & The Environment
Melting Mountain Glaciers in Asia Release Greenhouse Gas
JUL 16, 2021
Melting Mountain Glaciers in Asia Release Greenhouse Gas
High mountain glaciers that are melting in the Tibetan plateau in Asia contain greenhouse gases and should be counted in ...
Loading Comments...