Sissies and Tomboys

Sissies and Tomboys

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In 1973, homosexuality was officially depathologized with a revision in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Psychiatry. In 1980, a new diagnosis appeared: Gender Identity Disorder of Childhood (GID). The shift separated gender from sexuality, while it simultaneously reinforced traditional concepts of qmaleq and qfemaleq and made it possible for cross-gendered behavior and/or identification to be deemed psychiatric illness. What is the difference then between a child being called a sissy on the playground and being labeled with a disorder in a psychiatric hospital? Combining theory and personal narrative, this volume interrogates the meaning of qthe normalq that pervades the literature on GID and investigates the theoretical underpinnings of the diagnosis. Sissies and Tomboys considers how the stigma of illness influences a child's development and what homosexual childhood, freed from the constraints of conventionally acceptable gender expression, might look like.throughout this essay I have and will continue to focus on the problem of effeminacy. Boys and ... The point here is that the diagnosis of Gender Identity Disorder takes place within a contested realm of human experience, namely, femininity.

Title:Sissies and Tomboys
Author: Matthew Rottnek
Publisher:NYU Press - 1999-05-01

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