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WPATH & THE STANDARDS OF CARE
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WPATH - Overview
( From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia )
WPATH (The World Professional Association for Transgender Health),
formerly known as
the (Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association, HBIGDA)
HBIGDA was originally named after Harry Benjamin, MD. (1885-1986)
Dr. Benjamin was one of the first physicians to work with gender dysphoric persons.
Benjamin was born in Berlin, received his doctorate in medicine in 1912 in Tübingen for
a dissertation on tuberculosis. Sexual medicine interested him, but was not part of his medical studies.
In 1948, in San Francisco, Benjamin was asked by Alfred Kinsey, a fellow sexologist,
to see a child who "wanted to become a girl", despite being born male, and whose mother wished for help
that would assist rather than thwart the child. Kinsey had encountered the child as a result of his interviews
for Sexual Behavior in the Human Male which was published that year, and had seen
nothing of the like previously. Neither had Benjamin.
This child rapidly led Benjamin to understand that there was a different condition to that of transvestism,
under which adults who had such needs had been classified to that time. Despite psychiatrists whom
Benjamin involved in the case failing to agree amongst themselves on a path of treatment, Benjamin eventually
decided to treat the child with estrogen (Premarin, introduced in 1941), which had a "calming effect",
and helped arrange for the mother and child to go to Germany where surgery to assist the child
could be performed, but from there they ceased to maintain contact, to Benjamin's regret.
However, he continued to refine his understanding, in 1954 introducing the term "transsexualism",
and going on to treat, with the assistance of carefully selected colleagues of various disciplines
(such as psychiatrist John Alden and electrologist Martha Foss in San Francisco and
plastic surgeon Jose Jesus Barbosa in Tijuana), several hundred patients with similar needs in a similar manner,
often without accepting any payment. His patients regarded him as a man of immense caring, respect and kindness,
and many kept in touch with him until his death.
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