New publication: Transnormativity in the Psy Disciplines

We are excited to announce a new publication in the journal American Psychologist: Transnormativity in the psy disciplines: Constructing pathology in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and Standards of Care. It has been written by the Trans Pregnancy project team: Damien W Riggs, Ruth Pearce, Carla A Pfeffer, Sally Hines, Francis White and Elisabetta Ruspini.

This article examines some of the histories of interactions between the mental health professions and transgender people. It argues that these interactions are shaped by norms in regard to what it means to be transgender. The article examines such norms in relation to two different mental health diagnostic and treatment documents, finding that they promote norms as much as they potentially facilitate access to services. It is part of a great new special issue on Histories of psychology after Stonewall, edited by Peter Hegarty and Alexandra Rutherford.

If you are not able to access American Psychologist, a free open-access version of the article can be downloaded from Ruth Pearce’s website here.

The article does not focus specifically on questions of fertility, pregnancy and childbirth, although we touch briefly on this topic in our discussion of how definitions of gender can be produced within Gender Identity Clinic. Instead, we provide historical background to the evolution of certain medical services which have help to shape how trans people are treated and perceived.

The histories explored in our American Psychology article will help inform our forthcoming works, which will look more specifically at research findings from our recent interviews and focus groups. These have been undertaken with men, transmasculine people and non-binary people who have conceived and given birth, young trans/masculine and non-binary people who are considering future options for fertility and reproduction, plus healthcare practitioners who work with these groups. We will of course be sharing all of our findings on this website as soon as they are published!