Harry Benjamin Syndrome

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Harry Benjamin Syndrome is a term which, as of this writing, is not universally and clearly defined but has multiple related definitions, often highly defensively asserted, by proponents.

The term takes its name from Dr. Harry Benjamin, noted clinician and researcher in the field of Gender Identity.

In one of the more popular contexts, Harry Benjamin Syndrome is thought of as the condition where the mind and psyche are normal, but the body is abnormal. This is in contrast to the classical definition of Transsexualism where the body is assumed to be normal and the gender identity is abnormal.

Some consider Harry Benjamin Syndrome to be within the Intersex spectrum.

Some proponents of Harry Benjamin Syndrome believe that the classical course of treatment, consisting of counseling, medication, surgery, and transition (not necessarily in that order) is ineffective and suggest that the condition be handled along the line of most medical conditions where medication and surgery are used to correct the condition without the traditional years of counseling and preliminary work-ups.

Critics of this approach consider it to be a short-sighted shortcut to bypass the formalities of diagnosis and treatment.

Another definition is simply a synonym for transsexualism ("True Transsexualism" as defined by Benjamin) or Gender Dysphoria.

Despite the growing popularity within the TG Community, the term is recognized by very few practicing clinicians.

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