SMH.com.au – Richard Hill
Bonnie Eick (Letters, May 5) presents a view on gender dysphoria disturbingly reminiscent of earlier attitudes towards homosexuality. Pursuing it as a disorder rather than simply a difference, psychiatrists sought to treat it. The “treatments” ranged from aversion therapy – inflicting pain to associate the subject’s feelings with suffering – to forcibly reassigning their gender to “correct nature’s mistake”.
This attitude had two common results: it was phenomenally unsuccessful at producing a change in sexuality; and it caused intolerable psychological pain, leading to many suicides. The implied similarity between gender dysphoria and alcoholism is offensive to anyone even slightly acquainted with the condition.