Personality characteristics of individuals seeking treatment for gender identity disorder

Date of Completion

January 2001


Psychology, Clinical|Psychology, Personality




A study was conducted to examine the relationship among Gender Identity Disorder (GID) and emotional instability. Prior research has suggested that GID is purportedly due to underlying disabling psychodynamic processes, such as an unresolved pre-oedipal conflict; support for these hypotheses generally involved efforts to demonstrate that individuals with GID had more undesirable personality characteristics than “non-disturbed” individuals. From a historical perspective, such support derived almost exclusively from studies that employed small respondent pools (containing 20–30 respondents), that often used instruments of unknown empirical validity. This study assessed important personality characteristics of those seeking treatment for GID using a much larger participant pool, and employing the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI). ^ Analysis of 417 MMPI and MMPI-2 protocols showed no evidence of psychological disturbance, no evidence of personality disorder, and slight, but significant negative correlations between severity of GID and presence of personality disorder. No clinical elevations were found on any MMPI scale, other than Scale 5 (Mf, masculinity-femininity), which to a degree, represents the presence of GID. ^