Sexual Inversion: The Multiple Roots of Homosexuality

By Judd Marmor | Go to book overview

11 Passing and
the Continuum of
Gender Identity

ROBERT J. STOLLER

In studying problems of gender identity, we are constantly confronted by patients' identifications with members of the opposite sex. The results of these identifications have been most obvious in transsexuals and transvestites. 1 Yet people whose gender identifications are manifestly less confused have also revealed psychodynamics and vestiges in character structure or in dreams that are qualitatively similar to those found in patients with more ambiguous identities. Identification with aspects of members of the opposite sex is present in all human beings.

Koff (1961) puts this point very clearly:

... [T]he boy regularly identifies with his father. But the logical consequence of the theory of identification is that the boy should also identify with his mother, since she is the main object that is aban-

____________________
1
A transsexual is a person who actively seeks a sex-transformation operation, that is, a surgical procedure to change primary or secondary sex characteristics to the appearance of those of the opposite sex. A transvestite is a person who habitually prefers to wear clothes of the opposite sex. All transsexuals are overtly transvestic; transvestites are not transsexual except for occasional fantasies of sexual transformation.

-190-

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