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Transsexualism no longer is classified as a mental disorder in the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD).The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), and many transsexual people, had recommended this removal, The eleventh edition was released in June 2018.One perspective offered by transsexual people who reject a transgender label for that of transsexed is that, for people who have gone through sexual reassignment surgery, their anatomical sex has been altered, whilst their gender remains constant.Historically, one reason some people preferred transsexual to transgender is that the medical community in the 1950s through the 1980s encouraged a distinction between the terms that would only allow the former access to medical treatment.Male-to-female transsexualism has sometimes been called "Harry Benjamin's syndrome" after the endocrinologist who pioneered the study of dysphoria.Sociomedical scientist Rebecca Jordan-Young challenges researchers like Simon Le Vay, J.Transsexuality was included for the first time in the DSM-III in 1980 and again in the DSM-III-R in 1987, where it was located under Disorders Usually First Evident in Infancy, Childhood or Adolescence.Beyond Benjamin's work, which focused on male-to-female transsexual people, there are cases of the female to male transsexual, for whom genital surgery may not be practical.

formerly the Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association, this diagnostic label is often necessary to obtain sex reassignment therapy with health insurance coverage, and the designation of gender identity disorders as mental disorders is not a license for stigmatization or for the deprivation of gender patients' civil rights.

In 1930, Hirschfeld supervised the second genital reassignment surgery to be reported in detail in a peer-reviewed journal, that of Lili Elbe of Denmark.

In 1923, Hirschfeld introduced the (German) term "Transsexualismus", Benjamin went on to popularize the term in his 1966 book, The Transsexual Phenomenon, in which he described transsexual people on a scale (later called the "Benjamin scale") of three levels of intensity: "Transsexual (nonsurgical)", "Transsexual (moderate intensity)", and "Transsexual (high intensity)".

True transsexuals feel that they belong to the other sex, they want to be and function as members of the opposite sex, not only to appear as such.

For them, their sex organs, the primary (testes) as well as the secondary (penis and others) are disgusting deformities that must be changed by the surgeon's knife.

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