The first words a new parent hears may be the sex of the infant, but that may not tell the whole story. In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, transgendered children, and transexual adults. What happens when the brain and the body disagree?
Dr. Joy Schaeffer directs the Seahorse Medical Clinic in San Jose, California and conducts research in gender identity issues. She tells Jim Fleming that sexual identity in the brain is influenced by hormones during foetal development and is quite independent of anatomical development. Also, Mildred Brown - a clinical sexologist and therapist in Los Gatos, California, tells Anne Strainchamps how painful and confusing life is for children whose bodies don't reflect their sexual identity, and the crises that can arise at puberty, including self-mutilation and suicide. Brown is the co- author (with Chloe Ann Rounsely) of "True Selves: Understanding Transsexualism."SEGMENT 2:
Historian and foreign policy expert Sabrina Ramet tells Judith Strasser that other cultures have had much more flexible attitudes towards gender: Native Americans recognized up to six genders; Serbian families could make daughters honorary sons; some Arab men were permitted to choose their own gender status; and there are numerous historical examples of cross-dressing, often for religious purposes. Ramet is a transsexual who found an end to life-long depression in her transition.SEGMENT 3:
"Susan Hughes" is a pseudonym for the mother of a transgendered child. The anatomically female baby she'd named "Sarah" announced at age three that she was a boy, and later chose the name "Steve." Hughes tells Judith Strasser how she knew her child wasn't simply a tomboy, and recounts some of Steve's experiences in school.
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