Posted by: wanna know | 2007/03/02

what is this?

Many times I hear people speak about Harry Benjamin, or Harry Benjamin standards of care. What is it acctually all about, and is it really of any importance in South Africa?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageTransgender advisor

Dr. Benjamin was one of the first physicians to work with gender dysphoric persons. He lived from1885 - 1986. <br><br>The Standards of Care for Gender Identity Disorders articulate professionals who belongs in form of membership to the WPATH (World Professional Association for Transgender Health) formerly known as HBIGDA consensus about the psychiatric, psychological, medical, and surgical management of gender identity disorders. <br><br>Professionals may use this document to understand the parameters within which they may offer assistance to those with these problems. This document may also assist you with your research and understanding of the current thinking of professionals.<br><br>The sixth edition of the SOC (Standards of care) was released during 2001. The SOC, if used and interpreted in the correct way can be seen as a very helpful document, both to the medical practitioner and the transgender person. It is in it's latest form been seen as a very flexible guideline and not a method of gate keeping and having control over a person's body. I explicatively mention this, as the latter reason is why so many people in the transgender community doesn't see the value of this very informative guideline.<br><br>For example - it advises in the latest edition (of 2001)that a person completes a 3 month real life experience. <br><br>(Note the change from previous editions: it is a much shorter period, and been viewed as flexible and it is NOT ANY MORE a real life "test" but experience. That's the reason why it is flexible -it is not as if you fail "the test", but rather your therapist, psychologist or psychiatrist guiding you through the process, until both parties are confident to go to the "next step" being in this example then the taking of hormones. <br><br>There is actually relevance to the use of the SOC as a guideline even in South African context. Only problem though - right now many transgender transsexual persons needs to "advocate" their medical practitioner to be aware of the latest (2001) updated SOC. In this light, a very helpful link you can provide (and also print out for yourself can be found at:<br> <br><br><br>

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Our users say:
Posted by: Tina | 2007/03/05

Wanna Know

If I may add to what TA has already said.

The Harry Benjamin SOC is very important and very relevant to any transsexual anywhere in the world today.

It is a guideline and not a cast in stone set of rules but currently the only "rules" worth taking note of for any TS who wants treatment aswell as for any therapist providing that treatment.

Without the HBIGDA, I think most TS would have had a hard time finding proper treatment and it is a very important corner stone for the proper health care of TS folk.


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