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Medical advances in transsexualism and the legal implications.

Transsexualism is a condition wherein an individual's psychological gender is the opposite of his or her anatomic sex. The general belief now among behavioral scientists and physicians is that it is an identifiable and incapacitating disease, which can be diagnosed and successfully treated by reassignment surgery in carefully selected patients. Although many advances have been made in the reassignment surgery techniques, phalloplasty still remains a major challenge; to date, no ideal technique has been developed. The new gender created by the reassignment surgery has, in turn, led to many legal complications for postoperative transsexuals because states and the judiciary have not recognized the new gender. However, with wider acceptance of transsexuals by society, this outlook has changed for the better, with many states amending their laws in accordance with the advances in medical sciences. But in many developed and the developing countries, transsexuals are not given a legal identity, thereby adding to their agonies and miseries.

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