Transgender, Transvestism, and Transsexualism

Richard Ekins, Dave King

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionarypeer-review


Twenty years ago a sociological encyclopedia would not have included a separate entry featuring cross‐dressing or sex‐changing. The medicalization and pathologizing of these phenomena under such categorizations as transvestism, transsexualism, gender dysphoria, and intersex ensured that cross‐dressing and sex‐changing were considered, in the main, to be the domain of medicine and psychology. The small number of sociological studies relating to “transvestism” and “transsexualism” was considered to be a peripheral concern of historical sociology, the sociology of deviance, and feminism and gender studies. Only Garfinkel (1967) and Kessler and McKenna's Gender: An Ethnomethodological Approach (1978) provided a hint of the importance of transsexualism to the discipline of sociology.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology
EditorsG. Ritzer
PublisherBlackwell Publishing Ltd Oxford, UK
ISBN (Electronic)9781405165518
ISBN (Print)9781405124331
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 15 Feb 2007


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