Alternating gender incongruity (AGI)

Über Arnes Blog bin ich auf „Alternating gender incongruity (AGI)“ aufmerksam geworden.

Between the two extreme ends of human sexuality – male and female – lie a poorly understood and poorly studied spectrum of ambiguously defined sexual identities that are very much a part of the human condition but defy rigid classification. „Bigender“ is a recently formed sub-category of transgenderism, describing individuals who experience a blending or alternation of gender states. While recognized nominally by the APA, no scientific work to our knowledge has addressed this fascinating condition, or proposed any physiological basis for it. In addition, the alternation aspect has not been proposed as a nosological entity distinct from blending. We present descriptive data suggesting that many bigender individuals experience an involuntary switching of gender states without any amnesia for either state. In addition, similar to transsexual individuals, the majority of bigender individuals experience phantom breasts or genitalia corresponding to the non-biologic gender when they are in a trans-gender state. Finally, our survey found decreased lateralization of handedness in the bigender community. These observations suggest a biologic basis of bigenderism and lead us to propose a novel gender condition, „alternating gender incongruity“ (AGI). We hypothesize that AGI may be related to an unusual degree or depth of hemispheric switching and corresponding callosal suppression of sex appropriate body maps in parietal cortex- possibly the superior parietal lobule- and its reciprocal connections with the insula and hypothalamus. This is based on two lines of reasoning. First, bigender individuals in our survey sample reported an elevated rate of bipolar disorder, which has been linked to slowed hemispheric switching. We hypothesize that tracking the nasal cycle, rate of binocular rivalry, and other markers of hemispheric switching will reveal a physiological basis for AGI individuals‘ subjective reports of gender switches. Switching may also trigger hormonal cascades, which we are currently exploring. Second, we base our hypotheses on ancient and modern associations between the left and right hemispheres and the male and female genders. By providing a case of sharp brain-sex shifts within individuals, we believe that the study of AGI could prove illuminating to scientific understanding of gender, body representation, and the nature of self.

Quelle: Alternating gender incongruity: A new neuropsychiatric syndrome providing insight into the dynamic plasticity of brain-sex.

Also Personen, die ihr Geschlecht häufig wechseln, teilweise wohl täglich oder wöchentlich. Ein paar Beschreibungen:

—“I still have the same values and beliefs, but a change in gender is really a change in the filter through which I interact with the world and through which it interacts with me.”

—“If I’m in male mode and I see someone crying, I’ll think more along the lines of ‘Man up… while if I’m in girl mode I’ll think more long the lines of ‘Oh sweety!’”

Ganz klar scheint die Lage aber noch nicht zu sein:

“These results are suggestive but not conclusive,” Ramachandran says. “We need to rule out the possibility that this is just a variant of dissociative identity disorder (multiple personality disorder) or the subjects are simply “role–playing.” Without the “smoking gun”- physical evidence in the form of fluctuating hormone levels or brain imaging data – we don’t know what we are dealing with. Its something we are currently working on.”

At the Cognitive Neuroscience Society meeting in early April, Case presented preliminary research that one nominal AGI subject who was anatomically male performed differently on cognitive tests depending on his gender state: when male, he did better at a targeting task (throwing darts) and he had a superior score on a verbal fluency test after a switch to the female state. It was inconclusive whether testosterone levels fluctuated with the change in sexual identity.

Es klingt nach einem spannenden Gebiet. Jezebel ordnet es gleich einmal feministisch ein:

Obviously it’s one thing for the patient to make a subjective comment like this, but it’ll be a whole other story if something like the above actually becomes criteria to determine someone’s gender identity. It seems entirely possible that AGI is a real sexual alignment, but equally possible that this small demographic is comprised of individuals who have internalized gender norms so completely that this is the way they respond when they have an outlying trait.

 Wenn die Zustände mit verschiedenen Hormonständen zusammenhängen scheint mir eher ein biologischer Bezug wahrscheinlich. Aber hier muss man wohl weitere Forschung abwarten