Sex Reassignment Surgery: Panacea, Placebo or Pandora's Box? - A Narrative Inquiry

Belinda Chaplin

Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis (not CDU)


Background: Transsexualism, also known as Gender Identity Disorder is a sexual condition where an individual strongly identifies with the opposite gender. Often hormonal and surgical intervention is required to satisfy this dysphoria. Sexual reassignment surgery (SRS) has been routinely performed in many countries, including Australia for many decades. However, there has been limited research conducted with Australian transgendered persons.

Aim: The purpose of the current study was to explore the life experiences of Australian transgender persons who have undergone SRS and explore what influences the surgery had on their daily lives and social functioning.

Methods: Using narrative inquiry as the methodology to underpin this research, a convenience sample of three post-operative male to female (MTF) transgendered persons were recruited to tell stories about their lives as transgendered persons.

Results: Each participant’s narrative is captured as a biographical account of their journey in relation to their social and cultural milieu.

Findings: The participants’ narratives generated the following concepts: Loss and Grief, Satisfaction, Regret linked to SRS. From a personal and social perspective, the narratives also explored the relationship of the population to the healthcare system and ongoing care needs.

Conclusion: The study has implications for practice and recommends changes to pre-operative and post-operative care associated with sexual reassignment surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Queensland
  • Cox, Leonie, Supervisor, External person
  • Welch, Anthony, Supervisor, External person
Award date21 Jun 2011
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes


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