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Prevalence and demography of transsexualism in Belgium

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 April 2020

G. De Cuypere*
Affiliation:
Department of Sexology and Gender Problems, University Hospital Gent, De Pintelaan 185, B-9000Gent, Belgium
M. Van Hemelrijck
Affiliation:
Department of Urology, University Hospital Gent, De Pintelaan 185, B-9000Gent, Belgium
A. Michel
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, Université de Liège, Boulevard du Rectorat B33, 4000Liège, Belgium
B. Carael
Affiliation:
Department of Sexology and Gender Problems, University Hospital Gent, De Pintelaan 185, B-9000Gent, Belgium
G. Heylens
Affiliation:
Department of Sexology and Gender Problems, University Hospital Gent, De Pintelaan 185, B-9000Gent, Belgium
R. Rubens
Affiliation:
Department of Sexology and Gender Problems, University Hospital Gent, De Pintelaan 185, B-9000Gent, Belgium
P. Hoebeke
Affiliation:
Department of Urology, University Hospital Gent, De Pintelaan 185, B-9000Gent, Belgium
S. Monstrey
Affiliation:
Department of Plastic Surgery, University Hospital Gent, De Pintelaan 185, B-9000Gent, Belgium
*
*Corresponding author. Tel.: +32 9 240 4397; fax: +32 9 221 0091. E-mail address:griet.decuypere@ugent.be (G. De Cuypere).
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Abstract

Aim

The Belgian medical world has acknowledged the diagnosis of transsexualism and accepted Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS) as one of the steps in the treatment of choice since 1985. This prevalence and demographic study analyses data on all Belgian individuals who have undergone SRS since that year.

Methods

All (188) plastic surgeons as well as all gender teams (Antwerp, Bruges, Ghent, and Liège) in Belgium were sent demographic questionnaires to be completed for each of their transsexual patients.

Results

The results show an overall prevalence of 1:12,900 for male-to-female and 1:33,800 for female-to-male transsexuals in Belgium. In Wallonia (the French-speaking region of Belgium) the prevalence is significantly lower than in Flanders (the Dutch-speaking region) and in Brussels (the bilingual capital region). In the total Belgian population the male/female sex ratio is 2.43:1, again with a substantial difference between Wallonia on the one hand and Flanders on the other.

Discussion and Conclusion

While in Flanders and in Brussels the prevalence is comparable to that in other Western European countries, in Wallonia it is markedly lower. Transsexualism in Wallonia appears to be socially less acceptable: persons suffering from gender dysphoria in that part of Belgium encounter more problems accessing gender clinics and receiving treatment.

Type
Epidemiology and Social Psychiatry
Copyright
Copyright © Elsevier Masson SAS 2007

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Footnotes

1

Both the authors contributed equally to this paper.

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