Thursday, March 29, 2007

Pop Quiz Time...

What condition do you think the following list describes?

1. They "... typically experience an intense desire or overwhelming compulsion to change their bodies to match their idealized images of themselves_______."

2. "They usually describe their feelings as developing early in life, often before puberty."

3. "... Most emphasize that they are primarily seeking a sense of wholeness or completeness or are offering to correct a mismatch between their bodies and their identities."

4. They "... experience sexual arousal or pleasure from pretending to be _______."*

The correct answer is "apotemnophilia," or as it is more commonly called now, body integrity identity disorder (BIID). The two blanks above should be filled in with the words "as amputees" and "an amputee," respectively. Here's another group who could share their stories with freshmen high school students...

This condition was documented as early as 1785, and in the late 1990's, a Scottish surgeon
amputated the healthy limbs of two people who suffered from BIID.

Amputating healthy arms and legs is controversial, but amputating healthy penises and breasts is not. I think I'm Alice, and I've fallen through the rabbit hole.


*(Lawrence, A. A. (2006). "Clinical and Theoretical Parallels Between Desire For Limb Amputation and Gender Identity Disorder." Archives of Sexual Behavior , 35, 263-278.)