@Harena Atria found an email I sent her on August 14, 2001. I don't know what this is quoted from, but Google can't find a source. Maybe I transcribed it from print? Bad past!me, not attributing sources!
Found this while obsessively cruising links -- may apply to things beyond gender:There's another example of this concept that's totally unrelated to any gender issues, but that was, at one time, treated as a "mental disorder" of sorts. During the '50s and even into the '60s, many grade schools had a program wherein left-handed children were forced to function as right-handed.
This was "for their own good, since it's a right-handed world". Left-handed children were forced to write right-handed by such means as taping a pencil in their right hand and tying their left hand behind them. You may be old enough to remember such things, or even to have witnessed it or (God forbid) had it done to you.
Eventually, psychologists/psychiatrists figured out that this wasn't changing left-handed people into right-handed people, it was simply creating alot of very screwed-up left-handed people. Essentially, the message sent to those left-handed children was "You were born with a right hand, so you're going to use it like every other normal right-handed person, and you're going to enjoy it!"
I don't mean to sound crude, but to me, this seems alot like, "You were born with male genitalia, so you're going to use it like every other normal male person, and you're going to enjoy it!" Evidently, it sounds that way to the medical/psychological community as well. Which is why they are no longer trying to fix something that "ain't broke."
Ironically, I think I must be relatively ambidextrous -- cuz I'm pretty sure if I'd had my right hand taped behind my back, I could've learned to write left-handed about as well as I actually do right-handed. (Too bad gender-switching isn't as easy as switching hands.)