A study published in the January issue of the Journal of Consciousness Studies explores the idea of phantom body parts, including sexual organs. The theory behind the study is the brains body map may include body parts that are not there. Children who were born without arms can have vivid phantom sensations of having arms, including complicated gestures such as waving goodbye. The theory was first noticed in soldiers who had the legs or arms removed who would expereience phantom pain or sensations that their missing body part is still there or in men who have been in accidents and have lost their penis report having the sensation of it still being there, including phantom orgasms. Women who have had a breast removed due to cancer report similar sensations that their breast is still there.
The theory also explores transgender men or women who were born feeling they are not the gender the body displays. These transgender men actually experience phantom sensations of having a penis, even though they have never had one. Also, men who have had a male to female transition don’t report having the same feelings or sensations for the penis they had removed, claiming it was never a part of their body image in the first place.
It has never been that shocking or hard to believe for me that some people are born in the wrong body. That their brains don’t match or link up with their bodies. We have had people with all sorts of crosswiring in the brain who see sound or hear colors. We have people who are born with both sets of sexual organs. With the realization that all thoise biological occurances have been documented and studied, it makes complete sense to me that someone would feel that they are living in the wrong body.
From the article:
When a limb is amputated, the area of the brain representing that limb is no longer activated by touch. But such areas do not become vacant lots. They get invaded by nerve fibers from adjacent brain areas that map intact body parts. When those parts - say the face or shoulder - are touched, sensations are felt in the missing limb.
Not long after this discovery, a few people wrote to Ramachandran to say that they experienced phantom penises after losing the organ in an accident or to disease. They even had phantom orgasms.
This got Ramachandran wondering whether the phantoms applied to transsexuality. To find out, he surveyed 20 male-to-female transsexual women and 29 female-to-male transsexual men.
You can finish reading about this study by clicking here GENDER IDENTITY AND PHANTOM GENITALIA
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