6 Cap. U. L. Rev. 403 (1976-1977)
M.T. v. J.T.: An Enlightened Perspective on Transsexualism

handle is hein.journals/capulr6 and id is 413 raw text is: M.T. v. J.T.: AN ENLIGHTENED PERSPECTIVE
ON TRANSSEXUALISM
INTRODUCTION
During the summer of 1976, the world of professional tennis was
disrupted by the controversy surrounding a player who had under-
gone an operation which resulted in a sex reassignment from male
to female and who subsequently desired to play professional tennis
as a woman. The controversy concerning Dr. Renee Richards
(formerly Dr. Richard Raskind) sparked the nation's curiosity con-
cerning transsexualism.1 As a result, during the subsequent months
there were many magazine articles, newspaper reports, and television
programs dealing with the scientific phenomenon of a female mind
trapped in a male body or vice versa.2
Transsexualism has been described as behaviorally the act of
living and passing in the role of the opposite sex before or after
having attained hormonal, surgical and legal sex reassignment;
psychically, it is the condition of people who have the conviction that
they belong to the opposite sex and are driven by a compulsion to
have the body, appearance and social status of the opposite sex.'3
The phenomenon of cross gender identification, now known as
transsexualism, is not new to our time or culture. It certainly did
not begin with Renee Richards in 1976 or even with Christine
Jorgensen in 1952. Many descriptions from mythology, history, and
cultural anthropology indicate the pervasiveness of transsexualism.4
Perhaps the first sex-conversion operation occurred at the com-
mand of the Roman Emperor Nero. It is believed that the Emperor,
in a rage, kicked his pregnant wife in the abdomen and killed her.
He attempted to find someone whose face resembled that of his late
wife. The person closest to filling the order was a young, male ex-
slave named Sporum. Nero reportedly ordered his surgeons to
transform the ex-slave into a woman. After the conversion the
1. Kennedy, She'd Rather Switch---and Fight, SPORTS ILLUSTRATE, Sept.
6, 1976, at 16.
2. See, e.g., Burstein, Dr. John Money Explains the Why and How of
People Who Want to Change their Sex, PEoPLE, Sept. 20, 1976, at 63; Greene,
What Makes a Person Want to Change Sexes, THE NATIONAL OBSERVER, Oct. 16,
.1976, at 1, col. 1; Liddick, Most Transsexuals Search for Happiness in Vain,
THE PITTSBURGH PRESS, Oct. 19, 1976, at 13, col. 2.
3. R. GREEN & J. MONEY, TRANSSEXUALISM AND SEx REASSIGNMENT 487
(1969) [hereinafter cited as TRANSSEXUALISM AND SE REASSIGNMENT].
4. Id. at 13.

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