Vincent Deboni, a professional counselor based in Sweden, provides a very interesting discussion of how pathologies in relation to masculinity may develop in men. His essay will be of relevance to all therapists working with young male clients who are troubled by issues relating to masculinity in these current confusing times.
Essentially, Deboni rejects the view that boys who develop Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria are either gay or have auto-gynephilia on the grounds that this is too simplistic. He urges people to consider other factors such as childhood trauma (or ACEs) which is a known factor in adult maladaptive behaviours yet seems to be overlooked when it comes to the developmental factors of a male who seeks sex re-assignment whether socially, medically, or surgically. To illustrate his argument, Deboni draws on his own experience of growing up within an impoversished dysfunctional family system in a South African culture characterised by a ‘militarised’ masculinity. Below is verbatim opening to Deboni’s essay.
‘We are in an unprecedented crisis with human sexual behaviour. I am aware that this topic is controversial and sensitive, but I was urged to write this piece by people who heard me speak-up at the Genspect conference in Killarney, Ireland, 2023. During the Q&A of the males-only panel I mentioned that I had survived seven years of severe anorexia while attempting to avoid becoming my father. I am familiar with the various theories and opinions around why males attempt to transition to female, but we have heard little of the history of why males develop pathologies in relation to masculinity. I offer this perspective piece as a point of discussion, not to label anyone, or dispense with current theories. Rather, I hope we can expand our understanding of maladaptive outcomes of adolescence in relation to sexual behaviours in males. I defer to future research that will provide a deeper insight into this taboo area. What follows is a snapshot of my own journey to manhood and some questions I have about how Gen Z males are adapting, informed by my understanding of important developments in male psychology.’
To read the rest of this piece go to Psychreg.