This is a multi-page website devoted to the topic of the psychology of gender identity and transgenderism. It was created by a graduate student in development psychology and includes information on her personal experiences, the personal experiences of others, and scholarly resources.
Type of Material:
This site consists of multiple web pages all linked from the homepage. Almost all the pages consist solely of text, although there are a few images as well (in .jpg format).
This site could be used as an out-of-class reading for students, either as the basis for an assignment or as a discussion-starter. It could also be used by faculty to broaden their knowledge of transgenderism.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
The author states that her rationale for creating the website is to bring "a personal and non-judgmental scientific approach to understanding transgenderism" and help "transsexuals, cross-dressers, and psychopathologists grow and develop as people.? From a teaching perspective, the site is full of information to educate students on a topic they often find mysterious and fascinating.
Target Student Population:
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
This is a very well-designed web site. The pages are easy to read and all the links work. Clearly, the site is updated regularly. The text is well-written and a wealth of information is provided in a very organized way. Although the site is heavy on the side of personal experience, the anecdotal information is tempered with well-placed doses of scholarly and scientific works on gender-related issues. The information seems accurate and timely.
A few spelling and grammatical errors were noted. In order for this to be a fully effective teaching tool, more of an academic introduction is needed.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
This site provides a wealth of excellent information about transsexualism/transgenderism, a subject which students typically have many questions about. Students can easily navigate through the site and have many of their questions answered. The academic information included is up-to-date and accurate. The many personal anecdotes that acquaint the reader with the author, a transsexual psychology graduate student, make a visit to this site one that will be remembered. Numerous activities and discussion questions could be coordinated with this web site. For example, the site includes diagnostic criteria (e.g., from the DSM) for gender identity disorder and a discussion of whether this "condition" should be depathologized and removed from manuals of mental disorders. This is a controversial issue that would make a great discussion or debate topic.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
This is a very clear, well-designed website. All of the links work and no special technical skills or software is needed to view the pages. The author has organized the material into categories so that one does not need to read every page but rather those pages that are most relevant for one's purposes.
The faculty member who is sending students to this site should do so with caution as students are likely to find themselves exploring the many links. Faculty using this site as a teaching tool need to be very clear in terms of what they want students to read and review for class purposes.
Other Issues and Comments:
I very much enjoyed browsing a website in which all the links actually worked. It was also very interesting to read about the author's personal experiences as a transsexual juxtiposed with intelligent commentary on the scholarly work in this area.
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