The Psygentra Institute

 

 

Dedicated to the study of gender, sexuality, and violence

Current Projects

Psychology, Power, and Gender Fluidity

Dr. Jemma Tosh is currently working on a book proposal for her fourth book, a book chapter for an edited collection on psychology, gender, and power, and a journal article on gender fluidity. She uses feminist intersectionality theory and critical discursive psychology in her analyses. 

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Collaborations

The Trans Priorities Project: Cross Country Trans Women and HIV Research Priority Setting (2016-17)

We collected and analysed data for the REACH 2.0 Trans Priorities Project - a project that aimed to identify research priorities for trans women impacted by HIV. The project centred around asking trans women and their allies across Canada what they thought researchers should be focusing on in their work. We collected material through interviews, analysed the material using content and discourse analyses, prepared materials for conference presentations, and drafted papers for publication.

in collaboration with REACH 2.0

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Awards

Gender Identity Research and Education Society (GIRES) Award

Psygentra Founding Director Jemma Tosh has been awarded by the Gender Identity Research and Education Society (GIRES) for their contribution to the article: 'A critical commentary on follow-up studies and 'desistance' theories about transgender and gender non-conforming children' published in the International Journal of Transgender Health (originally named the International Journal of Transgenderism).

with Julia Temple Newhook, Jake Pyne, Kelley Winters, Stephen Feder, Cindy Holmes, Mari-Lynne Sinnott, Ally Jamieson, and Sarah Pickett

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Books & Book Chapters

Sexual Abuse and Surviving with(in) Psychology

J. Tosh with F. Dempsey

In this chapter Tosh describes their experiences as a queer and genderfluid survivor growing up in Northern Ireland, and how those experiences influenced their career as a psychologist who specialises in sexual abuse and violence. Tosh outlines the complex intersections of gender, sexuality, race, place, and historical context and shows why these intersections should be central to therapeutic approaches that aim to help survivors heal from sexual trauma.The chapter also has a discussion section where the authors talk about abuse, psychology, intersectionality and more.

The Body and Consent in Psychology, Psychiatry, and Medicine: A Therapeutic Rape Culture

J. Tosh

This groundbreaking text interrogates the constructed boundary between therapy and violence, by examining therapeutic practice and discourse through the lens of a psychologist and a survivor of sexual abuse. It asks, what happens when those we approach for help cause further harm? Can we identify coercive practices and stop sexual abuse in psychology, psychiatry, and medicine? Tosh explores these questions and more to illustrate that many of the therapies considered fundamental to clinical practice are deeply problematic when issues of consent and sexual abuse are considered. 

A critical commentary on follow-up studies and "desistance" theories about transgender and gender-nonconforming children

J. Temple Newhook, J. Pyne, K. Winters, S. Feder, C. Holmes, J. Tosh, M. Sinnott, A. Jamieson and S. Pickett

The tethering of childhood gender diversity to the framework of “desistance” or “persistence” has stifled advancements in our understanding of children's gender in all its complexity. These follow-up studies fall short in helping us understand what children need. As work begins on the 8th version of the Standards of Care by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, we call for a more inclusive conceptual framework that takes children's voices seriously. Listening to children's experiences will enable a more comprehensive understanding of the needs of gender-nonconforming children and provide guidance to scientific and lay communities.

Perverse Psychology: The Pathologization of Sexual Violence and Transgenderism

J. Tosh

Perverse Psychology examines psychiatric constructions of sexual violence and transgender identities from the 19th century until the latest DSM-5 diagnoses. It uses discourse analysis to interrogate the discursive boundaries between 'normal' and 'abnormal' rape, as well as the pathologization of gender and sexual diversity. The book illuminates for the first time the parallels between psychiatry's construction of gender diversity and sexual violence, and leads us to question whether it is the violence that the profession finds so intriguing, or the gender nonconformity it represents.

Psychology & Gender Dysphoria: Feminist and Transgender Perspectives

J. Tosh

Drawing on discursive psychology, this book traces the historical development of psychiatric constructions of ‘normal’ and ‘abnormal’ gender expression. It contextualises the recent reconstruction of gender through the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) and its criteria for gender dysphoria. This latest diagnosis illustrates the continued disagreement and debate within the profession surrounding gender identity as ‘disordered’. It also provides an opportunity to reflect on the conflicted history between feminist and transgender communities in the changing context of a more trans-positive feminism, and the potential implications of the diagnoses for these distinct but linked communities.

Working together for an inclusive and gender creative future: A critical lens on 'gender dysphoria'

J. Tosh

This chapter reflects on the conflicted history of the diagnosis of 'gender dysphoria', as well as describe a collaborative project challenging its implementation. This project addressed the DSM-5 Chair of the Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders Section and involved contributions and support from lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex and feminist activists, academics and clinicians. The acceptance of diverse differences in relation to philosophical or political issues was nurtured through the commitment to a common goal: the condemnation of psychiatric intervention with young gender creative children. This politically engaged academic intervention illustrated the potential for creating awareness and intervening in professional discussions around psychiatric intervention when groups overcome differences and work together to develop extensive and valuable activist networks.