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In 1930, Hirschfeld supervised the second genital reassignment surgery to be reported in detail in a peer-reviewed journal, that of Lili Elbe of Denmark.
In 1923, Hirschfeld introduced the (German) term "Transsexualismus", Benjamin went on to popularize the term in his 1966 book, The Transsexual Phenomenon, in which he described transsexual people on a scale (later called the "Benjamin scale") of three levels of intensity: "Transsexual (nonsurgical)", "Transsexual (moderate intensity)", and "Transsexual (high intensity)".
Individuals who have undergone and completed sex reassignment surgery are sometimes referred to as transsexed individuals; however, the term transsexed is not to be confused with the term transsexual, which can also refer to individuals who have not yet undergone SRS, and whose anatomical sex (still) does not match their psychological sense of personal gender identity.
The terms gender dysphoria and gender identity disorder were not used until the 1970s, "Transsexualism" was replaced in the DSM-IV by "gender identity disorder in adolescents and adults".
Male-to-female transsexualism has sometimes been called "Harry Benjamin's syndrome" after the endocrinologist who pioneered the study of dysphoria.
The use of homosexual transsexual and related terms have been applied to transgender people since the middle of the 20th century, though concerns about the terms have been voiced since then.
Alternatively, I use gynephilic and androphilic to refer to sexual preference for women and men, respectively.
Gynephilic and androphilic derive from the Greek meaning love of a woman and love of a man respectively.
Biologist Bruce Bagemihl writes ".point of reference for "heterosexual" or "homosexual" orientation in this nomenclature is solely the individual's genetic sex prior to reassignment (see for example, Blanchard et al.
One perspective offered by transsexual people who reject a transgender label for that of transsexed is that, for people who have gone through sexual reassignment surgery, their anatomical sex has been altered, whilst their gender remains constant.
Historically, one reason some people preferred transsexual to transgender is that the medical community in the 1950s through the 1980s encouraged a distinction between the terms that would only allow the former access to medical treatment.
For example, a trans man is a person who was assigned the female sex at birth on the basis of his genitals, but despite that assignment, identifies as a man and is transitioning or has transitioned to a male gender role; in the case of a transsexual man, he furthermore has or will have a masculine body.
Transsexual people are sometimes referred to with directional terms, such as "female-to-male" for a transsexual man, abbreviated to "F2M", "FTM", and "F to M", or "male-to-female" for a transsexual woman, abbreviated "M2F", "MTF" and "M to F".