Psychological and Social Function Before and After Phalloplasty

Psychological and Social Function Before and After Phalloplasty


James Barrett BSc, MB BS MRC Psych, MSc
Abstract [Full Text] [PDF]

There are no quantitative assessments of the benefits of phalloplasty in a female transsexual population. The study addresses this question, comparing transsexuals accepted for such surgery with transsexuals after such surgery has been performed.

A population of 23 transsexuals accepted for phalloplasty was compared to a population of 40 who had undergone such surgery between six and one hundred and sixty months previously. The General Health Questionnaire (GHQ), Symptom Checklist 90 (SCL-90), Bem sex role inventory, and Social Role Performance Schedule (SRPS) were employed. Additionally, a questionnaire assessing satisfaction with cosmetic appearance, sexual function, relationship and urinary function was used, along with a semi-structured interview quantifying alcohol, cigarette and drug usage, and current sexual practice.

There were significant differences between the populations. The post operative group showed higher depression ratings on the depression subscale of the GHQ. The masculine pre-operative Bem scores were neutral post-operatively as feminine sub-scores increased. There was improved satisfaction with genital appearance post-operatively, but satisfaction with relationships fell, although to a non-significant extent. Most other changes were in the expected direction but did not achieve significance.

Transsexuals accepted for phalloplasty have very good psychological health. Tendency to further improvement is the case after phalloplasty. Depression is commoner, however, and quality of relationships declines somewhat. Surgeons might advise partners as well as patients of realistic expectations from such surgery.


Fulltext –

Citation: an article published on the Internet by The International Journal of Transgenderism, Volume 2, Number 1, 1998 <>