On the Science of Changing Sex

Exploring The Science of Transsexuality

Posted in Editorial by Kay Brown on July 16, 2018

Through Knowledge, Justice…

27867072_1811649452220144_4426664495691531655_nThis blog is on the science of transsexuality and transgender sexuality, including aspects of sexual orientation.  The blog also explores socio-political themes where appropriate.  There are many myths and misunderstandings about transsexuality and transgender people.  Our scientific understanding of the transsexual phenomena has increased and dramatically improved over the past fifty years, yet much of what is available in popular literature is misinformation and disinformation.  Much of what the public, including transsexuals and transgender people themselves, believe about the etiology and epidemiology of transsexuality is based on wishful thinking on one hand and deliberate distortions on the other.  Worse, many cherry-pick among the scientific papers, choosing those that, in isolation, appear to support a given thesis.  Many people have read misinformation and disinformation regarding the science, denying, decrying, and even weaponizing the science, often in emotionally inflammatory language (including vicious attacks on the characters of scientists and educators), that makes its rounds in the echo chamber of the web and social media.  Indeed, there are fora that will instantly ban any who discuss this science in any truthful way.  This blog is an attempt to correct this situation.

Learning an unpleasant truth is better than believing a comforting lie – Don’t let the “tribe” tell you what to think – Trust only evidence, not vehemence –Data, not denial

All information found in this blog is supported by peer reviewed science and referenced (cited) in essay posts covering a given topic found on this site.  Many topics are interwoven with other topics, as they are interlocking issues.  Please explore the entire site for a full explanation of each topic.

I recommend that one read the first several entries in the FAQ as an introduction and jumping off point via the links provided.  One can find a bibliography for this blog if you wish to quickly find papers of interest.  You may wish to review the Glossary if a word is unfamiliar.

Remember as you read this site;  Transsexuals and transgendered people are good people, worthy of our respect, and even of our admiration.  Nothing in this material is meant to imply otherwise.  If you are a transsexual or transgendered person:  You have value as a human being.  You have the right to be respected, valued, and even celebrated as the gender to which you identify and aspire regardless of etiology.

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Autistic Sunset

Posted in Editorial by Kay Brown on July 1, 2022

As noted before, gynephilic transmen are not only “butch” but somewhat “hypermasculine” in some respects. This shows up in being more likely to be somewhere on the autistic spectrum. We now have another study that confirms this observation and some other observations regarding transwomen as I will explore in this essay.

The new study is out of the UK, which will be an important point, so keep in mind given that we know that the UK, like the US, has a very “individualist” culture and that in such cultures, autogynephilic transwomen significantly out number homosexual transwomen. Thus, this data for transwomen is very, very likely ONLY from autogynephilic transwomen. I point this out because the data clearly shows that transwomen in the study are nearly identical to control men and very different than control women; that autogynephilic transwomen has been shown before by Jones, et al. as the data documents.

Group:               Men                  Women       FTM                 Non-Androphilic           Androphilic
.                                                                                                     MTF  N=129                   MTF N=69

Score (SD):       17.8 (6.8)        15.4 (5.7)     23.2 (9.1)         17.4 (7.4)                         15.0 (5.6)

In this new study, the trend that transmen have high Autistic Quotient scores compared to everyone else remains, and thus can be considered to have been replicated.

 nAQSDnEQSDnSQSD
Control women2119.439.931921.0510.821913.749.68
Transmen3225.8810.253016.8710.032922.669.28
Control men1818.117.611820.8310.001818.946.82
Transwomen (AGP)1820.179.061822.069.011721.249.54

The table shows the data for the mean Autism Quotient (AQ), the Emotional Quotient (EQ), and the Systematizing Quotient (SQ) scores and their standard deviations from the new Hendriks, et al. study.

As well the AQ scores being substantially different, the EQ and SQ scores for transmen are different than control women, but only slightly higher than for both the control men and notably, the transwomen. At this point, it might be well to ask, “how different” by calculating Cohen’s d for some of these population differences. The difference between control men and the transmen for AQ is d = 0.86, a fairly large, but not super large difference. It certainly does show that transmen are as a population, likely to be “on the spectrum”. But more importantly, it shows that the brains of exclusively gynephilic (as all these subjects were) are masculinized, even hypermasculinized, as one would expect them to be.

The other interesting point is how different the control women and transwomen are in their Systematizing Quotient with d = 0.77, reasonably large effect size indicating that women and (likely to be autogynephilic) transwomen are very different in this regard. How different are they from control men? First note that their score for transwomen is even more “masculine” than control men with d = 0.28, small but detectable. Again, as with the Jones study, this shows that autogynephilic transwomen are NOT very different than control men in these important, sexually dimorphic phenomena, and thus NOT feminized, nor even hypomasculine.

Further Reading:

Autistic Sky

References:

Jones, et al, “Female-To-Male Transsexual People and Autistic Traits”, J. Autism Dev. Discord. DOI: 10.1007/s10803-011-1227-8

Hendriks, et al, “Autist Traits, Empathizing-Systematizing, and Gender Diversity”, Archives of Sexual Behavior (2022), https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-021-02251-x

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No, Women Are NOT Autogynephilic!

Posted in Transsexual Theory by Kay Brown on June 27, 2022

For at least two decades, transwomen have been attempting to confuse the issue of the role of autogynephilia in the etiology of non-exclusively-androphilic transsexuality / gender dysphoria. Some have simply stated that it doesn’t exist. Other try to say that it only exists in transvestites, never in transsexuals. Yet other’s don’t deny it exists, but insist that it is not a unique paraphilia, but actually part and parcel with being women. That being autogynephilic proves that they are just like natal females because natal females are normally autogynephilic. A popular means of invoking this confusion is to deliberately misdescribe the phenomena as “female embodiment fantasy” insisting that women also experience such, as in their erotic imaginings they correctly relate that of course, being natally female, they see themselves as female.

This has been shown to be a clever semantic trick, invoking a classic cognitive error, in which one confuses the map for the territory. The words may be similar, but the concepts behind them are not. Autogynephiles deliberately imagine themselves as female because that is sexually arousing in and of itself. Natal women see themselves as female because they are only incidentally female. Natal women do not become sexually aroused to imagining, or contemplating their own femaleness.

Still, pointing this out has not been enough. The confusion sown by this silly insistence that natal women are also autogynephilic persists. Some have even tried to create “proof” that this is so by creating / editing instruments that bear only a passing resemblance to instruments developed to actually measure autogynephilia, questionnaires that have been carefully crafted to create positives that their crafters falsely declare is proof that natal women are also autogynephilic, and thus, non-androphilic transwomen are just like natal female women in their sexuality.

But now we have a study that is NOT gamed. Instead of creating such bogus instruments, Bailey and Hsu used Blanchard’s original. (The instrument is comprised of eight statements that one either agrees with or not and the score is found by simple counting those which received an agreement. That is to say, all items are equally weighted. Thus, the score may vary between zero and eight.) Further, in the study they validated that it can differentiate autogynephilic males from non-autogynephilic males, at the population level, an important step in showing that it can be used to determine if natal female woman look more like one group or the other, on a population level.

A comment here is needed. No instrument that asks people to be honest about such a sensitive topic as their innermost sexual longings has ever been devised that is 100% perfect at diagnosing individuals. People misinterpret the items. The items don’t perfectly match their experiences (even if they are similar and experience the underlying construct being measured). And because of Social Desirability Bias, some don’t answer fully honestly. And some just never answer honestly no matter what the question. But in research like this, we are able to use statistics looking at population responses to tease out the underlying truth. (Don’t try to quibble on this matter, we all know this is true.)

So, turning to Bailey and Hsu’s recent study, from the abstract,

“We compared four samples of autogynephilic natal males (N = 1549), four samples of non-autogynephilic natal males (N = 1339), and two samples of natal females (N = 500), using Blanchard’s original measure: the Core Autogynephilia Scale. The autogynephilic samples had much higher mean scores compared with non-autogynephilic natal males and natal females, who were similar. Our findings refute the contention that autogynephilia is common among natal females.”

Looking at a graph of the data, we can visually see just how different that the known autogynephilic sample groups scored than both the known non-autogynephilic males and natal female women. And how similar such women are to known non-autogynephilic men.

As well as looking at the graphs, we can also perform statistical analysis such as the Effect Size, a key measure of the difference between two populations: Cohen’s d. I chose Sample 4 to compare against Sample 9, a large known autogynephilic sample to a natal female sample and calculated that Cohen’s d = 2.8, a HUGE effect size (anything over 1.0 is considered large, and with such ample sample subjects, statistically very trustworthy). Conversely, comparing Sample 7, known non-autogynephilic males to Sample 9; d = 0.04, almost zero, essentially no statistical difference!

There can be absolutely no honest denial of the data and the natural conclusion. Natal female women are simply NOT autogynephilic.

Further Reading:

Autogynephilia Explained

Disingenuous Attempt To “Prove” Natal Female Women are Autogynephilic

Why “Female Embodiment Fantasy” Is Bogus

Reference:

Bailey, J.M., Hsu, K.J., “How Autogynephilic Are Natal Females”, Archives of Sexual Behavior (2022), https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-022-02359-8

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Lack of In Utero & Perinatal Testosterone Exposure Leads to Childhood Gender Atypicality in Males

Posted in Brain Sex by Kay Brown on June 5, 2022

In a sad “experiment of nature” in which phenotypically normal appearing males are unable to produce gonadotropin, essentially naturally duplicating the effect of puberty blockers, but experiencing this lack since the beginning of the second trimester in the womb. Most importantly, these males do not experience the so called, “mini-puberty” that occurs perinatally, the time just before birth and the first three months after birth.

Given that we have already seen data from a proxy measure of the level of testosterone production and exposure during this developmentally critical period correlates with later childhood gender typicality / atypicality, (Pasterski 2015) we would predict that these individual would also report having being more gender atypical than control men. That is exactly what we see in the recently published study by Shirazi, et al. The is was especially true of those who had cryptochordia (undescended testicle) at birth, indicating even lower T production in utero. Thus, indicating that T exposure before the birth is also important for brain masculinization.

Demographic Statistics Variable Control (n = 463) IGD-clinical (n = 30) IGD-Web (n = 35)
Mean childhood gender atypicality –0.04 (0.33) 0.24 (0.44) 0.34 (0.59)

Mean sexual orientation (Kinsey 0-6) 0.25 (0.94) 0.31 (0.71) 0.94 (1.48)

Interestingly, the effect sizes were not as large as one might expect. To me, this suggests that fetal gonadotropin levels alone may not truly indicate just how much T is being produced given that the fetal adrenal glands are unaffected. Alternatively, it may be that their are Y chromosome canalization effects that we haven’t discovered and accounted for.

It is odd that given that the earlier Pasterski study concerns the same exact subject, and comes to the same conclusion, it wasn’t referenced by Shirazi.

Further Reading:

Essay on Effect of Mini-Puberty on Childhood Gendered Behavior in Boys

References:

Shirazi, et al., “Low Perinatal Androgens Predict Recalled Childhood Gender Non-Conformity in Men”, Psychological Science (2022) https://doi.org/10.1177%2F09567976211036075

Pasterski, V., et al., “Postnatal penile growth concurrent with mini-puberty predicts later sex-typed play behavior: Evidence for neurobehavioral effects of the postnatal androgen surge in typically developing boys”, Hormones and Behavior (2015)
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0018506X15000033#f0005

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Biological Reality! Transsexual Women’s Breasts Are Female Breasts

Posted in Transsexual Field Studies by Kay Brown on May 19, 2022
Kay Brown with her adopted daughter Liz

Yesterday, a post about a transwoman breastfeeding a baby went viral. As one could imagine, transphobic commentators had many nasty, ugly comments to make. However, it also became clear that they were under the misapprehension that transwomen couldn’t breastfeed, “Your male body can’t produce milk!” “You don’t have female breasts.” “Where is the colostrum?” “Where are the lobules?” Why do they object to this knowledge and go into deep denial? Could it be because of their reliance on an ugly propaganda slogan of “biological reality” which they say transsexuals are in denial of… yet, here is something that they claim can’t be done, a true female biological function that can only be performed by women, by only natal female women, that is being done by transwomen. Learning that transwomen can and do perform this uniquely female, womanly function of sharing life giving milk with a baby upsets their world view and their propaganda.

So, sad as the need to explain such basics of mammalian biology to the world is, it must be done, as these ignorant and false assertions from these transphobes proves.

First, it important to understand that each and every gene that a woman has is also found in males. Females have two copies of the X chromosome while males have only one. But they still have that one. Further, many of the genes needed to express female phenotype aren’t even on the X chromosome, they are spread over the various autosomal chromosomes. To get a male, one need the genes on the Y chromosome, most particularly the SRY gene that first tells the proto-gonads to become a testes instead of the default ovary. But after that, nearly all the rest of sexual development is under the control of hormones produced by the testes.

If the body lacks the usual androgen (testosterone) receptor gene(s), even if that body has all the other typical genes and chromosomes for a male, that body develops in a rather typical female pattern. This condition is called 46XY CAIS, complete androgen insensitivity syndrome. They have typical testes in a seemingly typical female body phenotype, and most importantly for our discussion, women’s breasts at puberty.

Breast tissue does not care if there are XX vs. XY chromosomes. Breast tissue, like all secondary sexual characteristics that develop at puberty, are under the influence of sex hormones. Sex hormones can and should be viewed as specialized growth hormones. Various tissues express different sensitivities to the various sex hormones and will grow or not grow depending upon the presence and balance of these specialized growth hormones. In particular, breast tissue responds to estrogen and progesterone and are somewhat suppressed by androgens.

Circling back to transwomen, we note that Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) uses the very same hormones that induce breast tissue development in women. Transwomen have all the genes and breast tissue stem cells needed to develop fully functional FEMALE breast tissue. When a transwoman begins HRT, her breasts respond and begin to develop. After sufficient time, her breasts are histologically identical to adult natal female breasts. That includes the potential for lactation.

A woman does NOT have to have given birth or even have been pregnant to lactate. It certainly helps, given that certain hormones automatically are produced in amounts that prepare the breasts to produce first colostrum then milk, but isn’t an absolute requirement. The key requirement is that of tactile stimulation that a baby’s suckling produces and that once a flow of colostrum is present, that it be drawn out, either by a baby suckling or by manual expression / pump.

If a woman is adopting or working with a gestational surrogate, she may elect to breastfeed her baby by following a regimen of stimulation, expression, and pumping. In some cases, medication may aid in this process.

Many transwomen have produced colostrum due to HRT which in some cases, primes the breasts in the same manner as being pregnant. (I myself have produced colostrum.) If a transwoman is adopting, working with a gestational surrogate, or has a female partner who is expecting a baby, she too may elect to breastfeed her baby in the same manner as would any other non-birthing woman.

The milk produced by a transwoman is identical to milk produced by a natal female. Transwomen have been quietly, successfully, and safely breastfeeding babies for decades. They will continue to do so.

Biological Reality.

Further Reading:

Baby Hunger

References:

de Blok, et al, “Frequency and outcomes of benign breast biopsies in trans women: A nationwide cohort study” The Breast: Official Journal of the European Society of Mastology, (2021) https://doi.org/10.1016/j.breast.2021.03.007

Wambolt, R. et al, “Lactation Induction In A Transgender Woman Wanting To Breastfeed: Case Report”, Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, (2021), https://doi.org/10.1210/clinem/dgaa976

Kulski, J., et al, “Composition of breast fluid of a man with galactorrhea and hyperprolactinaemia”, Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, (1981), https://doi.org/10.1210/jcem-52-3-581

Breastfeeding Without Giving Birth

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Transsexual Kids DO Know

Posted in Editorial by Kay Brown on May 5, 2022

Having real data trumps ideological assertions. The “ideology” I speak of is that of transphobic individuals who falsely insist that transkids are too young too “know” – to know who they are, to know their hearts, to know what social gender they best fit in as, to know their minds regarding what constitutes their best chances for future happiness and social success. These ideologist don’t actually say this in true sympathy or empathy with transkids. They say it because they don’t want transkids to grow up to be transsexual adults. They don’t want transkids to grow up to be those people. Data trumps this false assertion, this false empathy.

Over the past decades, data about transkids has been growing. One thing that former transkids (those individuals who had been “early onset”, both gender atypical and gender dysphoric before puberty and are now adult transsexuals, have been saying is that they took to social transition, at whatever age they were able, most as teens or early ’20s in the past, given parental and societal opposition, with great relief and ease. Indeed clinicians have long documented this phenomena. They have also pointed out that they would have benefited from social transition at a far younger age to avoid social difficulties growing up. They actively point out that such social transitions would also differentiate those who would be ‘persisters’ from ‘desisters’, that attempting to socially transition, even before their teens, works as a “Real Life Test”. Those that are likely to desist, are not likely to find social transition all that appealing nor will they remain socially transitioned, if they do. We now have the data to back that up.

Dr. Olson’s latest paper in Pediatrics, “Gender Identity 5 Years After Social Transition” followed a large cohort of transkids starting at age three to twelve as part of an ongoing longitudinal study. The paper is available online, NOT behind a paywall, so it is well worth reading for yourself if you wish to follow-up on my explication of it. But before we dive into the data, I need to deal with an unfortunate misuse of language that the authors have chosen to use.

In the transsexual community, the term “retransition” has a specific meaning that the authors of the paper have turned on its head to the opposite meaning in some cases and its proper meaning in others. Specifically, in the transsexual community, the term means one has once again began living as the opposite of their natal sex after having “detransitioned”, reverted back to living as their natal sex, for a period of time. But the authors of the study use the term “retransition” for BOTH situations. The authors made clear they know that they are making this confusing misuse of the established vernacular, but chose to do it anyway. I will not. So, when I am quoting them, I will substitute the proper term {detransition} for clarity by including it in curly brackets to show when they are misusing the term “retransition” in the original text.

Let’s take a look at the abstract by way of introduction of the study and the data,

Abstract
Background and Objectives. Concerns about early childhood social transitions amongst
transgender youth include that these youth may later change their gender identification (i.e.,
retransition), a process that could be distressing. The present study aimed to provide the
first estimate of {detransitioning} and to report the current gender identities of youth an
average of 5 years after their initial social transitions.
Methods. The present study examined the rate of {detransition} and current gender identities
of 317 initially-transgender youth (208 transgender girls, 109 transgender boys; M=8.1
years at start of study) participating in a longitudinal study, the Trans Youth Project. Data
were reported by youth and their parents through in-person or online visits or via email or
phone correspondence.
Results. We found that an average of 5 years after their initial social transition, 7.3% of
youth had {detransitioned} at least once. At the end of this period, most youth identified as
binary transgender youth (94%), including 1.3% who {detransitioned} to another identity
before returning to their binary transgender identity. 2.5% of youth identified as cisgender
and 3.5% as nonbinary. Later cisgender identities were more common amongst youth
whose initial social transition occurred before age 6 years; the {detransition} often occurred
before age 10.
Conclusions. These results suggest that {detransitions} are infrequent. More commonly,
transgender youth who socially transitioned at early ages continued to identify that way.
Nonetheless, understanding {detransitions} is crucial for clinicians and families to help make
them as smooth as possible for youth.”

Note that that there are about twice as many MTF transsexual children (“transgender girls”) as FtM transsexuals in the study. This is in keeping with decades of demographic data that show that there are more MTFs than FtM transsexuals. As adults, there are usually so many more “late onset” MTFs than “early onset” such that the ratio is much higher. (Note that I am excluding the recent fad of large numbers of girls and young women falsely claiming a “trans” or “non-binary” identity.)

Note also that of those who detransitioned / desisted, they did so before age 10.

“All but one of the 8 cisgender youth had {detransitioned} by age 9 (the last {detransitioned} at 11)”

This is in keeping with earlier data that showed that desisters always did so before puberty and the age of seven to ten was critical in this process. While persisters reported that the ages of ten to thirteen saw that their gender dysphoria increased and cemented their transsexual (cross-sex) gender identity. Note that of this cohort who had attempted social transition, only 2.5% of them had truly desisted. That is to say, pre-pubertal social transition was overwhelmingly comprised of persisters. The “Real Life Test” works as was predicted years ago, as the study authors also suggest, in a typical “science speak” way,

“It is possible that some youth initially try socially transitioning and then change their minds quickly. Such youth would be unlikely to be enrolled in this study because their eligibility period would have been quite short and therefore the odds of finding the study and completing it would have been low. This means the children in our study may have been especially unlikely, compared to all children who transition, to {detransition} because they had already lived – and presumably been fairly content – with that initial transition for more than a year.”

Further Reading:

Desisting vs Persisting in Gender Atypical Children

Transkids Transition Because They ARE Transkids

Reference:

Olson, K., et al, “”Gender Identity 5 Years After Social Transition”, Pediatrics (2022), 10.1542/peds.2021-056082

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The Truth About Blanchard And The Two Type Transexual Taxonomy

Posted in Editorial by Kay Brown on April 14, 2022

Many transsexuals claim that Dr. Ray Blanchard is a “hack” and his “theories” are full of holes. So lets tell the truth about Blanchard and others who have studied the Two Type Transsexual Taxonomy.

First, the association of Dr. Blanchard with the taxonomy has given rise to a common, yet very misleading, myth that he made up the whole story about the two types, autogynephilic (AGP-TS) and homosexual transsexuals (HSTS). He did not. He was not the one that discovered that there were two (and only two) types of Male-To-Female transsexuals. That was well known for decades before he entered the field and openly discussed and debated in scientific and clinical circles for several decades.

So why is his name associated with the taxonomy when others, who actually did discover it, are not?

Because his nomenclature for the two types are now the most widely accepted in sexology papers. Before him, several competing naming conventions were used. Why did his nomenclature become the most accepted? It’s because it was the most explanatory. The other labels tended to rely on very narrow behaviors that were not exhibited by all of the given type.

Why do transsexuals and transgender people get so upset by the taxonomy? And why do they focus on Blanchard and not the earlier clinicians and scientists? And why do they attempt to blacken his name, his character?

One hint is the popular terms, often used as slurs, to describe the taxonomy, and those who study the taxonomy and attempt to educate the transsexual and transgender communities about it, “Blanchardianism” and “Blanchardianist”. It has a similar valence and usage as “Darwinism” and “Darwinist” as used by religious creationists who attempt to deny the science of evolution by using the labels and then attempting to refute the science by attempting to poke holes in Darwin’s original work or his character, ignoring the on-going research. Like the anti-“Darwinists”, the anti-“Blarchardianists” ignore the thousands of scientists that have labored in those fields and have shown that both are very well supported by the evidence. But dissing a single individual, as though doing so somehow refutes the science attached, is a logical fallacy that just won’t die.

As well as being fallacious to attack a single individual, Blanchard is not the “hack” or “joke” that these science denialists attempt to paint him. In fact, if we check his scientific production, it is one that many scientists would envy. A quick visit to Google Scholar shows he has published over two hundred peer reviewed science papers garnering over fourteen thousand (14,000) citations by other papers, with an h-index (a widely accepted metric of scientific or academic impact) of 71 (as of this writing – likely to go up in the future). This is not the profile of a “hack” or a “joke”, but that of a very well regarded scientist.

Why do AGP transsexuals get so upset with the science? Why are they so upset with the nomenclature that Blanchard coined? Its not that is wrong, but that it is too right. Dr. Alice Dreger explains it best,

There’s a critical difference between autogynephilia and most other sexual orientations; Most other orientations aren’t erotically disrupted simply by being labeled.  When you call a typical gay man homosexual, you’re not disturbing his sexual hopes and desires.  By contrast, autogynephilia is perhaps best understood as a love that would really rather we didn’t speak its name.  The ultimate eroticism of autogynephilia lies in the idea of really becoming or being a woman, not in being a natal male who desires to be a woman. … The erotic fantasy is to really be a woman.  Indeed, according to a vision of transsexualism common among those transitioning from lives as privileged straight men to trans women, sex reassignment procedures are restorative rather than transformative… 

Further Reading:

Google Scholar Profile of Ray Blanchard

Essay on Pre-Blanchard discussion on transsexual taxonomy

Essay Proving the Two Type Taxonomy

Silly Objections to the Two Type Taxonomy

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Male Androphilia Runs In Both Father’s and Mother’s Families

Posted in Transsexual Field Studies by Kay Brown on April 7, 2022

Male homosexuality has long been known to have a very high consanguinity, that is, gay men and homosexual transsexuals are both very likely to have male relatives who are also either gay or homosexual transsexual. There has been some question as whether it ‘runs in the family’ or not and if so, on the mother’s or the father’s side. Well, that question has been answered. It can be either or both.

Earlier, some studies have shown that there is an X chromosome linkage which would only be passed down from the mother. (A male child can only get an X chromosome from their mother, their Y chromosome partner, causing them to be male, always comes from their father.

But two studies of androphilic males in Somoa and Mexico, demonstrate conclusively, that not only does it run in families, it does so on both sides of the family. Further, the Mexican study, involving Muxe that are both trans and gay male, show that this family linkage is the same linkage for both. That is to say, it provides additional indication that homosexual transsexuals are a subset of more traditional homosexual males, not a different etiological taxon.

This last point will not be popular with the “all transsexuals” are the same and are NOT related to gay men. Sorry Virginia, that’s not what the science tells us.

From the Mexican study,

Overall, muxes were characterized by significantly more muxe relatives than gynephilic men. This familial patterning was equivalent in both the paternal and maternal lines of muxes. The population prevalence rate of male androphilia was estimated to fall between 3.37–6.02% in the Istmo Zapotec

And from the Samoan study,

Samoan fa’afafine had significantly more fa’afafine relatives in their maternal and paternal lines compared to Samoan gynephilic males. The prevalence of male androphilia was equivalent across both the paternal and maternal lines. The revised prevalence estimate of male androphilia in Samoa falls between 0.61% and 3.51%.

It should be noted that the fa’afafine are only the trans type, thus the smaller prevalence number, since they don’t include the non-trans type of androphilic male.

A key point to this is that HSTS transwomen are much more likely to have another HSTS transwoman or gay male relative than either a non-trans man or an autogynephilic transwoman would. Another bit of evidence that there are two (and only two) types of MTF transsexuals.

Further Reading:

Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?

References:

Gomez, et al, “Familial patterning and prevalence of male androphilia among Istmo Zapotec men and muxes“, PLOS ONE, 2018 https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0192683

Semanya, et al, “Familial Patterning and Prevalence of Male Androphilia in Samoa”, Journal of Sex Research, 2016, https://doi.org/10.1080/00224499.2016.1218416

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The Effect Of Socio Economic Status On Transsexuals

Posted in Editorial by Kay Brown on March 27, 2022

There have been many who have commented upon, and even some actual data, to suggest that there is a correlation between Socio Economic Status and etiology found in MTF transsexuals. However, many have made silly and unsupported suppositions as to why this should be. Most mistake the arrow of causation.

For “late onset” (autogynephilic) transwomen, the arrow of causation is very straight forward. Transition is socially, financially, and personally expensive. It often entails loss of career opportunities, loss of income, loss of family connections, divorce, child custody and ensuing child support payment obligations, etc. The very process of transition also entails costly medical and other “gender affirming” procedures (therapy, facial hair removal, hair transplants, etc.) Thus, an individual contemplating transition naturally weighs their ability to “afford” these social and financial costs. This means that the higher ones personal Socio Economic Status, the more likely an autogynephilic male will transition.

Note that is their status AT THE TIME OF TRANSITION !

The arrow of causation is reversed for an HSTS. If she has risen to some level of career success or not, it is an effect of having experienced the visicitudes of being gender atypical, homosexual, and transsexual. It is NOT the cause of her being transsexual and certainly not of having chosen to transition.

For a teenager in transition, an “early onset” Homosexual Transsexual (HSTS), their future SES is an unknown country on the one hand, and likely NOT to become very great, given statistical and cultural realities on the other, especially if their family has already or is very likely to disown them. (I’ve written on this issue before.) If an HSTS works very hard, has a few lucky breaks, and becomes socially and financially stable, even “successful”, this cannot have had a retroactive influence upon her decision to transition. And certainly NOT upon her sexuality.

There have been, and will continue to be, HSTS who achieve some degree of success, even of considerable success in business or industry. Being hungry, cold, and homeless as a teenager and early 20 something often has the effect of driving one’s ambition to never be so again. And if they take advantage of their early education and social connections in a given industry, this cannot be seen as evidence of their sexuality or etiology, only of their “invisible knapsack” of knowledge, packed by their early experiences.

On the other hand, there are many HSTS who never do become financially stable, much less attain notable social, business, or career success, often trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty from an early age. But again, this too is a result, not a cause of their transsexuality.

However, there is a correlation with family of origin’s SES and HSTS, as has been noted by various observers and found in some of the datasets (e.g. Nuttbrock). J. Michael Bailey in his book, The Man Who Would Be Queen, speculated that feminine androphilic males that come from better SES would work harder to “normalize their gender identity”, to be a desister. To be honest, this notion felt wrong somehow.

Consider that desisters always do so BEFORE puberty. This smacks of biology, not sociology. Frankly, I doubt many pre-pubescent children think very deeply about their future careers and their chances of success as gay men vs. HSTS.

One interesting data point is that there are more HSTS transkids raised in middle and upper-middle-class families after adoption than would be expected. Similarly it has been noted that there are more HSTS in foster care than random chance would account. If the issue was low SES in the family that was raising them to persist to become HSTS instead of desisting to become gay men, they should have been desisters per Bailey’s speculation. But they didn’t desist.

We may now have another working hypothesis. It comes from all places, research on 2D:4D ratio of fingers. As I’ve pointed out before, there is some evidence that 2D:4D ratio is both sexually dimorphic and is correlated with both sexual orientation and gender atypicality, including being HSTS. This new data shows a correlation between the mother’s SES during pregnancy and a feminized 2D:4D ratio. That is to say, it suggests that women, without their conscious control, adjust their own hormones to favor masculinity if they are well off, and femininity if they are poor. How one’s SES causes this is as yet unknown, but the data is there.

There is a linear correlation between the 2D:4D ratio and SES as shown in this graph. Poor families have children with more feminized hands due to hormones in the womb. Since the 2D:4D ratio is stable from birth, the effect is only from prenatal exposure to hormones. While this effect is likely not enough on its own, in combination with other factors such as genetics / epigenetics (androphilia and HSTS “running in families”), the Fraternal Birth Order Effect, perinatal hormones, and perhaps other influences yet to be discovered, this maternal SES effect on hormones may be enough to cause the noted statistical finding of more HSTS coming from low SES households.

It is important to note that this SES effect would ONLY be operable prenatally. If the child is adopted, fostered, or if the mother should experience a dramatic increase in SES while she was raising her feminized male child, that child’s then experienced SES would have no bearing on that child’s sexual orientation, gender atypicality, or gender dysphoria. The SES effect would have already done it’s work, causing a locked-in effect. In this case, we would see a SES effected HSTS, but one who grows up in a much more privileged environment and thus much more likely to face the adversities thrown at such teenaged transsexuals and able to overcome them.

These findings have a personal resonance. My own 2D:4D, at 1.06 is literally off the chart feminized, one could describe it as hyperfeminized, not just hypomasculine. Given that we also know that such ratios are found to anti-correlate with sports performance, one would expect that I would be a very poor athlete, which was true. But, as many who know me (or think they do) have no doubt observed, I came from a fairly well off family. But what they don’t realize is that was only true of the second half of my childhood.

My father grew up in Port Arthur, Texas, a dirty, smelly, working class petroleum refining town on the Gulf Coast. He was born in the fall of 1929, right as the economy crashed. He grew up poor as poor can be. He shared stories of how he and his brothers would fish and hunt for crawdads in the Gulf waters to put food on the table. But he and his siblings were very smart and managed to get into college in spite of this lack of funds or legacy, partly on the GI Bill from serving during the Korean War. Even his gay brother climbed out of that poverty through study and hard work, largely because of their father (my grandfather) insisting upon it.

My mother grew up in a tiny farm town in the middle of nowhere on the boarder of Texas and Oklahoma. Her family was a little better off than my father’s, mostly by dint of hard work farming and ranching. (I have childhood memories of collecting eggs from the hen house and of feeding hay to the cows on their farm.) My mother too was very smart, graduated from high school at age 16 to attend college to earn a teacher’s credentials at age 19, graduating as a married woman with a baby in her arms, me. My father worked at a bowling alley, between classes, to support his young wife and child. My siblings came along in rapid succession. Thus, while my mother was carrying me, my parents were dirt poor students from working class families. Things must have been rough for my parents at first. Me? I don’t remember.

My father was proud to have worked his way out of the poverty he grew up in… earning his place in middle and even upper-middle-class professional circles, but always carried a bit of baggage from his childhood, especially around the topic of food. He would become enraged at food waste for example, remembering days of hunger. There was never the entitled expectation in our household that other well off families taught their kids. Instead, my father was constantly exhorting us to study hard, especially math and science, just as his father before him, fearing we would slip down the socio-economic ladder, saying, “You want to be a ditch digger when you grow up?” He not only helped us with homework, but independently tutored us in science, setting up experiments and demonstrations, from basic physics, chemistry, to biology, while our mother pushed us in reading, writing, and arithmetic (she had a teacher’s credential after all). I learned that same lesson about hunger when I was disowned and become a homeless street tranny. But my father’s lessons of hard work and study lifted me out of poverty, just as it had for him.

Further Reading:

2D:4D Evidence Supports Transexual Taxonomy

Stereotypes Are Dangerous

Reference:

J.T. Manning, et al, “Parental income inequality and children’s digit ratio (2D:4D): a ‘Trivers-Willard’ effect on prenatal androgenization?”, Journal of Biosocial Science, 2021, https://doi.org/10.1017/S0021932021000043

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Ruth Barrett, Or When An Old Friend Becomes An Enemy

Posted in Autobiographical, Editorial by Kay Brown on June 16, 2021

When J.K. Rowling of Harry Potter fame came out as a major transphobe, many LGB & especially T people felt as though it was a personal betrayal. They had read her books, viewed her movies, responding to the tropes of love and inclusion triumphing over hatefulness… only to learn that Rowling was herself a Death Eater. I was one of those transsexuals who felt betrayed. I had taken my daughter to each of the movies as they came out. She was the same age as the child actors portraying the lead characters. She had all the books. Now, those memories are bitter ashes, tainted by the vile transphobia Rowling has vomited over them.

But there has been an even more bitter betrayal by one that I had admired and emulated, Ruth Barrett.

Ruth Barrett is a musician and Wiccan. She and her musical partner, Cyntia Smith, recorded songs and dulcimer instrumentals. Another Wiccan singer & dulcimer player I admired was Holly Tannen. I was in love with their music, bought all of their recordings.

Note the dulcimer on the wall

I purchased a dulcimer from Folk Roots, the same type that Ruth & Cyntia had learned to play and perform using, taking lessons from Holly. But I struggled to play it. I had studied Individual Voice and Small Group Harmony in high school, but had never learned to play an instrument. I was a klutz. My fingers just didn’t seem to know what to do.

Then, by chance, in the mid’ 80s, I was invited by Z Budapest, feminist author and Wiccan Sage, to help her set up and run the sound system for a conference and concert in Berkeley, as I had learned that skill helping with concerts at the Billy De Frank Gay and Lesbian Community Center in San Jose. It would have been quite churlish of me to have refused. One of the women to perform that day was Holly Tannen, another was Ruth Barrett. Thus, I met and got to know two of my musical idols on the same day.

I engaged Holly as an instructor. I still struggled. My fingers still didn’t seem to know what to do.

By luck, at a pagan event, I met Ruth and Cyntia. They both gave me quick lessons and pointers. Ruth gave me photocopies of her chord charts and tab sheets for several of their songs. Ruth and I talked about how to find one’s own singing and playing style, one’s own authentic voice. I was to see them at several other events over the next few years and was on very friendly terms with both of them. I met Cyntia’s husband, Dale, who was a master luthier, a maker of the finest classical guitars. As a means of courting Cyntia, he had copied the basic design of the Folk Roots dulcimer to make Ruth and Cyntia new dulcimers in the tradition of the finest guitars, with a sound and playability unmatched by any other in the world.

As my playing had vastly improved, thanks to Cyntia and Ruth’s tips, and that I had come into unexpected money from having been granted a patent, which was rewarded by my employer with a cash bonus, I commissioned Dale to make me a custom dulcimer in the same style as Ruth’s and Cyntia’s. As it happened, Cyntia and Ruth were scheduled to perform at the Billy De Frank Center, so it was natural that they stay at my place. Cyntia and I, in the comfort of my condo, spent our time discussing the custom inlay that she herself would design and carve for my dulcimer.

That dulcimer was a wonder. In just a few hours practice, my playing vastly improved. Having a fine instrument is worth everything, both to the performer and their audience. No wonder the greatest musicians pay thousands for them. I began to play the dulcimer, modern full chording/fingerpicking style, mostly British Isles folk tunes, at pagan events to the great appreciation of my audience.  You may listen or download free, should you be interested, to my indie produced cassette tape album of mostly folk music, but a couple Early Music, and even a few of my own composition, on dulcimer, guitar, and flute, I recorded back in ’89.  (Tap on “Side One” or “Side Two” to listen to the MP3 version.)  Please keep in mind, this is my hobby… I don’t pretend to be a professional.

On one of the occassions I was to see and converse with Ruth, at a Wiccan gathering / camping event, she strongly encouraged me to attend The Michigan Wymym’s Music Festival. The irony is not lost on me, as she was to rail loudly against allowing transwomen to attend in the years that followed. She has become a vociferous voice for TERF / GC / Transphobic propaganda, using Wicca / Goddess worship as her authority for her hatred. She edited a book entitled “Female Erasure” whose central theme was that transfolk are a serious threat to women’s existence. She has even led spiritual events for “detrans” female bodied people to “sever” their past “trans” experience.

If learning that the author of Harry Potter is transphobic feels like a betrayal, imagine how I feel about Ruth Barrett spewing the most vile transphobic propaganda after having been a personal musical mentor and friend, a guest in my house, a hero that I emulated.

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Machine Learning Transsexual Brains = Garbage In: Garbage Out

Posted in Brain Sex, Science Criticism by Kay Brown on June 8, 2021

If one spends any time reading science papers about transsexuality, one finds good science, mediocre science, poor science, bad science, and bogus science. But here is an example of garbage science. A paper came out last year that baldy stated that using machine learning and brain imaging, they could, somewhat accurately, determine an individual’s gender identity. This sounded like really exciting results. But after reading the paper, I’m calling BULLSHIT! It’s a harsh characterization, I know. But please follow along to see why I had no other choice.

First, let me state that I’m not an expert on Machine Learning and Deep Neural Net coding. But I have, in my capacity as an engineering executive, managed such experts. I’ve also, in my capacity as a Venture Capitalist (VC) technology advisor, conducted due dilligence research on start-up companies developing ML and NN technology. So I have just enough knowledge to be dangerous… that is to say, I know bullshit when I see it. And I see it here.

The bullshit consists of three elements.

The first is that researchers failed to tell us how many of their subjects were in the training set and how many were in the testing set. But first, let my tell you an anecdote about the time I was in the audience at a technical conference where a young researcher was presenting almost unbelievably high classification accuracy from his new computer vision algorithm. Finally, the first question from the audience during the post-presentation Q&A was how many examples were in the training set and how many in the test set? The young man then acknowledged that he had used the training set to test his algorithm. You could hear the visceral disgust sweep across the room at this basic error. Question is, did the authors make the same mistake? They said that 95% of the DATA was used in training and 5% in the “validation” of the model. Umm…. something is not right. There were less than 25 subjects in each category. Five percent of 25 is one. There was no way they could have used different subjects to have gotten a percentage accuracy of classification without having used the same subjects to provide both training and accuracy tests. So, what was the data split? Different parts of the brain scans of the same subjects? Seriously, something is very wrong here. One cannot do that.

The second garbage element is that they knowingly ignored prior science that there is very clear evidence that there are two separate taxons, at least for the Male-To-Female transsexuals, that have notably different brain phenotypes. We know that they knew because they referenced the Guillamon review paper on that very topic. But, since they didn’t bother to identify and segregate the two taxons for separate analysis, they were knowingly conflating the two, which would dilute the signals of both. The basic rule of thumb is never ascribe to conspiracy what can be explained by incompetence. Given the above issue of questionable Machine Learning validation, incompetence may have been the reason. The second possibility is that they knew this conflation was occuring, but felt, for non-scientific reasons, that they wanted this to occur. (I’ve seen this happen in other papers.)

The third garbage element is actually the most egregious. They claim that they identified nine “cardinal” gender related vectors in their study. But did they? I will argue that no they did not. This is where garbage in, garbage out really applies. They used the Bem Sex Role Inventory and cross correlated it with the brain scan data, claiming that the Bem inventory provides a window to gender. Flat out, it does not. It is an inventory of circa 1970s gender stereotypes! The most enraging thing about this is that the authors KNOW that, fully acknowledge that, but decided to use it anyways.

All in all, the Clemens paper is garbage. So the next question is how could such a paper pass peer review? The answer is where it was published. Cerebral Cortex would have reviewers who were experts in the brain science, but NOT sexology nor in machine learning. They just would have looked at the material that was in their field of expertise and allowed the other material to get a pass, unquestioned.

Further Reading:

Silly Stereotypes: Essay on the BEM inventory

Brainstorm: Essay about the Guillamon brain scan review

Reference:

Clemens, B. et. al., “Predictive Pattern Classification Can Distinquish Gender Identity Subtypes From Behavior And Brain Imaging”, Cerebral Cortex, (2020), https://doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhz272

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