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 sixty 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 Dawn

Posted in Science Criticism, Transgender Youth by Kay Brown on January 21, 2023

— Are gender dysphoric youth prone to being autistic. Or reversing that, are autistic children prone to being gender dysphoric? There has been some clinicians suggesting there is a connection. But does the data support that assertion? There is data that suggests that transmen (FtM transsexuals) do show more autism type characteristics but the data for transwomen is mixed. That is to say, that gynephilic transwomen seem to have the name level of such as control men, while exclusively androphilic (HSTS) transwomen show the same, lower, level as control women. Given that HSTS are far more likely to have been identified as gender dysphoric as youth, we would expect that such male children w/ gender dysphoria would NOT show elevated autistic traits.

But I was challenged on this prediction and given a citation for a 2015 paper by Van der Laan, et al., that purported to show that both male and female gender dysphoric children did show elevated autistic traits.

But did it? Let’s look at the data. The paper is available on SciHub as a downloadable pdf, so you may refer to Table 2. Here is where we begin to see something odd. The researchers do NOT have data on any Autisism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnoses nor have they used the clinically validated Autism Quotient (AQ) instrument as in other studies. Instead they have used only two items in a maternally scored checklist about “obsessions” and “compulsions”. These constructs only weakly map to ASD, and could map to other disorders… or no disorder at all. After all, one child’s “obsession” is another child’s hobby, or even just a keen interest. This alone brings the study’s value for our purposes to near zero. However, data is data.

Of the male children, 54% were scored as having an obsession with a (cross?) gendered theme. While of the sibling controls, only 13% were. Sounds pretty convincing doesn’t it? But is it? But of the controls, 87% were scored as having an obsession with a non-gendered theme. Gee… that doesn’t sound like these gender dysphoric youth were any more likely to have an obsession indicating a likely ASD. The rest of the data for the compulsions and for the female children is similar.

The authors appear to know that this may not reflect a propensity to ASD, as they note,

“Another possibility is that intense cross-sex interests are simply a manifestation of GD. Such interests may lead to a clinical presentation that is ASD-like but only superficially so because the intensity of the interests is due to the GD and not an underlying ASD. If such were the case, then few, if any, additional ASD features should accompany intense cross-sex interests. If few additional ASD features are present, then other circumstances that might influence such interests to be elevated should be considered. For instance, GD children may obsess about cross-sex objects and activities as a way of communicating their strong desire to be the opposite gender. When confronted with resistance about this desire, the child may react by further intensifying these obsessions and, hence, his or her communication of this desire.”

My snarky response is, “Ya think?!?”

Further Reading:

Autism and Transgender

Autistic Sky

Autistic Sunset

Reference:

VanderLann, et al., “Do Children With Gender Dysphoria Have Intense/Obsessional Interests?”, JOURNAL OF SEX RESEARCH, 52(2), 213–219, 2015, DOI: 10.1080/00224499.2013.860073

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One’s Job or Education Do NOT Define Either HSTS Nor AGP Transwomen

Posted in Autobiographical, Transsexual Field Studies by Kay Brown on January 17, 2023

For over a decade, I’ve been writing on the Science of Changing Sex, explaining how the science supports the Two Type Taxonomy. This after spending years researching, teaching, and writing about our history. (Trivia: many of the current texts on our history have borrowed rather heavily from that earlier work. No, I’m not upset by that, but pleased it has become so well known.) That after having worked as an early transsexual rights activist, including joining with several other transsexuals to form the ACLU Transsexual Rights Committee in 1980. This early work almost certainly set the stage for later activists to join in that work.) Sadly, while there has been progress in understanding the nature of the Two Type Taxonomy, there is a continuing denialist opposition to it. That opposition has not restricted itself to respectful scientific arguments, but often descends into personal attacks, calumny, and character assassination.

Please Read “What The Next Wave of Transgender Activists Need To Know”

One of the silliest of these is based on mistaken sexist stereotypes about the differences between the two types, sadly started by several of the top sexologists that researched the taxonomy and support further research and education, to wit, that Autogynephilic (AGP) transwomen are very likely to be “geeky” and become scientists, engineers, and technologists while Homosexual (HSTS) transwomen are not. This is based on the totally erroneous idea that straight men are more interested in these careers than either women or gay men, by nature.

Please Read “Stereotypes Are Dangerous” and “The Right Stuff”

The reality is that women are just as likely to be interested in such educations and careers as men, when given the chance and not discouraged from doing so.

Please Read “Tech Bros and Silicon Valley’s Misogyny Problem”

From the graph, we can see how women, when the sexist limits on their enrollment in the physical sciences, legal, and medical fields were reduced, the percentage of women seeking degrees in those fields climbed and now has reached near parity with men. Computer Science is the only field where the enrollment initially climbed, then fell off. It was NOT that women didn’t like the field. It was and remains a problem of a toxic culture in computer programming where immature, misogynistic, young men make studying and working in the field a hostile work environment for women.

Women have long wanted to be scientists and technologists. Consider these women: Ada Lovelace who worked with Babbage on the concepts of computer programming before computers existed; Maria Sklowdowska Curie who was awarded, not one, but two Nobel prizes in physics and chemistry; her daughter Irène Joliet-Curie who also won a Nobel prize in chemistry; Lise Meitner, who should have won the Nobel Prize for the discovery of atomic fission that led to nuclear power. The list is long. Although these are extraordinary women for their accomplishments, they are not unusual for being interested in science.

I would argue that gay men are also just as likely to be interested in these fields, though we don’t have as much documentation to prove it. But consider Alan Turing, one of the most celebrated mathematicians and computer pioneers of the 20th Century, was gay. Today, we have Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, Inc., one of the most successful Silicon Valley companies. The most amazingly brilliant technologist who ever reported to me was an undergraduate summer intern from MIT in the early ’80s. When he later came out, he asked me if I knew he was gay before. “I knew the day I hired you!”. He later earned a Ph.D., published a textbook on robotics, and became a Silicon Valley executive.

The stereotype of autogynephilic transwomen being geeky also fails to hold water when we look at them and note how many have careers that are not at all “geeky”, but are stereotypically male/masculine coded like law enforcement, military, construction, transportation, etc. Then there are the number who are living in poverty and squalor because they have no marketable skills post-transition.

Thus, women and gay men like and pursue education and careers in the physical sciences and technology just as much as straight men. But straight men will avoid fields that are coded as “women’s work” or feminine/”gay”. Autogynephilic transwomen notoriously have the same aversion pre-transition. So, while we can NOT use pursuing an education in the sciences or working in technology as a useful marker for autogynephilia, nor as exclusionary of being homosexual (transsexual or not); we can use female coded careers and jobs, especially those pursued before transition, as likely exclusionary of being autogynephilic and also increasing the odds that such an individual is homosexual (transsexual or not).

Back to the issue of what does define and differentiate the two types of transwomen. Very simply, their sexuality. One is gynephilic and autogynephilic, the other is androphilic (homosexual w/ respect to their natal sex). Nothing else defines the two types.

However, there are indicia that highly correlate with the two types. In my years of examining the science literature I have found seventeen independent lines of evidence that correlate and supports the two type taxonomy. None of them are educational / career interests. Some of these correlates can only be used at the population level, but several can be used at the individual level: gender atypical behavior as a pre-adolescent, age of onset of gender dysphoria, age of social transition, and of course, definitionally, sexual history (showing actual sexual orientation).

Please Read the first few entries in the “FAQ on the Science of Changing Sex”

The Personal Is Political

Back to the problem of the denialism and of the calumnious attacks, specifically, those attacks on me. In an ironically revealing, one might even say, self-own, they simultaneously claim that there is no two type taxonomy and nearly in the same breath tell me to shut up because I must be AGP as well because of my interest in the sciences and my long career in Silicon Valley! But as I showed above, that does NOT define nor differentiate the two types. But if one examines my bio, one can find all the indicia needed to determine which etiological type I fall into.

Please Read “About”

Consider this section to be an expansion of my bio, focused on those indicia. As I said in my bio, the only honorable defense against lies is the truth.

My mother, during an interview with Dr. Fisk at the Stanford Gender Dysphoria Clinic, complained bitterly about my early gender atypical behavior, under the false impression that he would be attempting to “cure” me. I was but 17 years old at the time.

“I have known for years that he wanted to be a girl.  But I thought that was [morally] wrong.  He was very different than his brothers.  All their friends were boys.  His were always girls,” naming several of my friends over the years, starting with those when I was five and six years old, but couldn’t remember my friend who had been my only guest on my tenth birthday.  “Marian,” I interjected for the only time during the whole interview.  “He was always very prissy.  He would walk clear around even the shallowest puddles.  When he was little, I would put him in clean clothes on Monday and on Friday they would still be clean.”  She confirmed that I had been sent to a therapist about my behavior when I was ten years old and again when I was 15/16.

When I was nine years old, at the end of 4th grade, our elementary school was planning one of those embarrassing shows where students perform for their parents and friends. I’m sure you know the type I’m talking about. I was cast for a part but when told the details of the part, I had a total emotional melt-down, tears, loud drama, refusing to take a male role. It set off a chain of interviews and behind the scene discussions with my parents that I only learned about years later. The next school year, I was required, by the school district psychologist, to be sent to a very special therapist some miles from our home, to “play” and talk with Dr. Peters every Friday afternoon. Interesting thing about the playroom. It had only boy’s toys, which held zero interest for me. Sometimes, we played chess, but otherwise, we only talked. Why?

Please Read, “Shameful History of Reparative Therapy of Transsexual and Gay Children”

I’ve already disclosed a few details about how in Jr. High, I spent my time at the library reading about girl’s fashion, make-up, etc. I also practiced putting on make-up, borrowing my mother’s, given that we had the same coloring, etc. I was always careful to put everything back exactly as I found it and to wash my face carefully, but she knew I was doing it. She just couldn’t catch me at it.

One of the stories my mother would tell other mothers, often in my presence to try to embarrass me, was about the day she was sitting out on the lawn pulling weeds when she saw me at a distance walking home from school. When I saw her, I discretely adjusted the stack of books I was carrying (female style, books against my chest, if you must know), sadly not discretely enough. She would tell her listeners that she was convinced that I must be bringing home and attempting to hide, pornography, so she later searched my room. What she found instead was a book on manners and etiquette for teenagers, mostly for girls.

When I was fourteen, my freshman year in high school, Debra asked me to the Sadie Hawkins dance. I loved dancing and she was one of my friends so I agreed. A couple weeks after the dance, she invited me over to her house. Her mother wasn’t home as I had expected her to be. Debra went into her bedroom and changed out of school clothes and into a very revealing, slinky dress. She literally draped herself across me as I sat on the front room couch. Disturbed, I pushed her off of me and jumped up off the couch. She tried to cajole me into rejoining her on the couch but I refused, as I paced the floor. She gave up and changed back into more modest jeans and top. The next day, as school ended, she again invited me over to her house, but I turned her down. Debra broke into tears and ran away. We never spoke again.

During the next summer, just after I turned 15, I took square dancing classes with one of my female friends. I paid special attention to the girl’s part, intending to attend square dances as a girl, and dance with the cute boys. My friend supported this plan and lent me one of her square dancing outfits. My mother discovered the plot and forbid me to attend any more lessons and forced the return of the outfit.

Another girl, who was in the square dancing crowd freaked out and cut me off when I came out to her. Thank goodness we didn’t go to the same school. But I hated losing friends.

We moved to a new house in a nearby suburb a couple months after that and I transferred to the local high school. I joined up with a crowd of kids that included a boy, Greg, I had known in Jr. High. He now lived with his mother and new stepdad, while his brother Jeff (Not my husband Jeff) lived with his dad and attended my old high school. Thus, my circle of friends doubled as I kept in touch and occasionally met with my old friends. One of those old friends, Dennis, would meet me half-way, at Cassie’s house. Dennis was very comfortable being affection with me, often letting me massage his back or just sitting close. One day, at Cassie’s, the two of them started making out hot and heavy right in front of me. The green eyed monster joined us and took over. I stormed out, slamming the door as hard as I could. For the next week, Dennis tried calling me several times a day. I just hung up on him as soon as I heard his voice. After a week, Cassie called. I wasn’t mad at her. She could make out with any boy she wanted as far as I was concerned. Cassie said to me, “You have punished him enough.”

So, with that we agreed that I would go to Cassie’s and talk to Dennis, to patch things up. But I had a plan. Cassie agreed to let me come early and borrow her clothes. She was two inches taller and a bit bigger, but her dress size was close enough to mine. I met Dennis wearing a cute blouse with a jumper dress over it, panty-hose and nice shoes. Dennis and I talked pleasantly, never once making any reference to how I was dressed. I was trying to let him see that I was attracted to him, etc. He didn’t reject me, but wasn’t going to be dating me either. Oh well… I tried. Skipping forward three years for just a moment. Dennis visited me right around graduation. During a walk around the block, away from other’s ears, he asked, “You going for that sex change?” I answered simply, “Yes.” Upon which he said, “Good luck.” and hugged me.

That same year, aged 15, my mother decided it was time she dealt with me and my “homosexuality”. She first took me to our family doctor for a physical and a consult about it. There didn’t seem to be anything physically wrong, save that I was “underdeveloped” (and stayed that way, thank the Blessed Goddess… At 15 I was perhaps at Tanner stage 3, I never reached stage 5). He recommended a therapist, Dr. Kanski, who I had to see once a week to “talk about my problem”. I would talk very pleasantly about almost any subject, but my sexual orientation and gender dysphoria / identity. Dr. Kanski later told my mother that I was “uncooperative”.

Later that year, as I was helping Cassie with her homework (I was often asked to help others and gladly did so), she reached under the table and grabbed my genitalia, saying in coquettish voice, “My mother won’t be home for hours.” I was horrified! I pulled her hand away from me and pretended nothing had happened. She started to slide her hand to my crotch again but I grabbed it and held it tight against her leg, while continuing to explain the homework problem. I was hurt and angry. She knew about my transsexuality. Why would she should do this?

The summer, just after I turned 17, I got a job as a full-time nanny taking care of two boys, ages ten, and four. Their mom later wrote a letter of introduction and recommendation using my new name and gender. The family also gave me some of her older, but stylishly appropriate for a teenager, clothes that would fit me.

Our house was next door to our community pool. We often had friends over for a swim, including Cassie and Barby, among others. One day, I picked up Barby from her house in our family’s spare car to go for a swim. She was wearing a skimpy bikini and nothing else. As we were going down the street, she grabbed my hand and pulled my hand to her crotch. (You just know that a straight boy would have loved it and also be having ‘trouble’ with his own.) I was never more grateful that I was driving a car with a manual transmission as I removed my hand back to the gear shift knob.

It was past time I came out to Barby.

My senior year I called our family doctor and asked for female hormones. His reply was, “You can do anything you want with your life, but I won’t be any part of it.” Soon after that I found a reference to the Stanford Gender Dysphoria Clinic. They said I needed to have my parents make the appointments, etc. After some serious family drama, my Dad did. After the intake interviews with Dr. Fisk, I filled out their required paperwork at school, with friends looking over my shoulders, offering comments. Both of my parents tried to talk me out of transition.

Please Read “Cognitive Dissonance…”

A few months before graduation rolled around, I was out to all my close friends and word was getting around. Of course, the fact that I was often seen around town or at the mall with friends dressed as a girl helped that. But, I still had to present as a boy in class. I openly hung up my new wardrobe in my closet, earning silent glares of disapproval from my mother, but gave her a ‘I dare you’ look back. But after graduation, I was living full time as a girl.

I turned eighteen a week before graduation. My dad came over to wish me happy birthday and give me a present, the only one I got from anyone, a nice clock radio. I would need it as he also told me I was being evicted from my mother’s house and not allowed to move in with him.

I won’t go into details, that’s not anyone’s business; I dated several boys/young men from my circle of high school friends starting then and for the next few years. But one of my boyfriends, Jordan, from that time, later introduced me to his wife as his “first girlfriend”. Think about that, a straight man was proudly telling his wife that his first relationship was with a pre-op transwoman! Of the others, my mother had accused Jeff of being my lover. Wrong, he had rebuffed me… his brother Greg on the other hand… The one that really created family drama was Don, my brother’s best friend.

Bob at my wedding, Guests blew bubbles, not rice.

The relationship that lasted the longest was Bob. His mother was an engineer, president of the Silicon Valley chapter of the Society for Women Engineers. I was a welcome guest at their family dinners. She strongly encouraged me to study engineering. When he was away at Rensselaer, back east, we handwrote letters often and occasionally talked long distance on the phone. I learned from one of his housemates on the phone that when Bob was lonely, he would open the drawer where he kept my letters, just for the waft of my perfume I scented them with. When he was home… we dated on and off like that for several years. in the end though, he married my best friend Jan and raised two girls with her. But we remained friends. In fact, Bob attended my wedding to Jeff.

I remained friends with several female friends, most especially Jan and Robyne, occasionally sleeping over in their bedrooms. Think about that for a moment. Their families had known me for years…Robyne’s since Jr. High, do you think for one moment that they would let me be alone, in their teenaged daughter’s bedrooms over night, if they thought I might be interested or capable of having sex with them?

So, remembering the definitions and indicia of sexual history & orientation, childhood gender atypicality (as reported by my mother), age of gender dysphoria onset, age of transition, etc. What type am I?

I have no doubt the AGPs in denial, haters, and TERF/GC folk will still tell lies. But I know who and what I am.

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Sex Reassignment Surgery Demographics in the Netherlands

Posted in Confirming Two Type Taxonomy, Transsexual Field Studies by Kay Brown on January 5, 2023

Our favorite folks in Amsterdam have provided data set on MTF transsexuals receiving SRS in their clinic covering 40 years. The paper is openly available online, not behind a paywall, so you may read it for yourself. But I have a few observations and comments regarding the data and the authors’ comments.

First, let’s look at the data, reorganized into putatively HSTS vs. AGP. (Yes, given all we know about MTF transwomen, I will assume that all non-exclusively androphilic transwomen are AGP.)

Table 1

Demographics of transgender women undergoing primary genital gender-affirming surgery at the authors’ institution between January 1980 and January 2020

DemographicsTotalVaginoplastyOrchiectomyGCV
Numbern=1531n=1468n=44n=19
Age at surgery (SD=1)33 (25–44) 33 (24–44) 32 (26–45) 54 (45–60) 
Sexual orientation (self report) n=699 6454212
HSTS n= (%)372 (53) 357 (55) 13 (31) 2 (17) 

As the authors noted, “Individuals who opted for GCV (vulvaplasty only, no vaginoplasty) were generally older, had no history of puberty suppression, and were more frequently sexually oriented towards women.” The same could be said for orchiectomy as well. HSTS are must more likely to want/need vaginoplasty over other possible choices as one would expect, so as to be able to have vaginal intercourse with men.

The authors made a comment that I found ahistorical. They believe that GCV is a relatively new procedure. It is not. In fact, Christine Jorgensen had GCV only in 1952, as reported by her surgeon, Dr. Christian Hamburger, as neither of them desired to facilitate sex with men. Similarly, “orchies”, as we called them back in the 1970s, was common for both HSTS and AGP in the early 20th through the mid- to late-20th Century due to greater ease of obtaining them. (Some of this was due to the Eugenics Movement, which was only too happy to sterilize “perverts”.)

Finally, the authors wrote about encouraging “fertility preservation” but seem to lament that it isn’t possible for those who begin puberty blockers early, “The increase in individuals starting puberty suppression at early pubertal stages, when serum testosterone concentrations are insufficient for spermatogenesis, may lead to an increase in individuals without options for preservation of fertility.” This strikes me as “unclear on the the concept” as why would such MTF early transitioners, who are all HSTS (as even this clinic’s own data attests), want or need to cryostore sperm. Just who will they impregnate, their future husbands?

Reference:

Van der Sluis, et al., “Surgical and demographic trends in genital gender-affirming surgery in transgender women: 40 years of experience in Amsterdam”, British Journal of Surgery, Volume 109, Issue 1, January 2022, Pages 8–11, https://doi.org/10.1093/bjs/znab213

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End of the Year Retrospective

Posted in Editorial by Kay Brown on December 29, 2022

It’s been thirteen yeas since I started this blog, fourteen if you could the essay I wrote for the Transkids.us website. A lot has happened in that time. When I started researching and writing this material, my chief concern was the science denialism within the transsexual and transgender communities. Somewhere along the line two major events occurred. We saw a huge increase in the number of people, mostly young women, falsely claiming to be either “trans” or “non-binary”. The other was a horrendous increase in transphobia around the world, but especially in the Anglo-sphere. The two are likely related.

Back to the first issue. We have seen progress in that many more transsexuals are aware of and acknowledge the two type taxonomy, ironically because of the denialists being so vocally so. Which caused the transphobes to become aware of the science, but then weaponized that denial to publicize its existence, most particularly about the existence of autogynephilia. I won’t condone that weaponization, though I do approve of the greater awareness. More transsexuals are working to reduce the stigma and de-weaponize it. But the progress has been slow. And for those, like myself, on the leading edge of the educational effort, the backlash against that effort continues unabated. In fact, well intentioned, but ignorant, non-trans=allies have become our worst enemies here. They are self-righteous in their zeal to “protect” transssexuals… from other transsexuals. The irony is not lost on us.

As knowledge of our etiologies as become more well known and weaponized, there has also been in increase in flat out lies about us. The propaganda hate machine of the political right, which in 2015 or so, had lost their war against gay and lesbian families with Marriage Equality being recognized in various nations, they turned their baleful gaze on a smaller and weaker population, transsexuals, especially transkids. The number of negative articles and then legal challenges exploded. The enemy was at the gates.

Two decades ago, one would not have found very many people falsely claiming to be “trans”… and the concept of a “non-binary” individual was largely found in the male bodied non=gender dysphoric AGP (“transvestite” / “cross-dressing”) community, often calling themselves other, but similar terms like “bi-gendered” or “gender fluid”, joining others like themselves in the Society for the Second Self (“Tri-Ess”). But sometime during the early part of the last decade, I first saw on social media a feminine, heterosexually married mother of a small child, claim to be “non-binary”. She claimed to be part of the “trans” community. But for the life of me, she came across as a typical non-trans, straight, woman in her early 20s… not the least bit gender atypical nor dysphoric. She wasn’t the first woman I ever met that made such an unsupported claim, but she was soon joined by others. At first, I was more bemused by this than alarmed. But as time went on, these same people got more common and more vocal. And with it, they became openly antagonist to transsexuals, calling us “truscum” and other ugly slurs. Then, the seemingly impossible came to pass… they started to work to erase the very term, the very identity of transsexuals, claiming that it was outdated and even a slur! While we had enemies at the gates… we were too late in defending it, we had already been infiltrated and fighting a rear-guard battle for our very identity!

Where before, I had one category of hate mail directed at me, that from AGPs in denial, I now have three! But I am undeterred. After all, when I “came out” and began social transition in the early ’70s, being gay was a crime and transsexuals were known on daytime TV to be laughed at. Now, HSTS are portrayed on hit TV shows and transkids have an ever growing number of parents who support them. I will continue to write even in the face of denialism, hateful lies, and LARPing pretenders.

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Fear Less Kitchen – A Culinary Intervention

Posted in Book Reviews by Kay Brown on December 27, 2022

Most of my regular readers know that I write on science matters. But I’m also a foodie and love cooking from scratch. Well, I just published my very own cookbook. This is a book to keep in your kitchen, not your coffee table. There are no food porn photos of impossibly difficult dishes to prepare. Instead there are chapters on buying and cooking food, real food, like our great great grandparents would have on their table. The book is all about how to save money by reducing food waste and using lower cost ingredients. You can order the book on Amazon:

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Revised Edition Explained

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

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, of either etiology:  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.

TMWWBQ Cover

In his 2003 book, The Man Who Would Be Queen, J. Michael Bailey included a quiz.  I wrote an earlier essay that explored what the science said about each question, explaining how it helped to differentiate between MTF “homosexual” (HSTS) and autogynephilic (AGP) transwomen.  I rewrote the quiz, to tighten up the criteria, more accurately weight the items, and to expand it based on what science has learned about the two types.  I also coupled the items with equally weighted items that would differentiate HSTS from autogynephilic transwomen.  As with Bailey’s original quiz, it is meant more as an educational than an actual diagnostic tool.

In this essay, as I had done for Bailey’s quiz I expound on the meaning and the science behind each item and how it helps differentiate between autogynephilic and HSTS transwomen. I also provide links to essays that expand on the issue or behavior found in the item.

Autogynephilic vs. HSTS Quiz:

Start at Zero. Ask each question, and if the answer is “Yes,” add or subtract the number as indicated by the sign (+ or -) next to each question.  (Substitute the value in parentheses when applicable.)

+15 Have you worn women’s clothing in private and, during at least three of those times, become so sexually aroused that you masturbated?  {If you answered yes:  STOP!  This one is definitional, you are autogynephilic.}

-15 Have you been sexually active with a man (only a man, never had sexual intercourse with a woman, and more than ten times with a man) while pre-op and carefully avoided using or letting your partner touch your genitals (allowed no more than three times)?

The first question is copied verbatim from Bailey’s quiz. It asks about sexual arousal to wearing women’s clothing. This is the most common indicator for autogynephilia and thus was given the highest positive value (+15) in the quiz. For a review on this, please read my essay on autogynephilia. Autogynephilia

The second question is a bit long winded. This was necessary if one is to give it the same absolute, but negative, value as the first question. It asks several key points found in HSTS, being sexually attracted to AND sexually active with men but NOT women. Autogynphiles are typically more likely to have a sexual history with women, and very unlikely to have been sexually active with men pre-op (post-op is another matter entirely). The last point is about a behavior common in HSTS, “avoidant”. That is not only not comfortable “using” their pre-op genitalia (being a “bottom”) but also uncomfortable allowing a lover to directly stimulate, touch, their pre-op genitalia. This last is very common in HSTS and very uncommon in AGPs. For more on this behavior please read my essay on avoidant behavior: I Know What Boys Like

+3 Have you been married to a woman? (Add +5 if married more than once.) 

As Lawrence showed, and I blogged about in BridesHead Revisited, sorting on this very question allowed her to increase the signal strength of the difference between the assumed to be HSTS and non-HSTS groups with respect to erotic cross-dressing, to counter misrepresentations of being exclusively androphilic. So, statistically speaking, this has been proven to be a useful marker for autogynephilia. The question indirectly tests for gynephilia, as that is one of the primary motivations for marriage to a woman, which is positively correlated with autogynephilia in transsexuals.

3 Is your ideal partner a straight man? (Add -5 if married to a straight man.)

Pretty obvious… an MTF HSTS is not likely to answer in the negative. Nearly every study has shown that exclusive androphilia is negatively correlated with being autogynephilic. For more on this, please read Once Again, With Feeling

+3 Whether married or not, have you sired a child? (Add +5 if more than one.)

3 Whether married (to a straight man) or not, while living as a woman have you adopted or foster-mothered a child? (Add -5 if more than one.) {Note: You must have initiated the process while living as woman, not a carry-over from a pre-transition family, nor step-children by a female partner.}

To sire a child, one would need to have unprotected vaginal intercourse, pre-HRT, with a woman, and likely more than once. This is a common occurrence for AGPs, but vanishingly rare with HSTS. We could just ask if one has ever had such sexual experiences, but we know from research that transwomen often lie about not only their sexual orientation, but even their actual experiences. Having sired children is not as easily lied about. Please read Transsexuals Misrepresenting Their Sexual Orientation

Unlike AGPs, HSTS, should they wish to be a parent, must seek out opportunities to take in non-biological children. Please read Baby Hunger

+5 Are you nearly as attracted to women as to men? Or more attracted to women? Or equally uninterested in both, or unsure?

-5 Does this describe you? “I find the idea of having sex with men very sexually exciting, but the idea of having sex with women is not at all appealing.”

These two questions directly ask about sexual orientation. As before, this is highly correlated with the two types. Kurt Fruend, followed by other researchers, found that all non-exclusively-androphilic (non-homosexual) transwomen were AGP. See Scientific Sodoku

+1 As a child, did people think you were about as masculine as other boys?

-1 As a child, did people think you were an unusually feminine boy?

It is almost axiomatic that HSTS were noted by parents, caregivers, and teachers to be unusually feminine as children, often avoiding rough&tumble play, preferring girls as playmates, and girl’s activities. On the other hand, in interviews parents and other relatives of AGP transsexuals, they are described as having been typically boyish. It is important to determine what others describe them as AGP transsexuals often confuse their desire to be feminine with being so. I gave this a low value because of the difficulty in getting unbiased answers.

+1 Were you over the age of 30 when you began to live full-time as a woman? (+5 if over age 40)

1 Were you under the age of 25 when you began to live full-time as a woman? (-5 if under age 20)

Research clearly shows that HSTS and AGPs transition at different ages. This was so noticeable that they are often called “early” and “late” respectively. In the large Nuttbrock study, half of the HSTS had transitioned before age 20 (as teenagers) but only one gynephilic transsexual had done so. Further, other studies have shown that HSTS nearly always transition before age 25. While a small minority of AGPs begin transition before age 25, the majority do so after age 30 or even older. See this study.

+3 While living as a man, have you ever been in the military or worked as a policeman, truck driver, construction worker, or been a computer programmer, businessman, lawyer, scientist, professor, engineer, or physician, or other male dominated industry position?

-3 Have you worked as a child-care worker (not just a casual or convenient baby-sitter), hairstylist, beautician (other than electrologist), lingerie model, secretary, or other pink-collar job?

I modified these questions from Bailey’s original to add the first clause to limit the question to pre-transition occupations because he, like so many other men, exhibit a sexist bias, a false belief that computer programmers (26% are women), business owners (42% are women), lawyers (38% are women), scientists (41%) & engineers (34%), physicians (34%), and professors (~50% are women) are all men, that these occupations are indicative of a masculine mind. Given than many women are represented in these fields, and increasingly so each year, it would NOT be surprising to find HSTS among them. However, given that half of HSTS transition as teens and nearly all before age 25, it is unlikely that they would have entered such fields before transition. But after transition, should they be fortunate or determined enough to obtain the needed education, they may pursue them. The first half of the list are jobs that are stereotypically masculine jobs that few HSTS would care to pursue, pre- or post-transition.

The negatively scored jobs, hairstylist and beautician, etc., are occupations that are traditionally filled by women and gay men, thus it would be unlikely that an AGP would have filled them, especially pre-transition. For an MTF transkid, though, these positions are equally likely both pre and post- transition. I’ve personally met a number of HSTS in such positions.  My first job was as a secretary for a high tech Silicon Valley firm, my second job was an electronic assembler, a pink collar job, working in an all female environment.

+5 Did you grow out and wear facial hair (mustache, side-burns, beard, etc.) at any time in your life?

-5 Did you begin puberty blockers or HRT soon enough to avoid the need for electrolysis?

There is a notable tendency for AGPs to choose to grow out a beard or mustache, pre-transition, as though to push back on their desire to be feminine by making it more difficult to do so. On the other hand, given that half of HSTS transition as teen or even younger, a fair number never develop facial hair (I didn’t).

Finally, if the person has been on hormones for at least six months, ask yourself this question:

If you didn’t already know that this person was a transsexual, would you still have suspected that she was not a natural-born woman?

+1 if your answer is “Yes” (if you would have suspected)

-1 If your answer is “No”.

If the sum is greater than zero, the person is likely an autogynephilic transwoman.  If the sum is less than zero, the person is likely HSTS.  The larger the absolute value, the higher the confidence in the result.  The scale range is +50 to -50.  However, most autogynephilic transwomen report a low positive score while most HSTS get a moderately negative score.

If you are brave, take the quiz, score it honestly, and “share” this link with your score. Just for comparison, my personal score is -50.

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Gaming Transsexual Brain Sex Research

Posted in Brain Sex by Kay Brown on October 30, 2022

Another study done by Luders research group on MTF transsexual brains comparing them to control men and women shows a shift toward female brain phenotype. I’m sure this will be picked up by many transwomen and lauded as proof that they are “women inside”. Ummm… not quite so fast.

There are several issues to be addressed first. When I first learned of the study, I was dismayed that they had lumped the two types together. At this point in research history, this is inexcusable. In fact, the Luders group does know better, as they had cited Guillamon who specifically called out this mistake in past studies and recommended that they always be separated. Further, they didn’t look at sexual orientation in the control groups either.

This last may not have been that egregious, in that the control groups only included 24 subjects in each. The likelihood of including gay men and lesbians in such a small group is small and would not push or pull the results very far if there is a difference in brain phenotype from heterosexual subjects.

But lumping androphilic and non-androphilic transwomen together is not only a mistake, but given our current understanding based on previous brain sex research, which as Guillamon showed that only the androphilic type had female shifted phenotypes, guarantees that the whole will show a shift toward female phenotype for the whole subject group; which is likely the desired result of this current study, depending upon the ratio of androphilic to non-androphilic subjects, as the paper details,

Twenty-four transgender women (biological sex: male; perceived gender: female) were recruited through local community organizations and through professionals who offer services to the transgender community. To be included in this study, participants needed to self-identify as transgender women, report no history of hormone therapy, and declare the intention of undergoing estrogen replacement therapy. Moreover, participants were confirmed to be genetic males as defined by the presence of the SRY gene in their genome [53]. Six transgender women reported to be androphile (attracted to men) and 18 transgender women stated to be gynephile (attracted to women). The mean age of the transgender sample was 45.7 ± 13.8 years (range 23–72 years).

One might excuse this failure to examine the two types separately based upon the argument that the were already so few transsexual subjects and thus less likely to be statistically powered enough. But this is NOT a valid excuse. One could have done the analysis both ways. But I strongly suspect that would have defeated the ideological aim of the authors, as it would have demonstrated what those earlier studies also showed, that only the androphilic group had a female shifted phenotype. Instead, by lumping them together, one could give the false impression that MTF transsexuals as a whole show such a shift, if slight.

When I realized that they had lumped the two types together, I made a silent bet with myself, predicting that there would be a bimodal distribution, two “humps” in the data, indicative of two types, taxa, being lumped together. Sure enough, the violin plot of the transwomen shows exactly that!

Further Reading:

Essay on Guillamon Meta Analysis

References:

Kurth, F.; Gaser, C.; Sánchez, F.J.; Luders, E. “Brain Sex in Transgender Women Is Shifted towards Gender Identity” J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11, 1582. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11061582

Guillamon, A et al., “A Review of the Status of Brain Structure Research in Transsexualism” Arch Sex Behav (2016). doi:10.1007/s10508-016-0768-5

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The Search For Groomers In All The Wrong Places

Posted in Editorial by Kay Brown on October 29, 2022

Child Sex Abuse (CSA) is wrong, no matter who does it or why.

Let me say that again.

Child Sex Abuse is wrong, no matter who does it or why.

Lately, homophobic and transphobic activists (lets call them who they really are) have been falsely claiming that LGBT people and allies who support transsexual children and teens are “grooming” such youth. This is a libel, a calumny, a slander, of the worst type.

Actual grooming is a practice of slowly gaining the trust (and sometimes fear) of a child so that one can perpetrate CSA with that child.

I know what actual grooming is and looks like. Please let me share a few anecdotes.

When I was nine years old, my father would take me to the bowling alley so that I might participate in a youth bowling league. Both of my parents also bowled in leagues. My father had worked at a bowling alley when he was in college, where he met my mother. The owner/managers of the lanes were neighbors and friends. Thus, I was well known at the bowling alley to all of the employees. It was one of my habits at the lanes to go to the little coffee shop in the building to buy a donut while my father practiced.

One day, as I sat at the counter eating my donut, a man sat down beside me and began to chat me up. He ordered a hot chocolate for me to go with the donut. I was very unsure about this man. On the one hand, his attentions rang alarm bells in ways that I had not the experience or knowledge to comprehend. I wanted him to leave me alone. On the other hand, I had been raised to be polite. Always.

Somebody must have seen and understood what was going on because suddenly my father was there. He was furious! He was yelling at the man to get lost. His anger frightened me. Usually when he was this angry, somebody was going to get ‘strapped’. (Recall this was the ’60s… and my father was from a working class, oil refinery town on the Gulf Coast, on the boarder of Texas and Louisiana, “Deep South” territory and mores. Corporal punishment was the norm.) The man beat a retreat. (I never saw him again.) My dad yelled at me to get in the car. He drove us home in angry silence. It would be years before I understood that he wasn’t angry with me. But at the time, I thought that he was. Further, I took it that it was me who had done something “bad”.

A year later, I was sent every Friday afternoon to “play” with Dr. Peters, a tall bearded man, in a room filled with toys… but only boy’s toys. Again, it would be years before I understood that this “play” was actually “conversion therapy” to stop me from being gender atypical / gender dysphoric. Dr. Peters must have felt that I just wasn’t connecting, trusting, him so one day, instead of trying to get me to “play” with the toys (which being boy’s toys, I had no interest), he took me for a walk down the street to an ice cream shop. He offered to buy my an ice cream cone. Can you imagine my reaction? Here was another man I didn’t trust trying to ply me with a treat?

Kay Brown with her adopted daughter Liz

Let’s fast forward a few decades. I have taken in my second foster child, only seven years old. She had “behavioral challenges” due to early abuse and neglect. No need to detail them. She attended a special school. No need to got into details there either. So, every day, a special bus would pick her up at my house and drop her off afterwards. One day, she mentioned that since she was the last child on the route, the nice bus driver would stop at a store nearby and buy her a treat before dropping her off at my house.

ALARM BELLS !!!

I contacted our Social Worker who went into action!

Whether or not the bus driver was attempting to groom my new foster daughter (later my adopted daughter) for sexual purposes, at the very least, he was deemed to be inappropriately setting her up to be so groomed by someone else! Whether it was a bus driver or a licensed therapist, such actions should not take place.

Now, on the other hand. Politically and socially supporting access to needed Gender Affirming Care in no way involves the above types of behavior. Parents, therapists, and physicians providing such care are not either. Calling LGBT people, our allies, and youth care providers “groomers” causes harm in two ways. One, it distracts from what grooming actually is and what actions are likely to indicate it, thus putting children into potential harm’s way. Two, it harms those who are falsely accused of being groomers.

To those who are calling any LGB and especially T folk “groomers”, I cordially invite you to perform an anatomically implausible act upon yourself.

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More Proof That Transsexual Teens Persist

Posted in Transgender Youth by Kay Brown on October 21, 2022

We have another paper looking at the number of transsexual teens that began puberty blockers and/or HRT who continue to take them into adulthood. That is to say, that they ‘persisted’. This is important because transphobic activists keep pushing a propaganda lie that most gender dysphoric youth ‘desist’ being such and detransition, to become “detrans”.

From the study,

“720 people were included, of whom 220 (31%) were assigned male at birth and 500 (69%) were assigned female at birth. At the start of GnRHa treatment, the median age was 14·1 (IQR 13·0–16·3) years for people assigned male at birth and 16·0 (14·1–16·9) years for people assigned female at birth. Median age at end of data collection was 20·2 (17·9–24·8) years for people assigned male at birth and 19·2 (17·8–22·0) years for those assigned female at birth. 704 (98%) people who had started gender-affirming medical treatment in adolescence continued to use gender-affirming hormones at follow-up. Age at first visit, year of first visit, age and puberty stage at start of GnRHa treatment, age at start of gender-affirming hormone treatment, year of start of gender-affirming hormone treatment, and gonadectomy were not associated with discontinuing gender-affirming hormones.”

The latest paper adds another 720 subjects from the Netherlands to the 1,057 in the UK [Butler] study earlier this year for a total of 1,777 teens who began medical transition treatment. In the UK study showed that 94.5% of the teens persisted into adulthood while the Netherland study showed that 98% did so. Combined, the number is 95.8%. Round it off to 96%.

In this study, age at beginning treatment did not correlate with ‘desistance’, which is not the case with the UK study which showed that those that did desist, had been on the younger side. This is in keeping with earlier studies from the Netherlands and Canada that showed that those that desisted, did so BEFORE puberty, and thus never began medical treatment.

Once again, we have solid, reproducible evidence that transsexual teens are unlikely to detransition, to stop medical transition. Any who say otherwise are either misinformed or are willfully lying.

Further Reading:

Transsexual Teens In UK Gender Dysphoria Treatment

Age of Innocence (Desistence)

References:

van der Loos, M. et al., “Continuation of gender affirming hormones in transgender people starting puberty suppression in adolescence: a cohort study in the Netherlands”, Lancet (2022), https://doi.org/10.1016/S2352-4642(22)00254-1

Butler G, Adu-Gyamfi K, Clarkson K, et al., “Discharge outcome analysis of 1089 transgender young people referred to paediatric endocrine clinics in England 2008–2021” Archives of Disease in Childhood (2022) doi: 10.1136/archdischild-2022-324302

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Transsexual Teens In UK Gender Dysphora Treatment

Posted in Editorial, Transgender Youth by Kay Brown on August 20, 2022

In a spate of recent UK media there was a wild accusation that a “thousand” youths were suing the National Health Service for wrongly pushing them into transsexual medical treatments. But there is a serious problem with this statement. That number, a thousand, is roughly the TOTAL number of transsexual teens that have been treated in the UK from 2008 through 2021. Are ALL of them suing the NHS? No, the story is disinformation generated by a transphobic propagandists under the rubric of the “Big Lie” theory, that the bigger the lie, the more believable it is. In truth, very few teens would be unhappy with receiving treatment and most would be very grateful. (Though they may grumble about aspects of the hoops they had to clear to get it.)

I’m a US citizen living in California, so I have zero direct experience with the UK NHS and their gender dysphoria treatment system. But as I understand it, to get treatment, one must jump through multiple hoops, first convincing a (potentially transphobic) skeptical General Practitioner (GP) to provide a referral to the Gender Identity Service (GIDS). The GIDS does a psych and history evaluation and may or may not provide a referral to the Endocrine Service which may or may not then provide puberty blockers (PB) or cross-sex Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT).

If you were to believe the propaganda, you would be think that the NHS hands out HRT like candy on Halloween. They do not. Further, the real numbers from these clinics show that the number of teens treated is NOT indicative of an “epidemic” of gender dysphoria. Far from it.

We need to review some stats. The current population of the entire UK is a bit over 67 million people. The long time historical estimate of actual transsexuals, those who experience gender dysphoria, seek medical treatment, and live full time as the opposite sex is known to be less than one in ten thousand (<1:10,000). That includes those that seek treatment as adults. So, the maximum number of people we expect in the NHS system receiving HRT and later Sex Reassignment Surgery for gender dysphoria would be less than 7,000 people TOTAL. So, we expect, that the number of transsexual teens would be some lower number. And that is exactly what we see.

Consider the recent paper published in the British Medical Journals by Butler, et al. In it we learn that the NHS Gender Identity Services referred only 1,151 teens for evaluation between 2008 and 2021 inclusive. Of that only 1089 had known outcomes. Of those, 32 did NOT receive hormonal medical treatment, likely realizing that they weren’t actually gender dysphoric when confronted with the reality of what that really meant. (That is, they were likely falsely claiming to be “trans”, which has become a very popular fad among teens and young people such that there are likely over 500 people falsely claiming to be “trans” or “non-binary” for every actual transsexual.) Of the remaining 1,057 teens, 58 (5.5%) later elected to cease medical treatments leaving 999 that continued into adulthood.

Again, this is NOT indicative of a sudden epidemic of gender dysphoria among teens. In fact, it is perfectly in keeping with the number we expect from decades of clinical experience. Most especially, these numbers put the lie to the assertion that a thousand youths are planning to sue the NHS for medical malpractice. It also gives us an insight into the relative stability of gender dysphoria and of transsexual identities in teenagers, that so called “desistence” occurs before puberty onset.

Further Reading:

More Proof That Transsexual Teens Persist

How Many Transfolk Are There, Really?

Lost In The Crowd – The recent phenomena of young people falsely claiming to be “trans” or “non-binary”

Age Of Innocence – Clinical evidence that “desistence” occurs before puberty onset.

Reference:

Butler G, Adu-Gyamfi K, Clarkson K, et al., “Discharge outcome analysis of 1089 transgender young people referred to paediatric endocrine clinics in England 2008–2021” Archives of Disease in Childhood (2022) doi: 10.1136/archdischild-2022-324302

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