On the Science of Changing Sex

Brideshead Revisted…

Posted in Confirming Two Type Taxonomy by Kay Brown on January 30, 2010

…Or reanalyzing old data sets

Anne Lawrence revisited the data set from a Netherlands study of the differences between “homosexual” and “non-homosexual” types of transsexuals.  She suspected that the self-report of sexual orientation that was used in the study is inadequate at separating the two types of MTF transsexuals.

Note that by resorting those that had reported being attracted to men and having been previously married and/or reporting sexual experience with women to being non-homosexual, she achieved a stronger signal strength in the newly winnowed homosexual group, with respect to sexual arousal while cross-dressed:

Sort:       Old                New

AGP     18 (31%)        5 (15%)
Not      40 (69%)       29 (85%)

Compare that data to the Berger & Leavitt results for those who had by inclusion in the study had indicated that they too were attracted to men, and who had accidentally been sorted into a group which had no sexual history with women owing to their being separated into a category defined as being “avoidant”, that is of being sexually active with men, but of not using their penis in their relations with men:

AGP      1 (7%)
Not     14 (93%)

Thus, we see a very similar result.  I’m not sure if the stronger signal found by using this test is, mathematically speaking, “significant” given the very small sample, but it sure is similar, and perhaps really would be stronger if we got a larger sample to confirm it.  Also, in the same vein of confirmation, I was curious if I added all of the data of Berger&Leavitt’s data set together would I get similar results as the Netherlands study, given that they would both then have the same sorting category, of self-reported interest in men:

AGP     29 (36%)
Not     52 (64%)

Amazingly, the two are indeed almost exactly the same, given that we can expect some noise to be present in such small samples.  Thus, I believe that we have a confirmation of the hypothesis that self-report alone can not be used to separate genuinely homosexual from non-homosexual transsexuals.  We also have further evidence that non-homosexual transsexuals exhibit autogynephilic arousal while homosexual transsexuals do not.


Lawrence, A., “Male-to-female transsexual subtypes: Sexual arousal with cross-dressing and physical measurements”

Yolanda L.S. Smith, Stephanie H.M. van Goozen, A.J. Kuiper, Peggy T. Cohen-Kettenis, “Transsexual subtypes: Clinical and theoretical significance”

Clinical Patterns Among Male Transsexual Candidates with Erotic Interest in Males
Frank Leavitt, Ph.D., Jack C. Berger, M.D.

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