On the Science of Changing Sex

Profiles in Courage…

Posted in Confirming Two Type Taxonomy by Kay Brown on March 15, 2010

The recent Nuttbrock study gives us a snapshot of the current transfolk.  From this we may be able to test some of the long held stereotypes that have developed from various observers and authors over the years.  This study is not only the largest done to date, but it was also conducted in New York, possibly the most ethnically diverse city in the world.

One of the observations is that there is a difference between transkids and AGP ethnic mix, that is, that autogynephilic transfolk are more likely to be white, while “homosexual” transsexuals (HSTS) folk are more likely to be more mixed, with many ethnic minorities.

Another item is the widely observed comment that androphilic transsexuals transition far younger than AGPs.  This too is strongly supported by the Nuttbrock data.

First about age of transition, the Nuttbrock study did not directly measure this.  Instead, they used the age of starting on feminizing hormones, HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy).  Sadly, they only broke it down to two age groupings, adolescent and adult.  It would have been interesting to have a further breakdown between ages 20-25, as many have observed that this is the upper limit for androphilic transition and the lower limit for AGP.  Age of beginning HRT for each sexual identity is shown below.  Strangely, they didn’t include any data on any of the “asexual” group.  Note that this gives a very strong signal.  In fact, out of 571 subjects in the study, only one (1) exclusively gynephilic identified person had started HRT as an adolescent!!  Data is given in percentage.

Self-reported:   “Homosexual”  “Heterosexual”    Bisexual    AGP
Sexuality            (androphilic)     (gynephilic)
Number:                  (n=391)           (n=71)                (n=96)
Ethnicity
White (n=141)          19.9                 40.2                      39.9          78.7
Black (n=120)          90.0                   2.5                        7.5           23.1
Hispanic (n=244)    91.0                   1.6                        7.4           22.8
Other (n=53)             62.3                 13.2                     24.5           27.9
Hormone Therapy
Adolescent(n=171) 91.8                 0.6                         7.6            14.0
Adult (n=242)           64.5               13.2                       22.2           42.6
None (n=158)            54.2               25.5                      20.2           59.5

Reworking the data from the above table so that we look at it from the other direction:
Start HRT:        Adolescent   Adult     None
Androphilic       40                40           20
Bisexual               14                 56           33
Gynephilic           1.4              44            56

From the data above, one can clearly see a very strong pattern, gynephilic individuals are extremely unlikely to have begun transition as an adolescent.  It is unfortunate that we can’t have a “Young Adult” (20-25) category, as I believe that would have given us a bit more resolution into the life arcs of the different groups.  We also see a very strong correlation between age of starting HRT and autogynephilia.  The older one is before starting HRT, the greater the likelihood of being autogynephilic.  The most striking inference from the data is that ethnically White transfolk are significantly more likely to be gynephilic and more likely to be autogynephilic.  Another important piece of the puzzle is that the highest percentage of erotic cross-dressing in the Nuttbrock study was reported by those who were identified as exclusively and intensely gynephilic at 82%, while the single lowest percentage reported erotic cross-dressing was 14% for those who had started HRT as adolescents.

Thus, we see that “young transitioners” are typically exclusively androphilic and not autogynephilic, and more likely to be a minority.  While “older transitioners” are typically gynephilic (including bisexual), autogynephilic, and more likely to be white.  Note that being White is not a bar to being an HSTS, young transitioner… they are just significanlty less likely to be.

Again the final word is that the Nuttbrock data absolutely, positively, with no reasonable doubt left, supports the two type taxonomy of MTF transsexuals, one type being exclusively androphilic that transitions quite young, and the other is autogynephilic and transitions later, as an adult.

Reference:

A Further Assessment of Blanchard’s Typology of Homosexual versus Non-Homosexual or Autogynephilic Gender Dysphoria, Nuttbrock, et al. Archives of Sexual Behavior
http://www.springerlink.com/content/b48tkl425217331j/

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