On the Science of Changing Sex

An Embarrassment of Riches

Posted in Confirming Two Type Taxonomy by Kay Brown on March 21, 2013

critical-thinkingI hadn’t covered this earlier, and perhaps I should have, but, never too late.  In 2005, Dr. Anne Lawrence published a study in which she canvased a significant number of MTF transwomen that had had SRS from Dr. Toby Meltzer.  This paper is a true treasure trove of data, only a smattering of which I will explore here:

Characteristics of Participants by Reported Pattern of Sexual Attraction
Attraction before SRS/Attraction after SRS:                                                        F/M              F/F                  M/M
Participant characteristic                                                                                         (n = 30)      (n = 50)         (n = 17)
Mean age at SRS (SD)                                                                                                   45 (8.4)      44 (9.1)          34 (9.2)
Mean age at living full-time in female role (SD)                                               42 (11.3)     42 (9.6)         28 (8.8)
Mean duration of real-life experience before SRS, in months (SD)          21 (18)        21 (18)           63 (63)
Mean number of female sexual partners before SRS (SD)                            12 (16)        15 (21)           0.3 (0.8)
Mean number of male sexual partners before SRS (SD)                                0.7 (1.3)    0.8 (1.8)        6.6 (8.8)
Very or somewhat feminine as a child, in own opinion                                41%              45%                 76%
Very or somewhat feminine as a child, in others’ probable opinion       21%              24%                 76%
Autogynephilic arousal hundred of times or more before SRS                 52%              58%                 18%
Married to a woman before SRS                                                                              70%             74%                 12%
Biologic parent before SRS                                                                                        53%              42%                   6%
Mean number of female sexual partners after SRS (SD)                                0 (0)            1.5 (2.6)        0.4 (0.9)
Mean number of female sexual partners after SRS                                          0 (0)            1.0 (1.7)        0.3 (0.8)
in last year (SD)
Mean episodes of sexual behavior with female partners after SRS          0 (0)              21 (48)         0.1 (0.5)
in last year (SD)
Mean number of male sexual partners after SRS (SD)                                   2.9 (3.1)      0.7 (1.6)       6.9 (10.7)
Mean number of male sexual partners after SRS in last year (SD)           1.9 (2.3)       0.4 (1.5)       2.9 (3.9)
Mean episodes of sexual behavior with male partners after SRS             30 (63)         1 (4)                67 (128)
in last year (SD)
More than one male sexual partner after SRS                                                  60%                16%                 65%
In stable partnered relationship after SRS, at any time                               40%                74%                 71%
In stable partnered relationship after SRS, at time of survey                    27%               62%                  29%

F/M = Exclusively or almost exclusively attracted to females before SRS, exclusively or almost exclusively attracted to males after SRS.
F/F = Exclusively or almost exclusively attracted to females before and after SRS.
M/M = Exclusively or almost exclusively attracted to males before and after SRS.

This paper has clearly documented the phenomena of autogynephilic pseudo-androphilic shift in sexual behavior after SRS, showing it is fairly common.

Looking at the data for autogynephila, we note that the stably “exclusively” androphilic included 18% that reported extensive autogynephilic arousal.  This would seem to contradict Blanchard’s taxonomy that exclusively androphilic MTF transsexuals do not experience autogynephilia.  However, there is strong evidence that a number of these individuals inaccurately reported their actual sexual orientation as Lawrence dug deeper,

“six participants classified as homosexual based on their pattern of sexual partnering before SRS reported experiencing autogynephilic arousal before SRS. Two of these participants, both of whom reported “hundreds of episodes or more” of autogynephilic arousal before SRS, had been married to women and had been biologic parents before SRS, suggesting that their reports of no female sexual partners before SRS were inaccurate. Two other homosexual participants, both of whom also reported “hundreds of episodes or more” of autogynephilic arousal, had not been married and had not been biologic parents; one, age 33 at time of SRS, reported only one male partner before SRS; the other, age 44 at time of SRS, reported multiple male partners before SRS. The remaining 2 homosexual participants, both ages 38, reported autogynephilic arousal only “once or twice” before SRS; both reported multiple male partners before SRS and one also reported MtF transgendered partners.  Seven other participants who were classified as homosexual based on their self-reported pattern of sexual attraction before SRS but not on the basis of their pattern of sexual partnering before SRS also reported autogynephilic sexual arousal before SRS. Four of these 7 participants had been married, and 2 of these 4 had been biologic parents; only 1 reported any male sexual partners before SRS. Of the remaining 3 participants, 2 reported no sexual partners before SRS, and 1 reported multiple male, female, and MtF transgendered partners before SRS.”

Some of these self-identified androphilic individuals who were clearly having sex with female partners before SRS, are just as clearly STILL having sex with female partners after SRS.  Notice also the odd data regarding sex with women, that they reported more female sexual partners than number of sexual encounters?  Someone is not being honest here.  This would suggest that they were in fact bisexual in behavior and sexual orientation, which as Blanchard demonstrated, are autogynphilic.  Thus, we don’t really see any exclusively androphilic transwomen reporting autogynephilia and thus the Freund/Blanchard two type taxonomy hypothesis is supported by this data.

Note that even with these older transitioning AGP transsexuals inadvertently included in the stably androphilic group, the mean age of transition is still significantly younger than the originally (and in truth, still) gynephilic transwomen.  Unfortunately, I don’t have the raw data that would allow me to back these individuals out to determine a better value of the mean age of transition, but it is certainly less than the 28 years old found here.  The data also supports an assertion I have long made, that AGP transwomen usually have greater access to capital which allows them to move quickly from full time transition to SRS, while transkids often remain “pre-op” for far longer; a little more than five years on average compared to less than two for AGPs.  (Again, likely to be longer if we backed out the bisexuals.)  Also note that sizable difference between the childhood femininity between the stably androphilic and the originally and stably gynephilic groups.  I’m personally amused that when asked what others might have perceived, that some in the gynephilic groups seem to have sheepishly admitted that others would not have considered them to have been feminine as young children.

On a sad note, the data shows that truly androphilic transwomen have trouble keeping long term partners.  What this data doesn’t show is why.  From personal experience and from having spoken to many others, I can attest that it is due to straight men having difficulty accepting our transsexual medical history.  Straight men fall in love with transkids readily enough… but after the blush of infatuation passes, the fear of friends and family discovering their lover’s transsexual status far too often over-rides their pair bond.

When reviewing this data, we should always keep in mind that we are looking for trends in the data, since people don’t always accurately report their sexual behavior, especially autogynephilic transwomen.  But still, the data clearly supports the Freund/Blanchard two type taxonomy hypothesis.

(Addendum 12/20/2013:  Using a technique I successfully used before, we might be able to make an estimate/SWAG at the age of transition for the exclusively androphilic transwomen in this sample by estimating the number of AGP transwomen from their reported erotic cross-dressing (18%), assuming that they report it at the same rate as those transwomen who reported that their orientation had changed from gynephilic to androphilic (52%) who they most resemble… 0.18/0.52 x 17 = ~6  So, our estimate is that six non-exclusively-androphilic transwomen incorrectly identified themselves as exclusively androphilic.  Thus, of 17 transwomen who collectively averaged 28 years old at full time transition, only 11 were likely to have been actually exclusively androphilic.  So we need to subtract six individuals who likely were 42 years old on average, when they transitioned.  So, ((28×17)-(42×6))/11 = ~20 years old.  This is more in keeping with other studies that show that the median and average is 20 years old. )

(Addendum 1/21/2017:  I think it is instructive to calculate the effect size (Cohen’s d) for age of transition between the the putatively exclusively androphilic and the non-androphilic transwomen, ignoring our suspicion that a number of non-androphilic transwomen have been accidentally included:  d=1.5 which is quite extraordinarily high, while there is no difference in age of transition between the stabily gynephilic and those who later developed sexual interest in men (“bisexual”) transwomen, strongly supporting the Two Type Taxonomy.)


Anne A. Lawrence, “Sexuality Before and After Male-to-Female Sex Reassignment Surgery”


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Going to the Chapel… ♫♫

Posted in Book Reviews, Transsexual Field Studies by Kay Brown on March 13, 2013

♫♫… and We’re Going to Get Married…♫♫ Greens book

Dr. Richard Green in his 1974 book on transsexuals, “Gender Identity Conflict in Children and Adults” wrote,

“The men who fall in love with and perhaps marry women who are themselves former males, by and large, have known their partners only as women.  Their prior sexual experiences have been only with females.  They consider themselves heterosexual and their relationships heterosexual.  To varying degrees they are consciously and unconsciously aware of the biologic status of their partners, but it would be simplistic and would furthermore blur generally accepted definitions to call these men homosexual.  Rather they are men who respond to the considerable femininity of male-to-female transsexuals, ignoring the dissonant cues of masculinity.”

Those very words, read when I was 17 years old, gave me hope that my dearest wish, to find and marry a straight man, hopefully to also adopt children, just might be possible, in spite of my own mother’s words of encouragement that “No man will ever love you, you know.”  Fortunately, Dr. Green was right, and my mother quite wrong.  Although there are few references, and almost no serious studies, that specifically look at the men who marry transwomen, either “early onset” or “late onset”, I believe from my own observations that most early onset MTF who marry, do find husbands who are straight and narrow (but not narrow minded), because gay men just aren’t interested in transsexuals. As by negative proof, Green describes a married couple in his book, a pre-op transwoman and a putatively, self-described, straight man.  In quoting this man, he describes the day he met his ladylove,

“The first time I ever remember was she was walking across the street, and one of the fellows I work with said, “Hey, that looks like a guy wearing capris.”

Thus, this man knew she was a transwoman from the very start, as she was just barely beginning to transition.  From the description given both by Dr. Green and by this man, it is clear that this transwoman was a classic transkid.  This transwoman, in the same section, lamented that she very much wanted SRS, but was getting serious resistance from her husband,

“My marriage is not doing so good.  It’s not good because my husband more and more has turned to — now he’s turned to more and more to homosexuality.  It’s something I’ve found very difficult to live with.  I could understand his turning to another woman, because of my position, but not another man.  It really tears me up.”

Thus, we see that this transwoman has married a gay man who used her as a stepping stone in coming out.  It seemed clear reading the book that this marriage would soon end, because when asked if she thought her husband was possibly against her transitioning she replied,

“Yes, I do, because were were closer before I started dressing as a woman regularly.  The point was when I got my breast  operation.  It was one thing I didn’t understand.  It meant so much for me to get this operation, and when I did get it, he was very cold for about two months afterwards.  He was very nasty to me. and he told me that as time goes by I’m getting more womanly and more adjusted and this is bugging him.”

Thus, he showed that MTF transsexuals’ husbands are by and large heterosexual, because gay men lose interest as we transition. Green interviews a number of other men who are either married or engaged to MTF transsexuals, who were all clearly straight.  Green was mostly right… but in some respects he missed a few nuances.  Back in the early 70’s he failed to differentiate between exclusively androphilic and autogynephilic transwomen, and the nature of the men who married AGP transwomen.  But we still find hints.  In his book he writes about a candidate for surgery who detransitions when he falls in love with a post-op transsexual.  This individual is in fact gynephilic, and as a man who detransitioned, would be described as heterosexual, but he is also autogynephilic and gynandromorphophilic. While it is obvious why MTF transkids, who are, after all, genuinely androphilic would wish to find and marry heterosexual men.  It has always puzzled me as to why obviously autogynephilic, and just as obviously, truly gynephilic, transwomen would chose instead to marry men.  Further, just what motivates such men to marry these autogynephilic transwomen?  Lawrence, in her 2013 book speculates,

“… some of them go to great lengths to maintain a facade of “heterosexual normality.”  One can observe this phenomenon on a few internet web sites belonging to MtF transsexuals who fit the autogynephilic demographic (formerly married to women, male-typical occupational history, etc.) and have found men willing to marry them.  On their web sites, these transsexuals clearly convey their pride in their status as married women; sometimes they even display their wedding photographs…”

I can almost see this… but it doesn’t explain the men involved, nor why these transwomen are able to maintain such relationships.  Perhaps we saw a hint of who these men are, and what dynamic maintains the relationship in Green’s book, mutual gynandromorphophilia and autogynephilia?  Consider that Green’s detransitioned transgendered individual likely still experiences autogynephilic arousal to cross-dressing?  Could it be that such men who AGP transsexuals marry are themselves autogynephilic and gynandromorphophilic?

About twenty years ago, a young transwoman in her mid-20’s called me up because she wanted me to meet her new boyfriend.  This news very much surprised me because I had never gotten the impression that she was terribly interested in men.  She had, after all, been in the Navy, on board submarines, for months at a time, and never felt any desire toward her shipmates (me?  I would have gone nuts trying to keep my hands off of them!).   We discussed our conflicting schedules and finally agreed that the best time would also coincide with her support group meeting time.  So off I trudged to an AGP transgender support group meeting.  When I finally met my friend’s new boyfriend, all was made clear… her “boyfriend” was also her “girlfriend”… as he was a classic and typical cross-dresser, fully dressed in women’s clothes for this CD/TG/TS support group meeting. To the outside world, they were a heterosexual couple.  To TG ‘insiders’ it was known that they were a pre-op TS woman and a semi-closeted cross-dresser.

Some time ago, when I was still single, I was introduced to a man who sounded like a potential mate.  He took me to classical music concerts, romantic drives in the country in his sports car, cooked a fine meal… seemed ideal… yet I wasn’t attracted to him, though he was to me, strongly.  He broached the idea of marriage.  It couldn’t have been described as a proposal, likely because he “knew” I would turn him down,   because included in his reasons for why the match was perfect was the idea that we could share the same wardrobe, as we wore the same size 12 dresses.  Although this was personally repugnant, we know for a fact that many autogynephilic transwomen would find this to be ideal.

In the Daskalos paper purportedly about changes in sexual orientation after transition, we see two more examples of exactly such relationships.  In combination with autogynephilic pseudo-androphilia, this makes a potent brew of mutual sexual attraction.  Exactly how many AGP transwomen have found such a mutually agreeable relationship with a cross-dressing man is uncertain.  That such relationships exist is beyond doubt.  This would make for a very interesting research paper.

You may wish to read more from Green’s book here.

Further Reading:

Essay on men who are interested in pre-op transwomen

Essay on autogynephiles being sexually interested in pre-op transwomen


Richard Green, M.D., 1974, “Sexual Identity Conflict in Children and Adults“, Basic Books

Anne Lawrence, 2013,Men Trapped in Men’s Bodies, Springer

Daskalos CT., “Changes in the sexual orientation of six heterosexual male-to-female transsexuals.” http://www.springerlink.com/content/pu44808u15q78k21/

Anne Lawrence, “Letter to the Editor” (in response to Daskalos) http://link.springer.com/article/10.1023/A%3A1018725518592

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