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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