On the Science of Changing Sex

Exploring The Science of Transgender

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.  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 fifty 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

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.

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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Common Correlations In HSTS Transwomen & Gay Men

Posted in Science Criticism by Kay Brown on July 2, 2018

female_scientistIn learning about correlations between various behaviors and characteristics between exclusively androphilic transwomen and gay men, we may learn things that point to etiological factors that effect both.  An interesting correlation is that both gay men and androphilic transwomen, both populations exhibit the now famous Fraternal Birth Order Effect (FBOE) in which they have more older brothers than straight men.  That is to say, that the more boys that a given mother gives birth to, the higher the chances of a boy being androphilic, either gay or trans.  The FBOE strongly supports a biological etiology for androphilia in males.

fobeBut the really interesting thing about this effect is that it is stronger for androphilic transwomen than it is for gay men.  This opens up some interesting avenues of research.  Does this effect also mean that there is a correlation within the gay male population between meansures of femininity and the FBOE?  What about other characteristics that are more common in androphilic transwomen than in gay men?

The picture of androphilic transwomen is that of early and notable gender atypical behavior, hypomasculine appearance (even before medical intervention) and near universal preference for anal receptive sexuality, “bottom” as its called in the modern Western gay community.  Many gay men are just the opposite, preferring to “top” other gay men.  So, is there are a correlation between prefered anal sex role and FBOE, childhood gender atypical behavior, or hypomasculine appearance?  Are tops more like straight men in less FBOE, less gender atypicality, and more masculine appearance?  Conversely, are bottoms more like transwomen?

In the Wienrich paper they found a correlation between childhood gender atypicality and a preference for being a bottom,

“The connections between childhood gender nonconformity (assessed by the Freund Feminine Gender Identity Scale, or FGI) and adult genitoerotic role (assessed by a sex history) were examined. … Although other workers have cautioned against assuming a priori that childhood gender role is inherently related to adult preferences for particular sexual acts, our data suggest that there is at least a statistical association between these two concepts. In particular, the FGI (and many of its factors and items) are significantly associated with preferences for receptive anal intercourse and, less clearly, with oral-anal contact — but not with oral-genital intercourse or insertive anal intercourse. … The data also suggest that in sex research involving homosexual men, the correct genitoerotic role distinction is not insertive vs. receptive behaviors, or even insertive vs. receptive anal intercourse, but receptive anal intercourse vs. all other behaviors.”

Thus, like transwomen, bottoms are more likely to have been gender atypical than tops.

In Moskowitz, they found that physical traits, relative masculinity, was correlated with sex role,

“We surveyed 429 men engaging in same-sex anal intercourse to investigate the degree to which anal penetrative self-identity was concordant with actual penetrative behavior. Additionally, the roles of masculinity and physical body traits (e.g., penis size, muscularity, height, hairiness, and weight) were tested as correlates of anal penetrative identity and identity-behavior concordance. … Generally, tops reported larger penises than bottoms. They also reported being comparatively more masculine than bottoms. … Our study suggests that the correlates of gay men’s sexual self-labels may depend on objective traits in addition to the subjective pleasure associated with receptive or insertive anal intercourse.”

Thus, bottoms were more physically hypomasculine, just like androphilic transwomen.

In the Wampold paper he explores the correlation between sex role and FBOE,

“Bottoms had a significantly greater mean number of older brothers than did Not-Bottoms. … Thus, late fraternal birth order was correlated with receptive anal-erotic behavior among MSM.”

Thus, we’ve come full circle.  There is evidence for a multivariate cluster of indicia in a subset of gay men that would appear to be very much like androphilic transwomen save for one behavior, social transition to being transwomen.  The question we then need ask, is this difference between tops and bottoms dimensional or taxonic.  It sure looks taxonic to me.  The next question is the difference between bottom gay men and androphilic transwomen dimensional or taxonic?  I’m betting it’s dimensional.

If this is the case, what makes the difference between bottom gay men and androphilic transwomen?  We have strong hints that it is cultural.  There are cultures where feminine androphilic males are granted greater latitude to express their native femininity and not be coerced into hiding in the closet, or attempting to pretend to be ‘straight acting – straight looking’ gay men like ours does.  Assuming this to be the case, as our Western society is becoming less transphobic and misogynist, we should see more young gender atypical androphilic males persisting and chosing social transition as transwomen.

Further Reading:

Essay on cross cultural expression of male androphilia

Essay on the Fraternal Birth Order Effect

References:

Blanchard, R., “Fraternal Birth Order, Family Size, and Male Homosexuality: Meta-Analysis of Studies Spanning 25 Years”, Archives of Sexual Behavior, (2017)
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10508-017-1007-4

Weinrich, et al., “Effects of recalled childhood gender nonconformity on adult genitoerotic role and AIDS exposure” Archives of Sexual Behavior, 1992)
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF01542256

Moskowitz, et al., “The Influence of Physical Body Traits and Masculinity on Anal Sex Roles in Gay and Bisexual Men”, Archives of Sexual Behavior, (2011)
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10508-011-9754-0

Wampold, C., “The Association Between Fraternal Birth Order and Anal-Erotic Roles of Men Who Have Sex with Men”, Archives of Sexual Behavior, (2018)
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10508-018-1237-0

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