On the Science of Changing Sex

Who Would Date Transgender People?

Posted in Transsexual Field Studies by Kay Brown on July 1, 2019

female_scientistA very recent paper by Dr. Karen Blair and R. A. Hoskin received a bit of publicity in both pro and anti- trans publications.  BOTH mischaracterized the paper and its findings.

But before I go into the paper, I have to make some strong editorial and political statements:

All acts of sexuality and romance should be joyously consensual.  No one may coerce, by force or by emotional blackmail, anyone to participate in any sexual or romantic activity.  To be even more specific; No, you may NOT berate people who won’t date or have sex with transfolk into doing so.  No, you may NOT call such people “transphobic” just for not being attracted to you or other transfolk.

On the flip side; No, you may NOT call transfolk respectfully seeking to date non-transfolk “rapists” or “rapey”.  No, you may NOT use examples of transfolk lashing out in frustration (no matter how unkindly) as exemplars of all transfolk’s behavior or attitudes.

The first thing to understand about this new paper is that it is a byproduct of another study and was not conducted to test any hypothesis.  The manner of obtaining its subjects was more typical of a convenience sample and may have some bias to it.  Specifically, there were many young people who were in college.  So, this study is an “exploratory” study and was never intended to find out “why” people feel they way they do about transpeople, only whether they would “hypothetically” be interested in dating transpeople.

In reporting responses, Blair et al., use the sexual orientation of the subjects compared to the post social transition identification as either “congruent” or “incongruent”.  That is to say, if a straight man said that he would date a transwoman, that is “congruent” with his sexual orientation.

Response categories by sexual and gender identity.
.                                                       Exclusionary N (%) Congruent N (%) Incongruent N (%)
Bi/queer/non-binary                   56 (48.3)                    40 (34.5)                20 (17.2)
Lesbian women                           79 (71.2)                    10 (9)                      22 (19.8)
Gay men                                        108 (88.5)                  10 (8.2)                   4 (3.3)
Heterosexual women                 388 (98.2)                  6 (1.5)                     1 (0.3)
Heterosexual men                       206 (96.7)                  3 (1.4)                    4 (1.9)

Given some of the friction found between some gynephilic transwomen and a certain element of the lesbian community, the data from the study is perhaps surprising.  Ten percent of the lesbians indicated that they would consider dating transwomen.  Doing a bit of math, given that lesbians comprise a bit over ~1% of women and 9% are willing to date transwomen = 0.1% of women, while post social transition gynephilic transwomen are only 0.04% of socially identified women, there are more than enough willing lesbians as there are lesbian identified transwomen; a happy coincidence.

Interestingly, happy circumstances occur for every one else as well.  There are more people in each congruent and incongruent category to allow every transperson of every sexual orientation to find a willing partner.  It may be a more arduous task for transfolk to find willing partners, but there is no shortage.  Far from transfolk being shut out of the dating (and marriage) market, we are very much welcome in it.

Further Reading:

Going to the Chapel

Reference:

Blair, K.L. & Hoskin, R.A. (2018). Transgender exclusion from the world of dating: Patterns of acceptance and rejection of hypothetical trans dating partners as a function of sexual and gender identity. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.
https://www.drkarenblair.com/s/blair2018.pdf

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