On the Science of Changing Sex

Revised Edition Explained

Posted in Transsexual Field Studies by Kay Brown on November 7, 2022

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, of either etiology:  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.


In his 2003 book, The Man Who Would Be Queen, J. Michael Bailey included a quiz.  I wrote an earlier essay that explored what the science said about each question, explaining how it helped to differentiate between MTF “homosexual” (HSTS) and autogynephilic (AGP) transwomen.  I rewrote the quiz, to tighten up the criteria, more accurately weight the items, and to expand it based on what science has learned about the two types.  I also coupled the items with equally weighted items that would differentiate HSTS from autogynephilic transwomen.  As with Bailey’s original quiz, it is meant more as an educational than an actual diagnostic tool.

In this essay, as I had done for Bailey’s quiz I expound on the meaning and the science behind each item and how it helps differentiate between autogynephilic and HSTS transwomen. I also provide links to essays that expand on the issue or behavior found in the item.

Autogynephilic vs. HSTS Quiz:

Start at Zero. Ask each question, and if the answer is “Yes,” add or subtract the number as indicated by the sign (+ or -) next to each question.  (Substitute the value in parentheses when applicable.)

+15 Have you worn women’s clothing in private and, during at least three of those times, become so sexually aroused that you masturbated?  {If you answered yes:  STOP!  This one is definitional, you are autogynephilic.}

-15 Have you been sexually active with a man (only a man, never had sexual intercourse with a woman, and more than ten times with a man) while pre-op and carefully avoided using or letting your partner touch your genitals (allowed no more than three times)?

The first question is copied verbatim from Bailey’s quiz. It asks about sexual arousal to wearing women’s clothing. This is the most common indicator for autogynephilia and thus was given the highest positive value (+15) in the quiz. For a review on this, please read my essay on autogynephilia. Autogynephilia

The second question is a bit long winded. This was necessary if one is to give it the same absolute, but negative, value as the first question. It asks several key points found in HSTS, being sexually attracted to AND sexually active with men but NOT women. Autogynphiles are typically more likely to have a sexual history with women, and very unlikely to have been sexually active with men pre-op (post-op is another matter entirely). The last point is about a behavior common in HSTS, “avoidant”. That is not only not comfortable “using” their pre-op genitalia (being a “bottom”) but also uncomfortable allowing a lover to directly stimulate, touch, their pre-op genitalia. This last is very common in HSTS and very uncommon in AGPs. For more on this behavior please read my essay on avoidant behavior: I Know What Boys Like

+3 Have you been married to a woman? (Add +5 if married more than once.) 

As Lawrence showed, and I blogged about in BridesHead Revisited, sorting on this very question allowed her to increase the signal strength of the difference between the assumed to be HSTS and non-HSTS groups with respect to erotic cross-dressing, to counter misrepresentations of being exclusively androphilic. So, statistically speaking, this has been proven to be a useful marker for autogynephilia. The question indirectly tests for gynephilia, as that is one of the primary motivations for marriage to a woman, which is positively correlated with autogynephilia in transsexuals.

3 Is your ideal partner a straight man? (Add -5 if married to a straight man.)

Pretty obvious… an MTF HSTS is not likely to answer in the negative. Nearly every study has shown that exclusive androphilia is negatively correlated with being autogynephilic. For more on this, please read Once Again, With Feeling

+3 Whether married or not, have you sired a child? (Add +5 if more than one.)

3 Whether married (to a straight man) or not, while living as a woman have you adopted or foster-mothered a child? (Add -5 if more than one.) {Note: You must have initiated the process while living as woman, not a carry-over from a pre-transition family, nor step-children by a female partner.}

To sire a child, one would need to have unprotected vaginal intercourse, pre-HRT, with a woman, and likely more than once. This is a common occurrence for AGPs, but vanishingly rare with HSTS. We could just ask if one has ever had such sexual experiences, but we know from research that transwomen often lie about not only their sexual orientation, but even their actual experiences. Having sired children is not as easily lied about. Please read Transsexuals Misrepresenting Their Sexual Orientation

Unlike AGPs, HSTS, should they wish to be a parent, must seek out opportunities to take in non-biological children. Please read Baby Hunger

+5 Are you nearly as attracted to women as to men? Or more attracted to women? Or equally uninterested in both, or unsure?

-5 Does this describe you? “I find the idea of having sex with men very sexually exciting, but the idea of having sex with women is not at all appealing.”

These two questions directly ask about sexual orientation. As before, this is highly correlated with the two types. Kurt Fruend, followed by other researchers, found that all non-exclusively-androphilic (non-homosexual) transwomen were AGP. See Scientific Sodoku

+1 As a child, did people think you were about as masculine as other boys?

-1 As a child, did people think you were an unusually feminine boy?

It is almost axiomatic that HSTS were noted by parents, caregivers, and teachers to be unusually feminine as children, often avoiding rough&tumble play, preferring girls as playmates, and girl’s activities. On the other hand, in interviews parents and other relatives of AGP transsexuals, they are described as having been typically boyish. It is important to determine what others describe them as AGP transsexuals often confuse their desire to be feminine with being so. I gave this a low value because of the difficulty in getting unbiased answers.

+1 Were you over the age of 30 when you began to live full-time as a woman? (+5 if over age 40)

1 Were you under the age of 25 when you began to live full-time as a woman? (-5 if under age 20)

Research clearly shows that HSTS and AGPs transition at different ages. This was so noticeable that they are often called “early” and “late” respectively. In the large Nuttbrock study, half of the HSTS had transitioned before age 20 (as teenagers) but only one gynephilic transsexual had done so. Further, other studies have shown that HSTS nearly always transition before age 25. While a small minority of AGPs begin transition before age 25, the majority do so after age 30 or even older. See this study.

+3 While living as a man, have you ever been in the military or worked as a policeman, truck driver, construction worker, or been a computer programmer, businessman, lawyer, scientist, professor, engineer, or physician, or other male dominated industry position?

-3 Have you worked as a child-care worker (not just a casual or convenient baby-sitter), hairstylist, beautician (other than electrologist), lingerie model, secretary, or other pink-collar job?

I modified these questions from Bailey’s original to add the first clause to limit the question to pre-transition occupations because he, like so many other men, exhibit a sexist bias, a false belief that computer programmers (26% are women), business owners (42% are women), lawyers (38% are women), scientists (41%) & engineers (34%), physicians (34%), and professors (~50% are women) are all men, that these occupations are indicative of a masculine mind. Given than many women are represented in these fields, and increasingly so each year, it would NOT be surprising to find HSTS among them. However, given that half of HSTS transition as teens and nearly all before age 25, it is unlikely that they would have entered such fields before transition. But after transition, should they be fortunate or determined enough to obtain the needed education, they may pursue them. The first half of the list are jobs that are stereotypically masculine jobs that few HSTS would care to pursue, pre- or post-transition.

The negatively scored jobs, hairstylist and beautician, etc., are occupations that are traditionally filled by women and gay men, thus it would be unlikely that an AGP would have filled them, especially pre-transition. For an MTF transkid, though, these positions are equally likely both pre and post- transition. I’ve personally met a number of HSTS in such positions.  My first job was as a secretary for a high tech Silicon Valley firm, my second job was an electronic assembler, a pink collar job, working in an all female environment. But before all of that, in high school, as a teenager, I worked as a nanny for a family with two boys. And while I did become a technologist, I did so over five years after social transition and after SRS.

+5 Did you grow out and wear facial hair (mustache, side-burns, beard, etc.) at any time in your life?

-5 Did you begin puberty blockers or HRT soon enough to avoid the need for electrolysis?

There is a notable tendency for AGPs to choose to grow out a beard or mustache, pre-transition, as though to push back on their desire to be feminine by making it more difficult to do so. On the other hand, given that half of HSTS transition as teen or even younger, a fair number never develop facial hair (I didn’t).

Finally, if the person has been on hormones for at least six months, ask yourself this question:

If you didn’t already know that this person was a transsexual, would you still have suspected that she was not a natural-born woman?

+1 if your answer is “Yes” (if you would have suspected)

-1 If your answer is “No”.

If the sum is greater than zero, the person is likely an autogynephilic transwoman.  If the sum is less than zero, the person is likely HSTS.  The larger the absolute value, the higher the confidence in the result.  The scale range is +50 to -50.  However, most autogynephilic transwomen report a low positive score while most HSTS get a moderately negative score.

If you are brave, take the quiz, score it honestly, and “share” this link with your score. Just for comparison, my personal score is -50.

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