On the Science of Changing Sex

Contrapoints for the Wynn

Posted in Editorial, Transsexual Theory by Kay Brown on March 29, 2023

Even as Natalie Wynn (AKA “Contrapoints”) attempted, and failed, to “debunk” autogynephilia as a phenomenon and etiology, she elucidated the two taxons “homosexual” vs. “autogynephilic” transwomen perfectly. I don’t know who captured her descriptions of the two and put them into this wonderful photo meme, but thank you for doing it.

I want to examine each of the items and link to my essays covering the science that supports them. Oh, and as the meme asks, I will use it to “sort” myself according to them.

The first item is a separation on sexual orientation. This one is axiomatic in the Two Type Taxonomy. But is sometimes problematic in that many MTF transsexuals will falsely claim to be androphilic due to autogynephilic pseudo-androphilia and social desirability bias. But, we can sort based on sexual history using various clues like legal marriages to women and having sired children. Key questions to ask is if the individual has had sexual intercourse with a female person vs. having sex, especially as a “bottom”, with men, pre-op. Cluster A are very unlikely to have ever had Penis In Vagina (PIV) sexual intercourse with a woman. And Cluster B are very unlikely to have NOT (save for very young, pre-sexual debut and “assexual” behaving individuals) to have had PIV sex.

Essay on MTF transsexuals misrepresenting their sexual orientation.

Personal history:

I can say with absolute honesty that I NEVER had PIV intercourse with a female, nor did my ahem… enter any other orifice, period. (And had plenty of offers in high school and college years.) Yet, I was very sexually active with men, as an obligate “bottom” (and “avoidant”) pre-op. My sexual debut was at age 18 w/ a 25 y/o buff man. I then continued to date and have sex with a number of men, both while pre and post op. Jeff Elliott, my husband and I will be celebrating our 24th wedding anniversary in a few weeks.

So, one point in the Cluster A category.

Second item is about age of transition. Multiple clinical studies have shown that there is a clear bimodal distribution of age for transition that is highly correlated with sexual orientation. Half of androphilic transwomen socially transition and begin HRT before age 20, and almost never after age 25. While for Cluster B, the data shows that the median is around 35 and the average 40+.

Essay on study showing early transition for androphilic transwomen.

Essay on study showing bimodel onset of gender dysphoria and transition.

Personal history:

Starting in Jr. High, I wore girl’s style cut-off (“hot pants”) and girls shoes (moccasin flats). I began more overt social transition while still in high school, first beginning presenting as a girl with friends at their homes at age 15, openly in public, shopping, hanging out, etc. by age 17. Full time right after graduation the same week I turned 18. (I had to present as a “boy” at school since my two brothers were also students there and my ‘rents were VERY disapproving, etc.) I started HRT at age 18 as soon as I was legally of age to consent to my own medical care.

So, two points for Cluster A category.

The third item is about gender atypicality as a child. Clinicians have long noted that the two types are very different on this score. However, one can’t trust self-report as Cluster B types tend to “shade” their personal memories. One really should get that information from older family members (parents, grandparents, etc.)

Essay w/ data on self-report of gender atypicality.

Personal history:

Let’s review what my mother told Dr. Fisk about my childhood behavior in ’75 (when I was 17):  “I have known for years that he wanted to be a girl.  But I thought that was [morally] wrong.  He was very different than his brothers.  All their friends were boys.  His were always girls,” naming several of my friends over the years, starting with my pre-school friends, but couldn’t remember my friend who had been my only guest on my tenth birthday.  “Marian,” I interjected for the only time during the whole interview.  “He was always very prissy.  He would walk clear around even the shallowest puddles.  When he was little, I would put him in clean clothes on Monday and on Friday they would still be clean.”  She confirmed that I had been sent to a therapist about my behavior when I was ten years old… and again when I was 15/16.

So, three points for Cluster A.

The forth item is about being bullied vs. being a bully. I have no solid data regarding this, but many clinicians have written about how classic / “true” transsexuals were bullied as children. I’ve seen little to no data on Cluster B types being the bullies, though anecdotal stories from clinicians talk about how many of their patients express misogynistic / homophobic attitudes. Goodness knows, some of them are serious bullies as adults post-transition.

Essay on clinical description of misogynistic attitudes in Cluster B clients.

Personal history:

One of the worse beatings I suffered was when I was 14 years old, when two older boys, who laid in wait along my path through a dark orchard one winter evening, just a block from my home, first taunted me, then beat, knocked me to the ground, and proceeded to kick me viciously, all the while yelling homophobic slurs.  Their exact words included,






Our family moved from a solid middle class neighborhood to an upper middle class one nearby and we transferred to another high school nearby, Los Altos High, with a zero tolerance policy toward bullying.  I was grateful for that policy, because it mattered.  One day, during my Senior year (well after I had come out), a boy I didn’t even know (so this wasn’t personal) approached me during lunch while I sat with several friends on the Senior Lawn, began kicking me, yelling,


I looked up at him and told him, “You are barking up the wrong tree, I won’t fight you.”  Two of my female friends put themselves between him and me when he resumed kicking me.

So, four points for Cluster A.

The fifth point is Cluster A being confused for a girl while pre-transition, while Cluster B being thought of as an older man. This one is more anecdotal perhaps, but their IS data on differential passability which may relate AND I do have a couple anecdotes about my adopted daughter insisting that a post-op “Cluster B” was a man, but saw a pre-transition Cluster A teenager (19 y/o) as a girl even though she was wearing boy’s clothing.

Essay on differential passing ability.

Essay on w/ anedotes about a teen passing as girl pre-transition

Personal history: This one I can’t provide data other then I was successfully passing as a girl in public several years before starting HRT. It might have happened other occasions and I hadn’t noticed… save for the time I was 14, my first week of high school, when one boy asked another, “Is that a boy or a girl?” and the other just shrugged in indecision. I can say that NO ONE ever thought I was an older man. People often thought I was much younger than my actual age (until I transitioned full time).

Is that still four points or five for Cluster A? Definitely NOT Cluster B.

The sixth item is about how tall the two clusters are. Here we have many anecdotes from clinicians mentioning this difference, but only two studies testing it, which had conflicting results. One clearly showed that Cluster A was shorter (and lighter boned, which is item #13).

Essay on height and build differences.

Personal stats: I am 5’7″ and the day I turned 18 years old I weighed 130 pounds. The day I had SRS at age 23, I weighed in at 125 pounds. On my wedding day, I weighed 135 pounds.

So, another couple points for Cluster A.

The next item is digit ratio. This is referring to the 2D:4D ratio, the relative length of the index vs. ring finger. I have quite a few essays talking about this metric. This does seem to be true that Cluster A has a higher 2D:4D ratio.

Essay on 2D:4D ratio supporting the two type taxonomy.

Personal stats: I love this one. Here is a photo of my hand. My 2D:4D ratio is “off the chart” high at 1.06 !

Chalk up another point for Cluster A!

The next two items are delayed puberty and weaker puberty. These are more anecdotal in that only recently have scientists been directly monitoring transsexual youths. But anecdotally, we do have some evidence for this in that Cluster A types tended to be older for each Tanner milestone and that they have less body hair and smaller genitalia. The same regarding Cluster B in reverse. I don’t have any essays or know of any good papers on the subject. But we’ve all seen it on each other.

Personal history: When I turned 18 and began HRT, I had zero facial hair, no “body hair”, my pubic and underarm hair was sparse, light, and in the female pattern (downward triangle). When I had my initial consultation with Dr Biber for SRS, he remarked that I had extreme hypotrophy (lack of growth) of my genitals. I replied, “Yeah, its always been that way”.

Funny story: One day, in my early ’40s, while in the waiting room at the Sea Horse Medical Clinic (Dr. Joy Shaffer’s clinic for transfolk), a 30-something transwoman with recent electrolysis inflamed facial skin noted my smooth and clear face, asked me, “How many hours of electrolysis have you had?” Clearly she was hoping to gauge how many hours she would need to look like me. Feeling mischievous I feigned ignorance, “Electrolysis?”. “Yes, how many hours did it take you?” “Electrolysis?” Hearing this exchange, Dr. Shaffer, who had been my college roommate intervened, “That’s her primary growth.” “I hate you!” the transwoman said to me in mock jealousy.

Add another couple Cluster A points.

Next item is muscle mass. Save for the difference in passability (linked above) and the body build (linked above) I don’t have much actual studies on the topic. But, hey, we’ve all seen the difference!!!

Personal history: My parents, especially my mother, was always concerned with the lack of muscle mass. But even one of our high school P.E. coaches was in on the act (not the nice one who later rescued me from boy’s P.E. my senior year, after I came out). That *&^%$#@! forced me to take a body building class for P.E. F’ck that noise! I refused to do the work. I mean, there was no F’ing way I was going to push to look like a butch man!

Funny story: All of the kids got standardized “physical fitness” tests in high school. The same tests for both boys and girls, but the scoring was different on each item. Girls were not expected to do many (or even one) pull-up but were expected to be able to do more sit-ups than boys. I scored as “unfit”… on the boys scoring sheet. But as very fit on the girls, unable to do a single pull-up, but far more sit-ups than any of the boys, right in the norm for girls, across the board. It got me some teasing from those that hadn’t yet figured out that I was androphilic/transsexual.

Another point for Cluster A.

Then we come to “soft”. This is a reference to the amount of subcutaneous fat, typically a female trait. Sadly, I have zero data on this. But c’mon, many of us were known for being “soft” like that as teens. I was, no doubt about it. It was one of the reasons I could pass as a girl before HRT.

Funny story: When I was 14, I was wearing shorts (hot-pants really) one summer day, as I passed my brother and his buddies in the garage. One of the boys looked up and exclaimed, “You have girl’s legs!” and the other boys sniggeringly agreed. Yeah, my legs have always been my best feature.

Candice at age 24

Let’s add another point for Cluster A.

Finally, we have a reference to facial shape, rounder, smaller. Again, this feeds into the differential passibility study, etc. (linked above) It may sound catty, but we can usually tell if someone is Cluster A vs. B (that is to say, HSTS vs. AGP) just from a photograph of their face. Facial Feminization Surgery has shifted this somewhat… but if one sees a “before” HRT and FFS surgery facial photo, there is no question that Cluster B’s look like masculine men.

The photo shown here is my Jr. College ID taken in the summer of ’75 at age 18. This photo was taken several weeks BEFORE I started HRT. That does NOT look like a butch face. Yes, I started living full time as a woman before HRT.

Add another Cluster A point.

Candice’s school photo ID at age 18

Add it all up… add up all the points for the win… As they suggest, I fit the Cluster A very, very well.

Further Reading:

Magazine style quiz to access if one is HSTS vs. AGP

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