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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Better the Second Time Around

Posted in Confirming Two Type Taxonomy by Kay Brown on February 19, 2013

female_scientistI mentioned this in passing before, that Anne Lawrence had shown in 2010 that there was a very strong correlation with the Hofstede Individualism Index of a country and the percentage of “non-homosexual” (AGP) transsexuals vs. “homosexual”.   Using seven new studies, she has shown that the correlation continues to hold in a paper published just this month.  Now, you may be thinking, “ho hum, wasn’t this shown earlier”.  Well, yes.  But science is all about repeatability.  It could have been that the first study she did was just a fluke, that she had found a coincidence.  But when later data becomes available with exactly the same correlation, it shows it wasn’t a fluke.

But what does it mean?  I believe that she has expressed it fairly well,

As I suggested previously, the observed relationship between IDV and %NHS probably reflects the combined operation of at least two distinct factors.  First, non-homosexual persons probably constitute larger apparent percentages of MtF transsexuals and gender gender dysphoric persons in more individualist societies because these societies place a higher value on individual self-expression (including cross-gender expression), despite the possible socially disruptive consequences of gender transition in men who are typically middle-aged, are often married, and have usually pursued traditionally masculine occupations.  Second, homosexual persons probably constitute larger apparent percentages of MtF transsexuals and gender dysphoric persons in less individualistic (or collectivistic) societies because these societies place a higher value on inclusion and often provide socially approved transgender roles for pervasively feminine, androphilic gender dysphoric men.

I couldn’t resist playing with the numbers a little.  Combining both papers’ data, the correlation between the Hofstede Individualism Index and the percentage non-homosexual orientation is r=0.866 which is very high.  (For those that don’t love statistics and math, a perfect correlation would be 1.000 and no correlation at all would be 0.000 or “zero”.)  It would be very surprising if the correlation were perfect, since nothing in real life is, but this is really quite high.

I got curious about the scatter plot shown in the second paper… and my intuitive mathematical sense tells me that the function between the Index and %NHS is not linear.  So I graphed what I think the function is, reproduced here:


Individualism vs. Percentage Non-Homosexual

There is one outlier if we use my suggested non-linear relationship, the one dead center in the graph.  This represents Japan with an IDV of 46 and 60% non-homosexual orientation among MTF transwomen.  How do I explain this?  I believe that we need to look at the Hofstede Center’s own description of this index score and note that it may not reflect exactly what societal characteristic is usually captured by the IDV,

Japan scores 46 on the Individualism dimension. Certainly Japanese society shows many of the characteristics of a collectivistic society: such as putting harmony of group above the expression of individual opinions and people have a strong sense of shame for losing face. However, it is not as collectivistic as most of her Asian neighbours. The most popular explanation for this is that Japanese society does not have extended family system which forms a base of more collectivistic societies such as China and Korea. Japan has been a paternalistic society and the family name and asset was inherited from father to the eldest son. The younger siblings had to leave home and make their own living with their core families.

Thus, while Japan is more collectivist, that collectivism differs from other Eastern societies as being focused on non-family groups, e.g. companies and schools,

One seemingly paradoxical example is that Japanese are famous for their loyalty to their companies, while Chinese seem to job hop more easily. However, company loyalty is something which people have chosen for themselves, which is an individualistic thing to do. You could say that the Japanese in-group is situational. While in more collectivistic culture, people are loyal to their inner group by birth, such as their extended family and their local community. Japanese are experienced as collectivistic by Western standards and experienced as individualistic by Asian standards. They are more private and reserved than most other Asians.

My hypothesis is that it is from the impact on family structures that this high correlation stems.


Anne A. Lawrence (2010), “Societal Individualism Predicts Prevalence of Nonhomosexual Orientation in Male-to-Female Transsexualism”

Anne A. Lawrence (2013), “More Evidence that Societal Individualism Predicts Prevalence of Nonhomosexual Orientation in Male-to-Female Transsexualism”

The Hofstede Centre


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Oh Brother Where Art Thou?

Posted in Autobiographical, Confirming Two Type Taxonomy, Transsexual Field Studies by Kay Brown on December 17, 2011

female_scientistThe consanguinity of both homosexuality and autogynephilia appears to be very high.  So one would not be surprised to find that the consanguinity of transsexuality would also be very high.  That is to say, that transsexuality runs in families.  But not the same families.

I have to wonder about my own family.

I always wondered why I never met my paternal uncle, until the day, when I was 16 years old, he showed up at our doorstep, unannounced, with his boyfriend/partner.  My father desperately, but quietly, tried to shuttle my three siblings and I to our respective bedrooms, but I obstinately refused to understand my father’s not so subtle hint.  My uncle gave me a present that day of a beautiful butterfly mounted as though still alive, in a plastic cube.  I never saw him again.  But I asked my grandmother about him when I was 22.  I simply asked if he had ever married.  “He’s not gay!” was her vehement reply.  “That wasn’t what I asked, but now I know, thanks.”

I also wondered about one of my brothers.  One brother was very, very obviously straight.  He was always mooning after some girl or other in high school.  But, our younger brother?  The tall, handsome blond, star athlete?  No girlfriends, not even a hint of one.  When our mother suggested that an appointment with a girl was a “date”, he testily replied, “Its not a date, Mother!  She’s just a friend.”  But, as a kid, he used to dress up in mock drag and imitate drag comedians, especially Flip Wilson, “My boyfriend’s name is Killer!”, said in grating falseto.  I used to cringe and want to hide when he did that.  When he was a ‘tween’, he had a poster of the teen-girls heart-throb of the day, Bobby Sherman, on his door.  On one particular occasion, when I was 17 and he was 15, we were driving down a back road behind Stanford University, past a known gay cruising spot, when up ahead we saw a handsome young man with cut-off jeans and his shirt off, bare chested, thumbing a ride.  My brother nonchalantly rolled down the passenger side window, stuck out his head as we passed by the obviously gay young man and called out teasingly, “Sorry guy.  Not cute enough!”  Many of my gay friends over the years said that their gaydar went off when ever he was around… but… perhaps after seeing how our family and most of our social set disowned me as a teenager, he slammed the closet door so shut that even he didn’t recognize it?  He’s now married with two children, a very successful cardiologist and hospital administrator.

There have been lots of reports of transsexuals having transsexual or transvestite siblings, fathers, or sons.  The press just eats up these stories.  But what of the clinical experience?

From Green’s paper on the subject:

Familial cases of gender identity disorder were reviewed by Freund (1985)
and categorized as concordant or discordant for sexual orientation. No instances of
a mixed heterosexual and homosexual pattern in the same family were found. The
interpretation was that the two groups of gender-identity disorder have different
etiologies. In the 10 family series reported here, only Case Five contains a mixed
heterosexual/homosexual family pair.

Green’s ten cases came from a pool of only 1,500.  This would suggest that one in one hundred fifty transsexuals has a transsexual or transvestite sibling, but not of the other type?  Is this random chance?  Not likely.


Richard Green, M.D., “Family Cooccurrence of “Gender Dysphoria”:Ten Sibling or Parent–Child Pairs”

Esther Go´mez-Gil et al. “Familiality of Gender Identity Disorder in Non-Twin Siblings”

Robert J. Stoller and Howard J. Baker, “Two male transsexuals in one family”


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And the Beat Goes On…♫♫

Posted in Brain Sex, Confirming Two Type Taxonomy by Kay Brown on December 8, 2011

♫…Drum keeps pounding rhythm to the brain… La di da di dee…♫

shrinking brainJames Cantor recently published a letter to the editor in the Archives of Sexual Behavior pointing out nearly the same point that I had made earlier, that recent MRI scans of transsexual brains show clear evidence that Blanchard’s two type hypotheses is supported.  One of the papers he referenced is one that I had earlier referenced; The Rametti study in Spain, which showed that MTF  transkids have partially feminized brain structures.  The other paper is new to me; The Savic paper clearly adds yet another confirming MRI study that when combined with the Luders MRI study, shows that gynephilic MTF transsexuals do not have feminized brains.  On top of it, true to another speculative prediction that Blanchard made, the new study confirms the other paper’s finding that gynephilic (AGP) MTF transsexuals show other, non-sexually dimorphic structures, are different from both non-transsexual men and women!

These two papers both noted that the putamen of gynephilic MTF transsexual are different from both non-TS men and women.  This may be the main area to research in the future?

For more essays on trans-brains see Brain Sex


Cantor, James, “New MRI Studies Support the Blanchard Typology of Male-to-Female Transsexualism”

Reply to Italiano’s (2012) Comment on Cantor (2011)
JamesM. Cantor  http://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs10508-012-0011-y

Rametti G, Carrillo B, Gómez-Gil E, Junque C, Zubiarre-Elorza L, Segovia S, Gomez A, Guillamon A., “The microstructure of white matter in male to female transsexuals before cross-sex hormonal treatment. A DTI study.”

Ivanka Savic, Stefan Arver, “Sex Dimorphism of the Brain in Male-to-Female Transsexuals”

Luders E, Sánchez FJ, Gaser C, Toga AW, Narr KL, Hamilton LS, Vilain E., “Regional gray matter variation in male-to-female transsexualism.”



Fun Reading:

All the Stars are Suns ebook completeSincerity Espinoza didn’t go looking for trouble, it found her. All she wants out of life is the chance to go to the stars but she is caught in a web of misunderstandings, political & legal maneuvering, and the growing threat of terrorist plots by religious fanatics. She has a secret that if found out too soon could mean not only her own death but the ruin of the hope for humanity ever going to the stars. But even amidst momentous events, life is still about the small moments of love, laughter, and sadness.   Available as an ebook at Amazon and Kindle Unlimited.

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The Dutch Connection

Posted in Confirming Two Type Taxonomy by Kay Brown on December 24, 2010

androgynous faceAge of Onset vs. Sexuality

While the TS/TG world rails against even being included in the DSM, a far more interesting scientific debate regarding transsexual typology is being played out in the DSM-V committee and associated scientific circles.  On the one hand is the North American centered contingent who favors continued use of sexual orientation as specifiers/subtypes, and the Netherlands contingent who favors the use of age of onset of “gender incongruent behavior or feelings”.  The Netherlands group summarizes their argument thus:

“Considering the strong resistance against sexuality related specifiers, and the relative difficulty accessing sexual orientation in individuals pursuing hormonal and surgical interventions to change physical sex characteristics, it should be investigated whether other potentially relevant specifiers (e.g., onset age) are more appropriate.”

While the North American position is best summarized by Lawrence:

“Typologies based on sexual orientation, however, employ subtypes that are less ambiguous and better suited to objective confirmation and that offer more concise, comprehensive clinical description.  Typologies based on sexual orientation are also superior in their ability to predict treatment-related outcomes and comorbid psychopathology and to facilitate research. Commonly expressed objections to typologies based on sexual orientation are unpersuasive when examined closely”

The question for me is… what is really motivating the Netherlands position?  Do they believe that sexuality has nothing to do with typology?  Have they themselves ( in the Smith paper) not shown that Blanchard’s typology of Homosexual vs. Non-Homosexual (AGP) transsexuality is valid?  This seeming contradiction begs exploration. The story actually starts decades ago with the first attempts at creating meaningful typologies.  I won’t go into historical details, as that has been done by better historians than I, most especially Lawrence.  It is only important that we focus on the thread of ideas that led to the “Early vs. Late Onset” typology. In the ’60s and ’70s, a number of sexologists proposed typologies based upon a division between “true” transsexuals and “pseudo” transsexuals, or a softened version using the terms, “primary” vs. “secondary”.  The problem was, that different researchers had different ideas as to just what constellation of behaviors indicated which was primary and which secondary.  But one idea did seem to be held in common, the notion that those gender dysphoric individuals who had always been such, and knew it, were different than those who only slowly became gender dysphoric during late adolescence or adulthood.  This would seem to be common-sensical. This then, is the basis of the school of thought that currently predominates in the Netherlands. However, they have replaced the loaded language, softening it still further by replacing “primary” with “early onset” and “secondary” with “late onset”.  It is important to understand that this is in regards to self-reported private awareness, not at what age transition occurs. But… Is it etiologically meaningful?  Or even clinically meaningful?  Is there even a meaningful difference between age of onset and sexuality? Consider the 1994 Netherlands, Doorn study. Our first question, is Early Onset Transsexual (EOT) and Late Onset Transsexual (LOT), merely new names for the same thing as HSTS vs. Non-HSTS?  After all, we know from many studies that most HSTS transition before age 25, with 40% having transitioned as teens:

Type:                                                            EOT    LOT     TV
N=                                                         103       52      31
Imagined partner in adolescence:
Heterosexual male                               63.0   37.3     3.0
Bisexual/changing                                18.0   19.6   15.2
Heterosexual woman                             9.0   17.6   60.6
No image                                                   10.0   25.5   21.2
Non-androphilic                                    37.0   62.7   97.0
Cross-dressing arousing                     26.0   42.2   84.8

Interestingly, as the authors noted, Person and Oversey’s definition of “primary” transsexual of always having had a livelong conviction of being the opposite sex as “asexual” is clearly wrong, and Stoller’s opinion correct; Most transsexuals showing a lifelong conviction of being the opposite sex are homosexual and not asexual.  Thus, we see a high correlation with exclusive androphilia and  being classified as an “early onset” transsexual.  While there is an equally high correlation with being non-exclusively-androphilic (non-homosexual) and being a “late onset” transsexual. So, it would seem that on first blush, that Early Onset Transsexual (EOT) vs. Late Onset Transsexual (LOT) and HSTS vs. Non-HSTS would have very high statistical correlations, but not perfectly.  So, the two competing typologies aren’t that different in practice, only in theory.

A theoretical point for the use of Early Onset is that those who experience such, cannot be originally motivated by autogynephilia, and thus must have had a feminine gender identity that later developed into fetishistic use of cross-dressing in some.  The authors make an assumption that autogynephilic arousal cannot exist before puberty, “Cross-dressing, however, in many transvestites starts before age 10, indicating that its original function is not fetishistic.” But, as has been shown, this simply is not true.  Such arousal does occur, and further, obvious penile arousal is not necessary for autogynephilic desire to be present and rewarding.  Thus, the age cut-off for early vs. late onset was based on a false premise.

If Blanchard’s original hypothesis that exclusively androphilic gender dysphoric MTF transsexuals are non-autogynephilic and non-exclusively-androphilic individuals are, then we would expect that there would be a high correlation with the number of individuals who reported autogynephilic arousal to cross-dressing and the number who were not exclusively androphilic.  A casual examination certainly shows that to be the case and a mathematical examination shows that the three point correlation is 0.985403; so close to a perfect 1.0 as to essentially be so, given the rounding errors.  Thus, Blanchard’s hypothesis is confirmed.

This study also suggests something very interesting: the ratio of transvestites, who are predominately exclusively gynephilic, reporting that cross dressing is, or was at one time, sexually arousing is 85%.  This number is very similar to those numbers found in both Blanchard and Nuttbrock for exclusively gynephilic transsexuals.  This is again powerful evidence that we are looking at the same “essential” taxa in these groups, that is to say, that both of them are autogynephilic.  The TS groups, which include higher percentages of bisexual and asexual transsexuals, show lower reported arousal to cross-dressing (but not necessarily lower autogynephilic arousal, as this is not the only form of autogynephilic ideation) show similar reduced percentages as was found in both Blanchard and Nuttbrock.  Thus, this Doorn study shows essentially the same results, and may be added to the list of studies that confirm Blanchard’s hypothesis in nearly all respects. Although Doorn et al. have made a valiant effort to shoehorn the data to fit their hypothesis that early vs. late onset of gender dysphoria is an essential taxanomic distinction, the data actually supports just the opposite conclusion.  Sexual orientation, specifically exclusive androphilia, vs. non-exclusive-androphilia (and by extension, “homosexual” vs. “autogynephilic”, a la Blanchard) are far more salient signifiers, and likely matching etiologies.

Addedum 12/27/2010: I was curious to see if we turn the data around by 90° what would the percentage of each sexuality be:

Sexuality:                      Androphilic      Bisexual      Asexual   Gynephilic
N=                                              85                      29                  23                 18
Early Onset                            77%                  65%              43%             50%
Late Onset                              23%                   35%             57%             50%

So we see from this direction, that again, that report to have been exclusively  or even somewhat androphilic transsexuals are more likely to have been classified as “EOT” than the other sexualities.  That is to say, that androphilia correlates with early onset.

Addendum 12/1/2013:  The question of whether the two typologies are synonymous has been answered by a joint paper in which researchers in the Netherlands and North America use the two interchangeably.

Addendum 6/29/2014:  One of my faithful readers pointed out an interesting paper published in part by the Netherlands (Dr. Cohen-Kettenis) team that touched upon the above issue.  (Thanks.) Looking at just the data on the sexual orientation vs. “EOT” and “LOT” vs. sexual orientation of the MTF research population we see a similar pattern to Doorn’s data.  Interestingly, in this study, they understood that their subjects might not be reporting their sexual orientation accurately, so they include data on their clinician’s assessment of these subjects sexual orientation from their observations over the months and years that the subjects were in transition.  No surprise, these MTF transwomen had misrepresented their sexual orientation in the socially desirable direction for MTF transwomen, toward greater exclusive androphilia.

Type:                                                            EOT               LOT
N=                                                                35                    44
Women (self)                                            15 (43%)         8 (18%)
Women (clinician)                                   14 (41%)        17 (39%)
Men (self)                                                   13 (37%)        23 (52%)
Men (clinician)                                         14 (41%)          4 (9%)
Bisexual (self)                                             2 (6%)          10 (23%)
Bisexual (clinician)                                   5 (15%)         22 (50%)
Asexual (clinician)                                     1 (3%)             4 (9%)

Using the clinician assessment, only 18 (23%) out of the 79 transwomen were exclusively androphilic, with 14 (78%) of them having been categorized as “early onset”, identical to the Doorn study.  Conversely, using clinician assessment, only 21 (34%) out of 61 non-exclusively androphilic transwomen were categorized as “early onset”.  If anything, this shows an even stronger signal than the Doorn study, that non-exclusively androphilic transwoman are likely to be categorized as “late onset”.

It’s interesting to note that while this study acknowledged the well-recognized fact that “late onset” transsexuals tend to misrepresent their sexual orientations, they failed to recognize that self-report of early childhood gender atypicality is also suspect.  Further, accurate self-report of early cross-dressing and gender dysphoria does not equate to early gender atypicality, as it can and often does result from childhood expression of autogynephilia.  Lawrence found in her 2005 survey that 76% of self-reported non-exclusively androphilic transwomen will describe themselves as having been feminine (gender atypical) as children, but only 25% self-reported that others would have thought so.  In future studies, I would like to see reliable data of parents or other caregivers reports on gendered behavior in addition to self report.  I strongly suspect that we will see an even stronger signal with respect to clinician assessed sexual orientation (especially before transition) and parental reports of childhood gender atypicality.

Addendum 8/17/2014

While reviewing data for another post, I realized that I had in an older post, data that supported my contention that exclusive androphilic MTF transkids reported being “early onset” at the same rates as the above referenced papers.  In the Tsoi study of transwomen in Singapore, which has been shown to have zero percentage of autogynephilic transsexuals, the following data was gathered:

Singapore HSTS Life Arcs
(Cumulative Percentages at Age Indicated)

Age:                                                             6    12   18     24 Total %
Start to feel like a girl                       27    74  99  100 100

Note the number 74% of this population that reported having recognized that they “feel like girls” by age 12.  Puberty occurs around age 12-14 in males… so this study shows that 74% exclusively androphilic MTF transsexuals report being “early onset” in this study.  But note that ALL of them feel that way by age 18.

So, three studies, one from the Netherlands, one from greater Europe, and one from Asia, showing 77%, 78%, and now 74% of exclusively androphilic transsexuals would be classified as “early onset”.  This is yet more data that shows that the concept of “early” vs. “late” is nearly synonomous with Blanchard’s “Homosexual” vs. “Autogynephilic” and that sexuality, exclusive androphilia vs autogynephilia is the actual taxonomic distinction.  Had the null hypothisis, that “early onset” did NOT correlate with exclusive androphilia… we would have seen widely diverging data.  Further, given that this last study shows that looking at a country’s transsexual population and testing their sexuality by ‘early’ vs. ‘late’ would have shows widely diverging data, as the Singapore study as zero “early onset” gynephiles… of course, they also have zero “late onset” gynephiles as well, so that’s not totally fair… but still, had “early” vs. “late” been a valid taxonomy, one would not have had this Singaporean result… as it is sexuality, not age of onset that varies from country to country in correlation with their Individuality vs. Collectivity.

Addendum 12/1/2015:

I found a Korean study that also lists the ages of becoming gender dysphoric.  Of 43 MTF transsexuals, all but one was exclusively androphilic and that one bisexual:

Gender dysphoric by age:
Preschool    Middleschool    Adult (18)
30%                83%                      100%

The median age was 10.9 +/- 4.1 for gender dysphoria.  The mean age for social transition was 19.7 +/- 1.2 years old, typical for transkids from other places in the world, including the United States.

Addendum 1/22/2019:

Yet more data published in 2019; this time from Germany where they too prefer the “early” vs. “late” distinction.  However, their cut line was at the age of majority of 18 years old.  Note that the very same pattern, nearly identical percentages were found.

N=40     Androphilic     Non-Androphilic
Early      10 (77%)             9 (33%)
Late         3 (23%)            18 (67%)

Addendum 1/24/2019:

In reviewing my blog entries today, I realized I had yet another study from 2014 that I had overlooked earlier, the Cerwenka paper:

N=201    Androphilic     Non-Androphilic
Early      54 (73%)             53 (40%)
Late        20 (27%)             78 (60%)

Oh look… it shows the same trend.  Imagine that.



Peggy T. Cohen-Kettenis and Friedemann Pfäfflin, “The DSM Diagnostic Criteria for Gender Identity Disorder in Adolescents and Adults” http://www.springerlink.com/content/c54551hj463111j1/

Anne A. Lawrence, “Sexual Orientation versus Age of Onset as Bases for Typologies (Subtypes) for Gender Identity Disorder in Adolescents and Adults” http://www.springerlink.com/content/7135712p31525871/

C. D. Doorn, J. Poortinga and A. M. Verschoor, “Cross-gender identity in transvestites and male transsexuals” http://www.springerlink.com/content/u63p723776v57m11/

Timo O. Nieder, Melanie Herff, Susanne Cerwenka, Wilhelm F. Preuss, Peggy T. Cohen-Kettenis, Griet DeCuypere, Ira R. Hebold Haraldsen, and Hertha Richter-Appelt, “Age of Onset vs. Sexual Orientation in Male and Female Transsexuals” (2011)

TaeSuk Kim, et al., “Psychological Burdens are Associated with Young Male Transsexuals” (2006) DOI: 10.1111/j.1440-1819.2006.01525.x

Zavlin, D. et al., “Age-Related Differences for Male-to-Female Transgender Patients Undergoing Gender-Affirming Surgery”, Journal of Pediatric Surgery (2019)

Cerwenka, S. et al., “Sexual Behavior of Gender Dysphoric Individuals Before Gender-Confirming Interventions: A European Multicenter Study” (2014)

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Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall…

Posted in Confirming Two Type Taxonomy, Female-to-Male by Kay Brown on November 19, 2010

…Or, Who’s been sleeping in my bed?

critical-thinkingIn a relatively recent paper by Bockting, Benner, and Coleman, the sexuality of gay and bisexual identified transmen was explored.  Reading the paper, I came away with that odd feeling of dismay that one’s feels when one reads about “Columbus Discovered America”… meaning, until a white European finds the place, it wasn’t “known”?

I first met a ‘transfag’ (as he was playfully identified, taking the power of words away from ‘phobes) in the summer of ’77, while in line to see the Rocky Horror Picture show in the Tenderloin in San Franscisco.  As a 20 year old MTF ‘transie’, I was thrilled to count around a dozen MTF’s as my SF friends introduced others getting into line.  In the middle of this community gathering was a cute, short transman, being cuddled by his gay male lover.

In among a lifetime’s worth of memorabilia, is a treasured letter, written in ’81 from another gay identified transman that I met in L.A., thanking me profusely for having introduced him to the thriving gay transmen community there.

In the ’90s, Lou Sullivan worked to gain greater recognition of the existence of the gay transmen population, and of their needs.  Sadly, it seems, that many folks didn’t seem to know that they have always been a part of the trans-scene.

Only recently, has this community been the subject of scientific “discovery”.

One thing that has recently been explored, is the nature of the gay and bisexual identified transmen’s sexuality.  No surprise, they are discovering that like most originally androphilic female bodied people, their sexuality is rather fluid.  But one question does come up… given that the masculine gynephilic FtM’s are very much the mirror of the feminine androphilic MTF, both essentially transkids, both having very similar life arcs, etc.; Are the androphilic FtMs the mirror image of the gynephilic MTFs?

From the Bockting, et. al. paper:

An alternative interpretation of the transgender sexuality found to be emerging among our participants is that this is a form of autoandrophilia (sexual arousal to the thought or image of oneself as a man), the female analogue of autogynephilia believed by some (e.g., Blanchard, 1989) to be a core component of nonhomosexual (defined as not being attracted to the same natal sex) gender dysphoria (Chivers & Bailey, 2000). An exploration of autoandrophilia was not the focus of our study. However, more than two-thirds of the female-to-male participants did not report any history of transvestic fetishism (almost always found among transsexuals with autogynephilia) or any evidence of an erotic target location error (in this case, the target of eroticism being the thought or image of oneself as a man rather than another human being).

Does this mean that a little less than one third did report autoandrophilic arousal?

And earlier in the paper, refering to an earlier study, “only one of the nine Dutch study participants reported any sort of fetishism in his history”

Only one?  Only one out of nine participants reported autoandrophilia?  OK, we have absolutely one “proof of existence” example in the Dutch study, which is 11% of this tiny study… but the North American Study, as the above paragraph would suggest, indicates that perhaps 30% of androphilic FtM’s report autoandrophilic arousal?  If so, than this would be powerful evidence that androphilia in FtM transsexuals is indeed associated with autoandrophilia, and that at least some non-exclusively-gynephilic FtMs are in fact the mirror image of the non-exclusively-androphilic, autogynephilic MTF transsexuals.  They would simply be more rare.

My personal opinion is that these folk are indeed the mirror image of the AGP MTF transsexuals.  They just “feel” the same to me… To me, this is a beautiful symmetry, and is just more evidence of the fascinating diversity in the transcommunity.  Who would want us all to be the same?

Addendum 12/19/2010

Robert Stoller wrote an interesting paper, that I believe shed light on androphilic transgender experience.  But best to let one of the cases speak for him/herself:

“Today my sex life is mostly satisfied by masturbation, with transvestite episodes occasionally providing a pleasant stimulus to masturbation.  I’ve dressed as a man, replete with moustache, and had my partner call me by a man’s name. I take pleasure in being called by a man’s name. Dressed as a man, I’ve sucked my partner’s penis. I felt myself, during the experience, to be a gay male.”

“One perversity, perhaps, is that I like the idea of looking like a rather feminine male.”

It is too much of a stretch to imagine that if this individual were active today, that s/he would be a gay male identified transman?  This paper is very well worth reading.  Personally, given that one of my friends from high school had exactly the same sexuality (plus another paraphilic interest in BD/SM) that I don’t believe that this is as rare as clinicians believe.  I just think it hasn’t been as well documented.

Addendum 7/4/2012

As an example of the fluidity of gay identified transmen’s sexuality, I have personally witnessed the transition of…  and had many conversations with an FtM who lived as a  lesbian until he transitioned and began HRT near age 40, in the early ’90’s, upon which he identified as a gay man.  He clearly articulated that before transition he felt awkward around men, which he clearly stated he had always been far more attracted to, as straight men wouldn’t let him be “masculine” in their relationship, which he desperately wanted to be.  He clearly has always been androphilic, but behaviorally gynephilic until transition.  As a lesbian, he was not “butch”, neither physically nor behaviorally.  After transition, as a gay man, he seemed mildly feminine, in spite of now feeling “masculine”.  Superficially, he would have appeared to have changed his sexual orientation, but here it is clear that he is auto-androphilic and remained behaviorally bisexual, the mirror of bisexual autogynephilic MTF transsexuals.

Addendum 2/12/2015

One of my faithful readers sent some cellphone camera shots of a page from her college textbook, Abnormal Psychology by Susan Nolen-Hoeksema (McGraw-Hill, 2013).  As she points points out,

“Specifically, the piece in question is a case report of an apparent “queer”/autoandrophilic trans man that displays some solid and strikingly similar parallels to the characteristics of autogynephilic transwomen. The parallels include a lack of childhood gender atypicality, lack of/minimal gender dysphoria during childhood and puberty, guy-on-guy autoandrophilic interpersonal fantasy, and suggestive “pseudogynephilia”/autoandrophilic interpersonal fantasy with women (specifically, interest in short, purely sexual encounters with women with a simultaneous lack of interest in relationships with them). Unfortunately, “no history of sexual arousal associated with or erotic fantasy involving crossdressing” was reported. In any case, aside from that (which could be suggested to be a la the case of Philip, among other possible explanations), my line of thinking here is that this case report and the aforementioned parallels could serve as a good piece of evidence in support of the argument regarding our affirmation of non-homosexual FTM transsexualism being the mirror image of non-homosexual MTF transsexualism.”

Case Study1Case Study2

Addendum 1/29/2017:  The question of whether autoandrophilia (AAP) exists in female bodied people has been answered in another study that looked at many thousands of people.  In it they found that 4.6% of males were autogynephilic (found the thought of being female sexually arousing), while 0.5% of females were autoandrophilic.  Thus answering two questions, first, do they exist (yes), second how many compared are AAP compared to AGP males (1:9)?  This explains why there are so many gynephilic (all AGP) transwomen compared to so few androphilic (and AAP) transmen:  Essay on paraphilias in the general population)

Addendum 7/7/2017:  I found another reference that adds further weight to the existence of autoandrophilia in female bodied people in which 2.8% of males in the general population reported at least one incidence of erotic cross-dressing while 0.4% of females reported such an episode.   This gives an AAP to AGP ratio of 1:7, similar to the above reference.  Essay on incidence of erotic cross-dressing in the general population.


S. Colton Meier, Seth T. Pardo, Christine Labuski, Julia Babcock, “Measures of Clinical Health among Female-to-Male Transgender Persons as a Function of Sexual Orientation”

Walter Bockting, Autumn Benner and Eli Coleman, “Gay and Bisexual Identity Development Among Female-to-Male Transsexuals in North America: Emergence of a Transgender Sexuality”

Eli Coleman, Walter O. Bockting, and Louis Gooren, “Homosexual and bisexual identity in sex-reassigned female-to-male transsexuals”

Robert Diekey and Judith Stephens, “Female-to-male transsexualism, heterosexual type: Two cases”

Dorothy Clare and Bryan Tully, “Transhomosexuality, or the Dissociation of Orientation and Sex Object Choice”

Meredith L. Chivers and J. Michael Bailey, “Sexual Orientation of Female-to-Male Transsexuals: A Comparison of Homosexual and Nonhomosexual Types”

Stefan Rowniak and Catherine Chesla, “Coming Out for a Third Time: Transmen, Sexual Orientation, and Identity”

Robert J. Stoller, “Transvestism in Women”

Tsujimura, A., et al, “The Pattern of Sexual Interest of Female-to-Male Transsexual Persons With Gender Identity Disorder Does Not Resemble That of Biological Men: An Eye-Tracking Study”, Journal of Sexual Medicine (2016) {Study of n=13 exclusively androphilic (gay male identified) transmen.  The transmen’s sexual response was that of straight non-trans women.}

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Posted in Confirming Two Type Taxonomy by Kay Brown on November 4, 2010

critical-thinkingIn one of the most misunderstood of Blanchard’s papers, he and his colleagues, Clemmensen and Steiner, explored the likelihood and areas in which MTF transsexuals might selectively ‘color’ their presentation of their sexual and gendered behavior history.  Many people on both sides of the debate have assumed that Blanchard was making a judgment upon “non-homosexual” transsexuals, saying that they were more prone to lying than “homosexual” transsexuals.  Actually, the data says just the opposite, that neither group is more naturally inclined to such distortion, generally.  However, the data does say that the more an individual is inclined to color their responses to questionnaires in such a way as to present as more socially desirable, the more likely that they will answer questions regarding sexual history and gendered behavior is such a way as to increase the likelihood of being accepted for SRS.  Is that so shocking?  That ‘trannies’ might ‘enhance’ their chances of getting past the gate keepers? (Gasp!)

But there is more detail to the study, that is important to note;  While both AGP and androphilic transsexuals were just as likely to color and shade their history, the AGP  transsexuals did so along all eight of the study’s scales, while HSTS did it only on one of the scales.

But, before we get to that, I think we need to explore how we know this, how Blanchard, et al. determined this.  They sought correlations between their sexological scales and the Crowne-Marlow Social Desirability Scale.

The Crowne-Marlow scale is a set of 32 statements that are answered true or false for one’s self.  Each statement is scored with either a zero or a plus one, depending if the answer indicates a tendency to color one’s socially desired behaviors.  Thus, the scale goes from zero to thirty-two (0-32).  The statements are very clever in that each statement, if answered in the non-socially desirable fashion, would still not be indicative of any pathology, and in fact might indicate self-honesty.  For example, one of the statements reads, “I have never intensely disliked anyone.”  If one answers “true” this is a socially desirable answer, most saintly indeed.  However, how many of us can honestly answer that there has never been someone, some time, that pissed us off so badly, that we still hold an intense and personal hatred for them?  (I can think of several such individuals instantly.)  The statements are also chosen to be “graded” from not likely to be that good, to likely to be that good, in that some statements might be honestly answered in the socially desirable manner by many, if not most people, for example, “I would never think of letting someone else be punished for my wrongdoings.”

Thus, the Crowne-Marlow scale has the unusual property that an honest saint may give the same high score as a dishonest sociopath.  So, a high score in no way indicates that one is a liar per se.  In fact, the scale is nearly useless as an individual test.  It is only in groups, large groups can we use the scale to look for meaningful inferences, in either the mean scores or in the correlations with other scales.

In his chapter comparing various scales of social desirability Paulhus noted that:

Crowne and Marlowe (1964) reported a mean of 15.5 (s.d. = 4.4) in a sample of 300
college students. In a more recent study of 100 students, Paulhus (1984) reported means of 13.3 (s.d. = 4.3) and 15.5 (s.d. = 4.6) in anonymous and public disclosure conditions, respectively. In a sample of 503 students, Tanaka-Matsumi and Kameoka (1986) reported means of l4.0 and 12.3 for normal and depressed respondents, respectively. In a sample of 650 Peace Corps volunteers (90% college graduates), Fisher (1967) found means of 16.1 (s.d. = 6.8) and 16.4 (s.d. = 6.5) for males and females, respectively.

Thus, we see that Peace Corps volunteers, probably the closest sample that we will ever find to saintly people, give scores in the range of 16.1-16.4.  But, Paulhus found that college students gave mean scores of 13.3 in an anonymous situation and 15.5 when they knew that someone they knew would be reading their answers.  So, folks tend to ‘color’ their answers when they feel that they might be judged in some manner by their answers?  Not much surprise there!

Compare these scores to the mean scores of the two types of transsexuals in Blanchard’s study of 17.68 for the “heterosexual” (non-homosexual) and 20.02 for the “homosexual” transsexuals.  Given that the scores for female Peace Corps volunteers was only 16.4, do we really believe that these transsexuals were more saintly?  Are we surprised that these transsexuals would be assuming that their answers to the other eight scales would be used to judge them, possibly used to deny them essential medical services, that they might wish to color their responses?  Also, please note, as did Blanchard, that if anything, the HSTS group was more likely to color their answers than the non-hsts group.

It is in the correlations with the individual scores on the Crowne-Marlow scale and the scores on the other eight scales used in the study that we learn something really interesting about each group (taken verbatim from the paper):

Correlations of Demographic Variables and Questionnaire Measures with
Social Desirability Scale ~
–                                                                                      All                Hetero        Homo
Variable                                                                  r           p            r       p           r      p
Age                                                                        -.04       NS     -.13     NS      .23  NS
Education                                                             .01       NS     -.04    NS      .18   NS
Item: Felt like a woman                                  .30     .001    .29   .011     .26  .034
Item: Rather live as female                           .27     .002    .34   .003   .01  NS
Feminine Gender Identity Scale                 .35     .001     .37  .001    .16   NS
Modified Androphilia Scale                          .28     .001     .25  .022    .02  NS
Modified Gynephilia Scale                           -.30    .001   -.38   .001    .18   NS
Cross-Gender Fetishism Scale                    -.35    .001   -.48   .001    .08   NS
Item: Aroused by cross-dressing              -.29    .001   -.34   .003    .02   NS
Item: Masturbated cross-dressed             -.27   .002   -.34   .003    .06   NS

~The abbreviations Hetero and Homo refer to heterosexual and homosexual subjects.
Columns headed r are correlation coefficients; columns headed p are their associated one-tailed probabilities. The abbreviation NS means that the associated correlation coefficient was not statistically significant at the 0.05 level. (The smaller the number, the more “statistically significant; that is to say, that it is more likely to be “real” and not just chance.)

Looking at the two groups and correlations, one notices that on all eight of the sexualogical scales, for the “heterosexual” group the correlations are all statistically significant.  Further, the single highest correlation was on the Cross-Gender Fetishism Scale (a measure of autogynephilia) at -0.48.  For those familiar with psychological research and statistics, this number screams!  (No correlation would be 0.00 and perfect, one to one, correlation would be 1.00; so this number is half way between.)  That is a very high correlation telling us that this group, as a group, would like to color this scale.  That is, that the more likely that an individual is to have a high score on the Crowne-Marlow scale, the more likely they will have a low score on this autogynephilia scale!  Ok, this can be interpreted that individuals who wish others to see them as having socially desirable traits are more likely to minimize or deny experiencing autogynephilia.

Similarly, scores for gynephila and androphilia are colored to minimize their attraction to women, while maximizing their attraction to men, and so on down the line, to seem more “classically” transsexual (more like HSTS) perhaps?

In contrast, for the “homosexual” transsexual group, there was only one scale that has a statistically significant correlation, “Felt like a woman”, and only just barely “significant”.  This was a scale from one to three that indicates under what state of dress that they felt like a woman, with three being dressed as either a man or a woman, to never, which excluded the subject as not being “transsexual”:

Item: Have you ever felt like a woman?
a. Only if you were wearing at least one piece of female underwear or clothing (1)
b. While wearing at least one piece of female underwear or clothing and only occasionally at other times as well (2)
c. At all times and for at least one year (3)
d. Never felt like a woman (exclude subject)

But… BUT… do the math… there were only fifty-one “homosexual” subjects (N=51) which gave a mean score of 2.96 on this scale.  That would come from two subjects giving a score of 2, while the rest, all forty-nine of the others, scored 3.  Also note that that one other correlation almost reached the threshold for statistical significance: age, at 0.23.  That is to say, that a weak correlation was found with older subjects being more likely to have a higher score on the Crowne-Marlow scale.  This suggests to me that age will have a weak correlation with higher scores on the “felt like a woman scale”… thus… we might guess that those two subjects that answered “2” instead of “3” were younger than the average of the “homosexual” group… perhaps they were more tentative in their answers?  Overall, this isn’t much of a strong signal.  In spite of the higher mean score on the Crowne-Marlow scale, there doesn’t seem to be much evidence for coloring their answers.  Perhaps that’s because they didn’t feel that they needed to?

Addendum 1/15/2018:

Study after study has shown that around 80% to 85% of “non-homosexual” transwomen readily acknowledge experiencing sexual arousal to cross-dressing, at least in adolescence.  This leaves 15% or so who say that they didn’t.  As we’ve seen, social desirability bias is strongly operating.  At least some percentage of the population is not being honest.  Interestingly, there is a new study exploring the subject of honesty and dishonesty.  It was discovered that there are three types of people that I shall paraphrase as “always honest”, “mostly honest”, and the “never honest”.

Guess what the percentages were?

“always honest” = 50%
“mostly honest” = 35%
“never honest” = 15%.

Wow, what an interesting coincidence.

Many transwomen who are critical of the two type taxonomy have specifically called out Blanchard and any who accept and advocate the taxonomy as being ugly transphobes for having called transwomen liars.  But are we to suppose that transwomen, as a population, are somehow more saintly and honest than the general population?  Phhfft !


Addendum 2/16/2019:

I found another paper dealing with dishonesty in research studies that showed that around 10% to 20% of people were willing to lie in a survey just to make a few bucks, even as little as $5.  Wow, that’s an interesting coincidence; around an average of 15% of people are willing to lie for so small an incentive.  Can we really believe that transwomen, as a population, are somehow more saintly and honest than the general population?



Ray Blanchard, Leonard H. Clemmensen, Betty W. Steiner, “Social Desirability Response Set and Systematic Distortion in the Self-Report of Adult Male Gender Patients

Douglas P. Crowne, David Marlowe, “A New Scale of Social Desirability Independent of Psychopathology”

Delroy L. Paulhus, Chapter 2: “Measurement and Control of Response Bias”
J. P. Robinson, P. R. Shaver & L. Wrightsman (Eds), Measures of personality and social psychological attitudes (pp. 17-59)., Academic Press, Inc.

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Scientific Sodoku II

Posted in Confirming Two Type Taxonomy by Kay Brown on April 10, 2010

I just couldn’t resist playing some more sodoku.    This to look at the issue of looking at age at transition, with the age of starting on HRT as our guide, as the Nuttbrock, et al. data uses.  If we look at the difference between the expected amount of reported erotic cross-dressing to the actual, those that started on HRT as teens is very, very different than the other two.  Something about being a young transitioner is very different, even when accounting for self reported sexuality.  Again, we note that young transitioners are much less likely to be autogynephilic, than older transitioners.   It’s not just that they are more likely to be androphilic, which report the lowest percentage of erotic cross-dressing.  They are simply less likely to be AGP regardless of reported sexual orientation, when compared to older transitioners.

All numbers in percentage except for (n=number) and the A/E ratio:

Hormone Therapy

.                             Homosexual     Heterosexual    Bisexual     AGP      AGP              A/E
.                             (androphilic)   (gynephilic)                             Actual  Expected    Ratio
.                                     (n=391)          (n=71)               (n=96)
Autogynephilia           23.0                81.7                     67.7

Adolescent(n=171) 91.8                 0.6                         7.6            14.0       26.7         0.52
Adult (n=242)           64.5               13.2                       22.2           42.6       42.6          1.00
None (n=158)            54.2               25.5                      20.2           59.5       44.2          1.35

Smarter Than The Average Bear

Posted in Confirming Two Type Taxonomy by Kay Brown on April 6, 2010

“… smarter than the average bear…”  – Yogi Bear, cartoon character

critical-thinkingIn the scientific literature, there have been occasional references to the general intelligence of transsexuals, several noting that Male-to-Female transsexuals are well above average, others noted just average intelligence.  Bailey in his book, TMWWBQ, remarked observationally, from those that he had seen, that the feminine androphilic type (“Homosexual”: HSTS) seemed to be lower than average.

In personal conversations with “late transitioning” transsexuals, they often remarked, wonderingly, at their observations that the transsexuals that they knew were above average, if not exceedingly above average intelligence.  In one such conversation, one TS made such a remark, while another, obviously extremely intelligent, rejected the idea, saying that that was just wishful thinking, that every “oppressed” group wanted to believe that they were special and superior.

For myself, I have long observed that the average intelligence of the feminine androphilic type was just average, that I knew as many bright kids as dull ones.  But, except for exactly one AGP, who was mildly mentally challenged, the rest of the “late transitioning” transsexuals were above average to exceedingly above average in intelligence and often, accomplishment.  How many top musicians, scientists, engineers, physicians, businesswomen, lawyers, and even politicians, have transitioned in mid-career?  But all of this is still anecdotal.

The Smith paper, studying a group of TS folk from their Netherlands clinic, included IQ scores.  Given that in the Netherlands, transfolk are fully covered by their national medical plan, this clinic is the most likely source of an unbiased sample to determine if there is any IQ effect:

“Non-Homosexual”:  121.7  (n=42)

“Homosexual”:            107.3  (n=39)

The difference between these two groups is an amazingly large effect size (d = 0.96), being almost one standard deviation difference.  This alone would support the two type taxonomy.  However, I wondered about the IQ of the “homosexual” group being a half standard deviation above average, which is by definition 100.  Lawrence has already pointed out that the sorting method used by the Smith study was inadequate to separate AGP from the MTF transkid population, as I have already blogged about in BridesHead Revisited.  I wondered if we could mathematically estimate the MTF transkid IQ score if we assume that the IQ of the AGP folk that were accidentally miscategorized as HSTS is the same as the AGP (Non-Homosexual) group already reported.  Another assumption would be that the ratio of miscatergorized AGPs is the same in the “Homosexual” group as that for whom the IQ was included in the above score.

Lawrence recategorized 23 out of 61 of the original Homosexual group as being Non-Homosexual based on their sexual history with women.  So, 23/61 of the 39 = 14.7 people with IQ scores are likely to have been miscategorized as Homosexual.  We won’t worry about quantizing to whole people at each stage, since that will introduce excessive rounding error.  That leaves 39 – 14.7 = 24.3 people for whom we want to find an estimate of their IQ:

( (39*107.3) – (14.7*121.7) )/24.3 = 98.6

Thus, our estimated average IQ for the resorted Homosexual transsexual population is very nearly 100, or average IQ for the non-transsexual population at large. This estimate does not say that this is in fact the case, but it does suggest that this is quite plausible, even probable.  So, assuming for the moment, and I think we can be safe doing so, that the HSTS population has an average IQ, this would suggest that there is no IQ selection pressure acting on the MTF transkid population in their decision to pursue transition and SRS.

However, for the AGP TS population, with an IQ of 121.7, which is one and a half standard deviations above norm, there must be an extremely high IQ selection pressure acting on them.  Looking at the math a bit closer, Smith, et al. reported that the SD=17.2 for the Non-Homosexual population, that means that 90% of the Non-Homosexual Transsexual population has an IQ greater than average.  That is to say, that only the more intelligent of the AGP population transitions and obtains SRS.

As confirmation that we are dealing with two different etiologies, this is powerful evidence.  But we are left searching for a theoretical model to explain why there is such a difference in selection pressures, why do only the more intelligent of the AGP type seek and obtain SRS?

One possible model is that for AGP TS, there is a high socio-economic cost to be paid when one transitions, that losing straight male privilege is weighed against the personal benefits of transition.  IQ score and subsequent socio-economic status are highly correlated.  Thus, it may be that only those AGP transsexuals who feel they can “afford” to lose some of that socio-economic status will pursue transition and SRS.  While for the HSTS population, other factors, unrelated to IQ / socio-economic status are paramount.

Addendum 3/1/2011

The recent Steensma paper with a shared co-author of the above study, published the IQ of a combined group of MTF and FtM teenagers, which at 98.86, essentially agrees with my estimate of 98.6 for the MTF trankids.  This gives added confidence in my estimate and conclusions.

Addendum 3/8/2013

I’m seeing a lot of traffic hitting this page so I believe I need to make it very clear:  TransFolk are not intrinsically more intelligent than non-transfolk, as groups.  This is instead a self-selection effect.  What we are seeing is that the less intelligent, less financially successful individuals, simply forgo transition, leaving only the more financially successful, who are likely to be more intelligent as well, to transition.  To make this easier to grasp:  Imagine a middle-aged night janitor who has been secretly cross-dressing for years, who would dearly love to do it full time, to have SRS, etc.  But he would lose his wife, likely lose the respect of his co-workers, and couldn’t afford SRS on his salary, even if he could keep his job… This poor soul may just stick to dreaming about living as a woman, and continue being a closet cross-dresser.

(Addendum 11/2/2016:

I just read some arguments on a forum in which one was questioning whether my hypothesis that the higher IQ of transitioning autogynephiles is a self-selection effect or that somehow autogynephilic people who are gender dysphoric are all naturally more likely to be intellegent, that no selection effect occurs.  But a recent large study shows that around 4.6% of men are somewhat autogynephilic.  Couple that with the census that only 90, 000 people in the US have actually transitioned full time, with perhaps half of them being autogynephilic MTF transwomen, thus approx. 45,000 out of 150,000,000 males (0.03%)… that means that only 0.6% of autogynephilic males actually transtion full time.  Having an average IQ of 122 means about 5% of the population.  That would seem to at least ALLOW my hypothesis… while assuming that autogynephilia automatically endowed increased intelligence in all would likely to have been noticed a long time ago?  While if it were true that autogynephilia and higher intelligence were intrisically connected, all of the males who had an IQ of 120 or higher would have to also be autogynephilic, which is simply not the case.)


Male-to-female transsexual subtypes: Sexual arousal with cross-dressing and physical measurements
Lawrence, A.

Transsexual subtypes: Clinical and theoretical significance
Yolanda L.S. Smith, Stephanie H.M. van Goozen, A.J. Kuiper, Peggy T. Cohen-Kettenis

Social mobility and IQ components
C. G. Nicholas Mascie-Taylora, John B. Gibson
Journal of Biosocial Science (1978)

Thomas D. Steensma, Roeline Biemond, Fijgie de Boer and Peggy T. Cohen-Kettenis, “Desisting and persisting gender dysphoria after childhood: A qualitative follow-up study”


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Scientific Sodoku

Posted in Confirming Two Type Taxonomy by Kay Brown on March 21, 2010

A careful analysis of a large study like the Nuttbrock, et al. gives us a chance to have fun with numbers.  From this may glean additional insights.  It took a bit of doing, recalculating, but I was able find the data on the Asexual population and add it to the table I showed earlier.  Consider the results:

Self-reported       Homosexual     Heterosexual    Bisexual   Asexual    AGP    AGP
Sexuality               (androphilic)   (gynephilic)                                              Actual  Expected
Number:                  (n=391)               (n=71)               (n=96)       (n=12)
Autogynephilia       23.0                     81.7                    67.7            66.7

White  (n=150)       18.6                     38.0                    37.3              6.0         78.7       64.4
Black  (n=120)       90.0                        2.5                      7.5              0.0         23.1        27.8
Hispanic (n=246) 90.2                         1.6                      7.3              0.8         22.8        27.2
Other  (n=54)          61.1                       13.0                   24.1              1.9         27.9         46.8

From the percentage that of each sexual identity report erotic cross-dressing, we can calculate an expected percentage for each ethnicity based upon the relative number of each sexual identity, assuming that ethnicity should have no effect on the likelihood of a given sexual identity group reporting such autogynephilic arousal to cross-dressing.  However, looking at the expected and the actual percentages, we see a very striking pattern.  Our assumption that ethnicity has no effect isn’t supported.  In fact, we see a far different pattern in that the White population reports far higher than expected amounts of autogynephilia, while the other ethnicities report significantly lower amounts than expected.  A higher number of white folk reported experiencing autogynephilic arousal, even when controlling for sexual identity.  Also of interest is that most of the Asexual group (75%) are White, when we would have expected only 25% of them to have been White if there had been no correlation with ethnicity.