Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 6, Issue 5, pp 397–412

The clinical syndromes of femmiphilic transvestism

  • Neil Buhrich
  • Neil McConaghy

DOI: 10.1007/BF01541183

Cite this article as:
Buhrich, N. & McConaghy, N. Arch Sex Behav (1977) 6: 397. doi:10.1007/BF01541183


Thirty-four members of a club established for heterosexual transvestites were interviewed. They were categorized into two groups. Subjects in group I were satisfied with cross-dressing and did not desire additional feminization. Subjects in group II desired to alter their bodily appearance toward female by taking female hormones or by having surgical intervention. Group II transvestites cross-dressed more frequently and had a more intense feminine gender identity and stronger homosexual interests than did group I transvestites. A feminine gender identity appeared to be present from childhood in both groups but to be stronger in group II. Cross-dressing in subjects of both groups often occurred first during childhood and almost always prior to age 15. All subjects showed a period of fetishistic arousal to women's clothes during adolescence. With increasing age, fetishistic arousal diminished or disappeared and the frequency of cross-dressing increased. Terms in the literature used to describe the types of transvestism reported in this study are discussed. It was suggested that the term “femmiphilic transvestism” be used to describe the condition of the subjects of both groups. The term has fewer disadvantages than terms previously suggested.

Key words

transvestism transsexualism fetishism gender identity 

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Neil Buhrich
    • 1
  • Neil McConaghy
    • 1
  1. 1.School of PsychiatryThe Prince Henry HospitalLittle BayAustralia

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