Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 139-152

First online:

Heterosexual and homosexual gender dysphoria

  • Ray BlanchardAffiliated withGender Identity Clinic, Clarke Institute of Psychiatry
  • , Leonard H. ClemmensenAffiliated withGender Identity Clinic, Clarke Institute of Psychiatry
  • , Betty W. SteinerAffiliated withGender Identity Clinic, Clarke Institute of Psychiatry

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This study investigated why more males than females complain of dissatisfaction with their anatomical sex (gender dysphoria). New referrals to a university gender identity clinic were dichotomously classified as heterosexual or homosexual. There were 73 heterosexual and 52 homosexual males; 1 heterosexual and 71 homosexual females. The average heterosexual male was 8 years older at inception than the homosexual groups. The heterosexual males reported that their first cross-gender wishes occurred around the time they first cross-dressed, whereas the homosexual groups reported that cross-gender wishes preceded cross-dressing by 3–4 years. Some history of fetishistic arousal was acknowledged by over 80% of the heterosexual males, compared to fewer than 10% of homosexual males and no homosexual females. The results suggest that males are not differentially susceptible to gender dysphoria per se, but rather that they are differentially susceptible to one of the predisposing conditions, namely, fetishistic transvestism.

Key words

transsexualism transvestism gender dysphoria homosexuality sex ratio gender identity