The Psychiatric Quarterly

, Volume 30, Issue 1, pp 478–493

Transvestism and hanging episodes in a male adolescent

  • L. Willard Shankel
  • Arthur C. Carr

DOI: 10.1007/BF01564363

Cite this article as:
Shankel, L.W. & Carr, A.C. Psych Quar (1956) 30: 478. doi:10.1007/BF01564363


A case of transvestism in a male of 17 is presented to illustrate some of the psychodynamics of the illness. Since early adolescence, the patient has frequently dressed in stolen female clothing to add to the gratification of masturbation. On several occasions, he has hanged himself while in the transvestite act. Although many aspects of his behavior appeared psychopathic, they seemed, on closer examination, to have specific origins and mechanisms. Relevant to the case is the phenomenon which is pointed out, in which the body is equated with the penis. In view of Gutheil's recognition of the frequency with which male transvestites use hanging and strangulation as part of the eonistic ritual, it is suggested that the body-phallus equation may frequently play a role both in the psychodynamics of transvestism and in the utilization of constriction of the neck as a sexual stimulant.

Copyright information

© The Psychiatric Quarterly 1956

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Willard Shankel
    • 1
  • Arthur C. Carr
    • 1
  1. 1.Creedmoor State Hospital

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