Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 37, Issue 4, pp 586–597 | Cite as

Sexuality of Male-to-Female Transsexuals

  • Jaimie F. Veale
  • Dave E. ClarkeEmail author
  • Terri C. Lomax
Original Paper


Blanchard’s (J Nerv Ment Dis 177:616–623, 1989) theory of autogynephilia suggests that male-to-female transsexuals can be categorized into different types based on their sexuality. Little previous research has compared the sexuality of male-to-female transsexuals to biological females. The present study examined 15 aspects of sexuality among a non-clinical sample of 234 transsexuals and 127 biological females, using either an online or a paper questionnaire. The results showed that, overall, transsexuals tended to place more importance on partner’s physical attractiveness and reported higher scores on Blanchard’s Core Autogynephilia Scale than biological females. In addition, transsexuals classified as autogynephilic scored significantly higher on Attraction to Feminine Males, Core Autogynephilia, Autogynephilic Interpersonal Fantasy, Fetishism, Preference for Younger Partners, Interest in Uncommitted Sex, Importance of Partner Physical Attractiveness, and Attraction to Transgender Fiction than other transsexuals and biological females. In accordance with Blanchard’s theory, autogynephilia measures were positively correlated to Sexual Attraction to Females among transsexuals. In contrast to Blanchard’s theory, however, those transsexuals classified as autogynephilic scored higher on average on Sexual Attraction to Males than those classified as non-autogynephilic, and no transsexuals classified as autogynephilic reported asexuality.


Autogynephilia Gender identity disorder Transsexualism Sexuality Masochism 


  1. Bailey, J. M. (2003). The man who would be queen: The science of gender-bending and transsexualism. Washington, DC: Joseph Henry Press.Google Scholar
  2. Bailey, J. M., Gaulin, S., Agyei, Y., & Gladue, B. A. (1994). Effects of gender and sexual orientation on evolutionarily relevant aspects of human mating psychology. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 66, 1081–1093.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Beigel, H., & Feldman, R. (1963). The male transvestite’s motivation in fiction, research and reality. In H. Beigel (Ed.), Advances in sex research (pp. 18–23). New York: Harper and Row.Google Scholar
  4. Blanchard, R. (1985a). Typology of male-to-female transsexualism. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 14, 247–261.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Blanchard, R. (1985b). Research methods for the typological study of gender disorders in males. In B. W. Steiner (Ed.), Gender dysphoria: Development, research, management (pp. 227–257). New York: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
  6. Blanchard, R. (1988). Nonhomosexual gender dysphoria. Journal of Sex Research, 24, 188–193.Google Scholar
  7. Blanchard, R. (1989). The concept of autogynephilia and the typology of male gender dysphoria. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 177, 616–623.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Blanchard, R. (1990). Gender identity disorders in adult men. In R. Blanchard & B. W. Steiner (Eds.), Clinical management of gender identity disorders in children and adults (pp. 49–76). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.Google Scholar
  9. Blanchard, R. (1991). Clinical observations and systematic studies of autogynephilia. Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, 17, 235–251.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Blanchard, R. (1992). Nonmonotonic relation of autogynephilia and heterosexual attraction. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 101, 271–276.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Blanchard, R., & Clemmensen, L. H. (1988). A test of the DSM-III-R’s implicit assumption that fetishistic arousal and gender dysphoria are mutually exclusive. Journal of Sex Research, 25, 426–432.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Blanchard, R., Clemmensen, L. H., & Steiner, B. W. (1985). Social desirability response set and systematic distortion in the self-report of adult male gender patients. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 14, 505–516.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Blanchard, R., & Collins, P. I. (1993). Men with sexual interest in transvestites, transsexuals, and she-males. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 181, 570–575.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Blanchard, R., & Hucker, S. J. (1991). Age, transvestism, bondage, and concurrent paraphilic activities in 117 fatal cases of autoerotic asphyxia. British Journal of Psychiatry, 159, 371–377.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Bolin, A. (1988). In search of Eve: Transsexual rites of passage. New York: Bergin & Garvey.Google Scholar
  16. Buhrich, N., & McConaghy, N. (1976). Transvestite fiction. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 163, 420–427.Google Scholar
  17. Buhrich, N., & McConaghy, N. (1977). The discrete syndromes of transvestism and transsexualism. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 6, 483–495.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Buss, D. M., Larsen, R. J., Westen, D., & Semmelroth, J. (1992). Sex differences in jealousy: Evolution, physiology, and psychology. Psychological Science, 3, 251–255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Cann, A., Mangum, J. L., & Wells, M. (2001). Distress in response to relationship infidelity: The roles of gender and attitudes about relationships. Journal of Sex Research, 38, 185–190.Google Scholar
  20. Chivers, M., & Blanchard, R. (1996). Prostitution advertisements suggest association of transvestism and masochism. Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, 22, 97–102.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Docter, R. F. (1988). Transvestites and transsexuals: Toward a theory of cross-gender behaviour. New York: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
  22. Docter, R. F., & Fleming, J. S. (1992). Dimensions of transvestism and transsexualism: The validation and factorial structure of the cross-gender questionnaire. Journal of Psychology and Human Sexuality, 5(4), 15–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Docter, R. F., & Fleming, J. S. (2001). Measures of transgender behavior. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 30, 255–271.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Dreger, A. D. (in press). The controversy surrounding The Man Who Would Be Queen: A case history of the politics of science, identity, and sex in the Internet age. Archives of Sexual Behavior.Google Scholar
  25. Freund, K., & Blanchard, R. (1998). Gender identity and erotic preference in males. In C. M. Davis, W. L. Yarber, R. Bauserman, G. Schreer, & S. L. Davis (Eds.), Handbook of sexuality-related measures (2nd ed., pp. 454–462). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  26. Freund, K., Steiner, B. W., & Chan, S. (1982). Two types of cross-gender identity. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 11, 49–63.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hirschfeld, M. (2000). Homosexualität des mannes und des weibes. Amherst: Prometheus Books. (Originally published 1914).Google Scholar
  28. James, A. J. (2004). A defining moment in our history: Examining disease models of gender identity. Retrieved 26 Oct 2006, from
  29. Johnson, S. L., & Hunt, D. D. (1990). The relationship of male transsexual typology to psychosocial adjustment. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 19, 349–360.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lawrence, A. A. (2003). Factors associated with satisfaction or regret following male-to-female sex reassignment surgery. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 32, 299–315.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Lawrence, A. A. (2004). Autogynephilia: A paraphilic model of gender identity disorder. Journal of Gay & Lesbian Psychotherapy, 8(1/2), 69–87.Google Scholar
  32. Lawrence, A. A. (2005). Sexuality before and after male-to-female sex reassignment surgery. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 34, 147–166.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. McConaghy, N. (1998). Sex-linked behaviors questionnaire. In C. M. Davis, W. L. Yarber, R. Bauserman, G. Schreer, & S. L. Davis (Eds.), Handbook of sexuality-related measures (pp. 402–407). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  34. Money, J., & Primrose, C. (1968). Sexual dimorphism and dissociation in the psychology of male transsexuals. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 147, 472–486.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Ovesey, L., & Person, E. S. (1976). Transvestism: A disorder of the sense of self. International Journal of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, 5, 219–235.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Sell, R. L. (1997). Defining and measuring sexual orientation: A review. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 26, 643–658.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Smith, Y. L. S., van Goozen, S. H., Kuiper, A. J., & Cohen-Kettenis, P. T. (2005). Sex reassignment: Outcomes and predictors of treatment for adolescent and adult transsexuals. Psychological Medicine, 35, 89–99.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Statistics New Zealand. (1999). New Zealand standard classification of occupations. Retrieved 25 Apr 2005, from
  39. Strassberg, D. S., & Lowe, K. (1995). Volunteer bias in sexuality research. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 24, 369–382.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Veale, J. F., Lomax, T. C., & Clarke, D. E. (2007). A taxometric analysis of the sexuality of male-to-female transsexuals. Manuscript submitted for publication.Google Scholar
  41. Walworth, J. R. (1997). Sex reassignment surgery in male-to-female transsexuals: Client satisfaction in relation to selection criteria. In B. Bullough, V. L. Bullough, & J. Elias (Eds.), Gender blending (pp. 352–369). Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books.Google Scholar
  42. Wilson, G. D., & Gosselin, C. (1980). Personality characteristics of fetishists, transvestites and sadomasochists. Personality and Individual Differences, 1, 289–295.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Zucker, K. J., Mitchell, J. N., Bradley, S. J., Tkachuk, J., Cantor, J. M., & Allin, S. (2006). The Recalled Childhood Gender Identity/Gender Role questionnaire: Psychometric properties. Sex Roles, 54, 469–483.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jaimie F. Veale
    • 1
  • Dave E. Clarke
    • 1
    Email author
  • Terri C. Lomax
    • 2
  1. 1.School of PsychologyMassey UniversityAucklandNew Zealand
  2. 2.School of Computer and Information SciencesAuckland University of TechnologyAucklandNew Zealand

Personalised recommendations