Societal Individualism Predicts Prevalence of Nonhomosexual Orientation in Male-to-Female Transsexualism
- 471 Downloads
There are two distinct subtypes of male-to-female (MtF) transsexuals: homosexual and nonhomosexual. The relative prevalence of these two subtypes varies dramatically between countries, but no explanation of this variability has yet been proposed. This study examined the hypothesis that the prevalence of nonhomosexual MtF transsexualism, relative to homosexual MtF transsexualism, would be higher in individualistic countries than in collectivistic countries. I analyzed data from 22 studies of MtF transsexualism, conducted in 16 countries, examining the association between percentage of nonhomosexual participants and Hofstede’s (Culture’s consequences: Comparing values, behaviors, institutions, and organizations across nations, 2001) Individualism Index (IDV). IDV accounted for 77% of observed variance in the percentage of nonhomosexual MtF participants (r = 0.88, p < .0001). Controlling for differences in national wealth and in Hofstede’s other indices of societal values (Power Distance, Uncertainty Avoidance, and Masculinity) did not significantly change the ability of IDV to account for variance in the percentage of nonhomosexual participants. The factors that contribute to the observed association between societal individualism and the relative prevalence of nonhomosexual MtF transsexualism remain to be determined, but a greater tolerance within individualistic countries for socially disruptive gender transitions by nonhomosexual gender dysphoric men, and the availability within many collectivistic countries of socially approved transgender roles for pervasively feminine homosexual gender dysphoric men, are plausible contributors.
KeywordsIndividualism Collectivism Transsexualism Sexual orientation Gender dysphoria
- American Psychiatric Association. (1987). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (3rd ed., revised). Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
- American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
- American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed., text revision). Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
- Blanchard, R., & Sheridan, P. M. (1992). Sibship size, sibling sex ratio, birth order, and parental age in homosexual and nonhomosexual gender dysphorics. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 190, 40–47.Google Scholar
- Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences (2nd ed.). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- De Gascun, C., Kelly, J., Salter, N., Lucey, J., & O’Shea, D. (2006). Gender identity disorder. Irish Medical Journal, 100, 146–148.Google Scholar
- Dion, K. K., & Dion, K. L. (2006). Individualism, collectivism, and the psychology of love. In R. J. Sternberg & K. Weis (Eds.), The new psychology of love (pp. 298–312). New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
- Eicher, W., Schmitt, B., & Bergner, C. M. (1991). Transformationsoperation bei Mann-zu-Frau-Transsexuellen: Darstellung der Methode und Nachuntersuchung von 50 Operierten [Transformation operation for male-to-female transsexuals: Description of technique and follow-up of 50 operated cases]. Zeitschrift für Sexualforschung, 4, 119–132.Google Scholar
- Freund, K. (1985). Cross gender identity in a broader context. In B. W. Steiner (Ed.), Gender dysphoria: Development, research, management (pp. 259–324). New York: Plenum.Google Scholar
- Gaines, S. O., Marelich, W. D., Bledsoe, K. L., Steers, W. N., Henderson, M. C., Granrose, C. S., et al. (1997). Links between race/ethnicity and cultural values as mediated by racial/ethnic identity and moderated by gender. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 72, 1460–1476.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Gómez-Gil, E., Trilla, A., Salamero, M., Godás, T., & Valdés, M. (in press). Sociodemographic, clinical, and psychiatric characteristics of Spanish transsexuals. Archives of Sexual Behavior. Google Scholar
- Hofstede, G. (2001). Culture’s consequences: Comparing values, behaviors, institutions, and organizations across nations (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Money, J., & Gaskin, R. J. (1970–1971). Sex reassignment. International Journal of Psychiatry, 9, 249–269.Google Scholar
- Muirhead-Allwood, S. K., Royle, M. G., & Young, R. (1999, September). Sexuality and satisfaction with surgical results in 140 postoperative male-to-female transsexuals. Poster session presented at the Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association XVI Biennial Symposium, London.Google Scholar
- Nanda, S. (1994). Hijras: An alternative sex and gender role in India. In G. Herdt (Ed.), Third sex, third gender: Beyond sexual dimorphism in culture and history (pp. 373–417). New York: Zone Books.Google Scholar
- Petry, A. R., Lobato, M. I., Koff, W. J., Fleck, M., Silveira, E., Salvador, J., et al. (2007, September). Before and after sex reassignment surgery: Evaluation of quality of life using WHOQOL-100. Paper presented at the World Professional Association for Transgender Health 20th Biennial Symposium, Chicago.Google Scholar
- Pfäfflin, F., & Junge, A. (1990). Nachuntersuchung von 85 operierten Transsexuellen [Follow-up of 85 postoperative transsexuals]. Zeitschrift für Sexualforschung, 3, 331–348.Google Scholar
- Pfäfflin, F., & Junge, A. (1998). Sex reassignment. Thirty years of international follow-up studies after sex reassignment surgery: A comprehensive review, 1961–1991 (R. B. Jacobson & A. B. Meier, Trans.). Retrieved December 20, 2006, from http://www.symposion.com/ijt/pfaefflin/1000.htm (Original work published 1992).
- Schroder, M., & Carroll, R. (1999). New women: Sexological outcomes of male-to-female gender reassignment surgery. Journal of Sex Education and Therapy, 24, 137–146.Google Scholar
- Teh, Y. K. (2001). Mak nyahs (male transsexuals) in Malaysia: The influence of culture and religion on their identity. International Journal of Transgenderism, 5(3). Retrieved December 20, 2006, from http://www.symposion.com/ijt/ijtvo05no03_04.htm.
- United Nations Development Programme. (2005). Human development report 2005. International cooperation at a crossroads: Aid, trade and security in an unequal world. Retrieved April 25, 2008, from http://hdr.undp.org/en/media/hdr05_complete.pdf.
- Whitam, F. L. (1987). A cross-cultural perspective on homosexuality, transvestism, and trans-sexualism. In G. D. Wilson (Ed.), Variant sexuality: Research and theory (pp. 176–201). Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
- Whitam, F. L. (1997). Culturally universal aspects of male homosexual transvestites and transsexuals. In B. Bullough, V. L. Bullough, & J. Elias (Eds.), Gender blending (pp. 189–203). Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books.Google Scholar
- World Bank. (2007). GNI per capita 2006, Atlas method and PPP. Retrieved December 3, 2007, from http://siteresources.worldbank.org/DATASTATISTICS/Resources/GNIPC.pdf.
- World Health Organization. (1992). International statistical classification of diseases and related health problems (10th revision, Vol. 1). Geneva, Switzerland: Author.Google Scholar