The Psychometric Structure of Items Assessing Autogynephilia
Autogynephilia, or paraphilic sexual arousal in a man to the thought or image of himself as a woman, manifests in a variety of different behaviors and fantasies. We examined the psychometric structure of 22 items assessing five known types of autogynephilia by subjecting them to exploratory factor analysis in a sample of 149 autogynephilic men. Results of oblique factor analyses supported the ability to distinguish five group factors with suitable items. Results of hierarchical factor analyses suggest that the five group factors were strongly underlain by a general factor of autogynephilia. Because the general factor accounted for a much greater amount of the total variance of the 22 items than did the group factors, the types of autogynephilia that a man has seem less important than the degree to which he has autogynephilia. However, the five types of autogynephilia remain conceptually useful because meaningful distinctions were found among them, including differential rates of endorsement and differential ability to predict other relevant variables like gender dysphoria. Factor-derived scales and subscales demonstrated good internal consistency reliabilities, and validity, with large differences found between autogynephilic men and heterosexual male controls. Future research should attempt to replicate our findings, which were mostly exploratory.
KeywordsAutogynephilia Erotic target location error Paraphilia Gender dysphoria Transvestic fetishism
We thank William Revelle, Richard E. Zinbarg, and Matthew J. Jiang for their statistical help.
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