Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 151–157 | Cite as

Three clinically discrete categories of fetishistic transvestism

  • Neil Buhrich
  • Neil McConaghy


In a previous article the authors established that subjects who identified themselves as transvestites could be categorized into two clinically discrete groups — a nuclear transvestite group who were satisfied with cross-dressing and a marginal transvestite group who, in addition to cross-dressing, desired feminization by hormones or surgical intervention. Both groups had shown fetishistic arousal to cross-dressing. In the present study subjects in the marginal transvestite group were compared with subjects who had shown fetishistic arousal but who identified themselves as transsexuals by attending a Transsexual Clinic seeking a full sex-change operation. They were termed fetishistic transsexuals. Significantly more of the self-identified transsexuals in comparison to the marginal transvestites showed homosexual interest, felt like a woman when nude, and had lived for the previous 6 months continuously as a woman. These differences are consistent with the self-identification of the subjects as transsexuals or transvestites and justify the differentiation of two clinical syndromes: marginal transvestism and fetishistic transsexualism. There appear to be three clinically discrete types of fetishistic cross-dressing: nuclear transvestism, marginal transvestism, and fetishistic transsexualism.

Key words

transvestism fetishism transsexualism cross-dressing 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Neil Buhrich
    • 1
  • Neil McConaghy
    • 2
  1. 1.New South Wales Institute of PsychiatryLeichhardtAustralia
  2. 2.The Prince Henry HospitalUniversity of New South WalesLittle BayAustralia

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