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Homosexual and bisexual identity in sex-reassigned female-to-male transsexuals

Abstract

Descriptions of female-to-male transsexuals who are sexually attracted to men are rare. This is a report on nine of them. Their awareness of gender dysphoria preceded their awareness of their attraction to men. Their wish to undergo sex reassignment as a means of resolving their gender dysphoria superseded any concerns about their sexual orientation or sexual adaptation after surgery. Several had had sexual relationships with men before sex reassignment which were unsatisfactory because these men viewed our subjects as women. After sex reassignment, the subjects successfully established sexual relationships with gay men; in some of them even penovaginal intercourse was part of their sexual activities. While hormonally and surgically reassigned, none of our subjects had had phalloplasty. All nine subjects were interviewed and given psychological tests measuring sexual satisfaction and psychological adjustment. Their results were compared to those of a group of self-identified gay men. No major differences in sexual satisfaction and psychological adaptation were found. The phenomenon of female-to-male transsexuals who develop a sexual orientation toward men may be more common than previously thought. Regarding female gender dysphoric individuals, our findings challenge the issue of using sexual orientation in classification systems of gender dysphoria syndromes and as a risk factor in the decision regarding sex reassignment. Further, our study invites us to rethink the genital criterion in the assessment of sexual orientation.

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Correspondence to Eli Coleman Ph.D..

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Coleman, E., Bockting, W.O. & Gooren, L. Homosexual and bisexual identity in sex-reassigned female-to-male transsexuals. Arch Sex Behav 22, 37–50 (1993). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01552911

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Key words

  • transsexualism
  • sexual orientation
  • sexual identity