Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 43, Issue 6, pp 1177–1186 | Cite as

Evidence Against a Typology: A Taxometric Analysis of the Sexuality of Male-to-Female Transsexuals

Original Paper

Abstract

Previous theories and research have suggested there are two distinct types of male-to-female (MF) transsexuals and these types can be distinguished by their sexuality. Using the scales Attraction to Femininity in Males, Core Autogynephilia, Autogynephilic Interpersonal Fanasy, and Attraction to Transgender Fiction as indicator variables, taxometric analysis was applied to an online-recruited sample of 308 MF transsexuals to investigate whether such a distinction is justified. In accordance with previous research findings, MF transsexuals categorized as “nonandrophilic” scored significantly higher on Core Autogynephilia than did those categorized as “androphilic”; they also scored significantly higher on Attraction to Femininity in Males and Attraction to Transgender Fiction. Results of one of the taxometric procedures, L-Mode, gave slightly more support for a dimensional, rather than taxonic (two-type), latent structure. Results of the two other taxometric procedures, MAMBAC and MAXCOV, showed greater support for a dimensional latent structure. Although these results require replication with a more representative sample, they show little support for a taxonomy, which contradicts previous theory that has suggested MF transsexuals’ sexuality is typological.

Keywords

Autogynephilia Transsexuals Sexuality Gender dysphoria Taxometric analysis 

References

  1. Blanchard, R. (1985a). 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.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Blanchard, R. (1985b). Typology of male-to-female transsexualism. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 14, 247–261.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Blanchard, R. (1988). Nonhomosexual gender dysphoria. Journal of Sex Research, 24, 188–193.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Blanchard, R. (1989). The concept of autogynephilia and the typology of male gender dysphoria. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 177, 616–623.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 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, 180, 40–47.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Chivers, M. L., Rieger, G., Latty, E., & Bailey, J. M. (2004). A sex difference in the specificity of sexual arousal. Psychological Science, 15, 736–744.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Freund, K., Steiner, B. W., & Chan, S. (1982). Two types of cross-gender identity. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 11, 49–63.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Gómez-Gil, E., Esteva, I., Carrasco, R., Almaraz, M. C., Pasaro, E., Salamero, M., & Guillamon, A. (2011). Birth order and ratio of brothers to sisters in Spanish transsexuals. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 40, 505–510.Google Scholar
  9. Green, R. (2000). Birth order and ratio of brothers to sisters in transsexuals. Psychological Medicine, 30, 789–795.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Johnson, S. L., & Hunt, D. D. (1990). The relationship of male transsexual typology to psychosocial adjustment. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 19, 349–360.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Lawrence, A. A. (2010). A validation of Blanchard’s typology: Comment on Nuttbrock et al. (2010) [Letter to the Editor]. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 39, 1011–1015.Google Scholar
  12. Lawrence, A. A. (2013). Men trapped in men’s bodies: Narratives of autogynephilic transsexualism. New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Lawrence, A. A., & Bailey, J. M. (2009). Transsexual groups in Veale et al. (2008) are “autogynephilic” and “even more autogynephilic” [Letter to the Editor]. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 38, 173–175.Google Scholar
  14. Lawrence, A. A., Latty, E. M., Chivers, M. L., & Bailey, J. M. (2005). Measurement of sexual arousal in postoperative male-to-female transsexuals using vaginal photoplethysmography. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 34, 135–145.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 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
  16. Meehl, P. E. (1973). MAXCOV-HITMAX: A taxonomic search method for loose genetic syndromes. In P. E. Meehl (Ed.), Psychodiagnosis: Selected papers (pp. 200–224). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  17. Meehl, P. E. (1992). Factors and taxa, traits and types, differences of degree and differences in kind. Journal of Personality, 60, 117–174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Meehl, P. E., & Yonce, L. J. (1994). Taxometric analysis: I. Detecting taxonicity with two quantitative indicators using means above and below a sliding cut (MAMBAC procedure). Psychological Reports, 74, 1059–1274.Google Scholar
  19. Meehl, P. E., & Yonce, L. J. (1996). Taxometric analysis: II. Detecting taxonicity using covariance of two quantitative indicators in successive intervals of a third indicator (MAXCOV procedure). Psychological Reports, 78, 1091–1227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Nuttbrock, L., Bockting, W. O., Mason, M., Hwahng, S., Rosenblum, A., Macri, M., & Becker, J. (2011a). A further assessment of Blanchard’s typology of homosexual versus non-homosexual or autogynephilic gender dysphoria. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 40, 247–257.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Nuttbrock, L., Bockting, W., Rosenblum, A., Mason, M., & Hwahng, S. (2010). The limitations of Blanchard’s typology: A response to Lawrence (2010) [Letter to the Editor]. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 39, 1017–1020.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Nuttbrock, L., Bockting, W., Rosenblum, A., Mason, M., & Hwahng, S. (2011b). Sexual arousal associated with private as compared to public feminine dressing among male-to-female transgender persons: A further response to Lawrence (2011) [Letter to the Editor]. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 40, 1093–1096.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Ruscio, J. (2009). Taxometric programs for the R computing environment: User’s manual. Retrieved from http://www.taxometricmethod.com/TaxProgManual%202009-05-15.pdf.
  24. Ruscio, J., Haslam, N., & Ruscio, A. M. (2006). Introduction to the taxometric method: A practical guide. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  25. Ruscio, J., & Kaczetow, W. (2009). Differentiating categories and dimensions: Evaluating the robustness of taxometric analysis. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 44, 259–280.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Sell, R. L. (1997). Defining and measuring sexual orientation: A review. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 26, 643–658.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Simon, L., Kozák, L. R., Simon, V., Czobor, P., Unoka, Z., Szabó, Á., & Csukly, G. (2013). Regional grey matter structure differences between transsexuals and healthy controls: A voxel based morphometry study. PLoS ONE, 8(12), e83947.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Smith, Y. L. S., van Goozen, S. H. M., Kuiper, A. J., & Cohen-Kettenis, P. T. (2005). Transsexual subtypes: Clinical and theoretical significance. Psychiatry Research, 137, 151–160.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Veale, J. F. (2005). Love of oneself as a woman: An investigation into the sexuality of transsexual and other women. Unpublished master’s thesis, Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand.Google Scholar
  30. Veale, J. F., Clarke, D. E., & Lomax, T. C. (2008). Sexuality of male-to-female transsexuals. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 36, 586–597.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Veale, J. F., Clarke, D. E., & Lomax, T. C. (2010a). Biological and psychosocial correlates of adult gender-variant identities: A review. Personality and Individual Differences, 48, 357–366.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Veale, J. F., Clarke, D. E., & Lomax, T. C. (2010b). Biological and psychosocial correlates of adult gender-variant identities: New findings. Personality and Individual Differences, 49, 252–257.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Veale, J. F., Clarke, D. E., & Lomax, T. C. (2012). Male-to-female transsexuals’ impressions of Blanchard’s autogynephilia theory. International Journal of Transgenderism, 13, 131–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Veale, J. F., Lomax, T. C., & Clarke, D. E. (2010c). The identity-defence model of gender-variant development. International Journal of Transgenderism, 12, 125–138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Stigma and Resilience among Vulnerable Youth Centre, School of Nursing, Faculty of Applied ScienceUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

Personalised recommendations