Skip to main content

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.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  • American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed., text rev.). Washington, DC: Author.

  • Beauchaine, T. P. (2007). A brief taxometrics primer. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 36, 654–676.

    PubMed Central  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Blanchard, R. (1989a). The classification and labeling of nonhomosexual gender dysphorias. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 18, 315–334.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Blanchard, R. (1989b). The concept of autogynephilia and the typology of male gender dysphoria. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 177, 616–623.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Blanchard, R. (1991). Clinical observations and systematic studies of autogynephilia. Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, 17, 235–251.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Blanchard, R. (1992). Nonmonotonic relation of autogynephilia and heterosexual attraction. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 101, 271–276.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Blanchard, R. (1993a). Partial versus complete autogynephilia and gender dysphoria. Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, 19, 301–307.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Blanchard, R. (1993b). Varieties of autogynephilia and their relationship to gender dysphoria. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 22, 241–251.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Briggs, N. E., & MacCallum, R. C. (2003). Recovery of weak common factors by maximum likelihood and ordinary least squares estimation. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 38, 25–56.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Buhrmester, M., Kwang, T., & Gosling, S. D. (2011). Amazon’s Mechanical Turk: A new source of inexpensive, yet high-quality, data? Perspectives on Psychological Science, 6, 3–5.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Deogracias, J. J., Johnson, L. L., Meyer-Bahlburg, H. F. L., Kessler, S. J., Schober, J. M., & Zucker, K. J. (2007). The Gender Identity/Gender Dysphoria Questionnaire for Adolescents and Adults. Journal of Sex Research, 44, 370–379.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Freund, K., & Blanchard, R. (1993). Erotic target location errors in male gender dysphorics, paedophiles, and fetishists. British Journal of Psychiatry, 162, 558–563.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Freund, K., Seto, M. C., & Kuban, M. (1996). Two types of fetishism. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 34, 687–694.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Goodman, J. K., Cryder, C. E., & Cheema, A. (2013). Data collection in a flat world: The strengths and weaknesses of Mechanical Turk samples. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 26, 213–224.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Krueger, R. B., & Kaplan, M. S. (2001). The paraphilic and hypersexual disorders: An overview. Journal of Psychiatric Practice, 7, 391–403.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lawrence, A. A. (2006). Clinical and theoretical parallels between desire for limb amputation and gender identity disorder. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 35, 263–278.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lawrence, A. A. (2009). Erotic target location errors: An underappreciated paraphilic dimension. Journal of Sex Research, 46, 194–215.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lawrence, A. A. (2013). Men trapped in men’s bodies: Narratives of autogynephilic transsexualism. New York: Springer.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • McDonald, R. P. (1999). Test theory: A unified treatment. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

    Google Scholar 

  • Paolacci, G., Chandler, J., & Ipeirotis, P. G. (2010). Running experiments on Amazon Mechanical Turk. Judgment and Decision Making, 5, 411–419.

    Google Scholar 

  • Revelle, W., & Zinbarg, R. E. (2009). Coefficients alpha, beta, omega, and the glb: Comments on Sijtsma. Psychometrika, 74, 145–154.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Zinbarg, R. E., Yovel, I., Revelle, W., & McDonald, R. P. (2006). Estimating generalizability to a latent variable common to all of a scale’s indicators: A comparison of estimators for ω h . Applied Psychological Measurement, 30, 121–144.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


We thank William Revelle, Richard E. Zinbarg, and Matthew J. Jiang for their statistical help.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Kevin J. Hsu.


Appendix 1

Items Assessing Autogynephilia (General Autogynephilia Scale)

How sexually arousing would you find each of the following activities?

  1. 1.

    The thought of being a woman.

  2. 2.

    Picturing myself having a nude female body or certain features of the nude female form.

  3. 3.

    Picturing myself with a woman’s breasts.

  4. 4.

    Picturing myself with a woman’s buttocks.

  5. 5.

    Picturing myself with a woman’s legs.

  6. 6.

    Picturing myself with a vagina/vulva.

  7. 7.

    Picturing myself with a woman’s face.

  8. 8.

    Picturing myself as a woman being admired by another person.

  9. 9.

    Having a stranger mistake me for a woman.

  10. 10.

    Picturing myself as a woman having sex with a man.

  11. 11.

    Having a man take me out for a romantic evening.

  12. 12.

    Picturing myself wearing women’s underwear, sleepwear, or foundation garments (for example, a corset).

  13. 13.

    Picturing myself with polished nails, makeup, and lady’s perfume.

  14. 14.

    Picturing myself wearing a beautiful dress and high-heeled shoes.

  15. 15.

    Picturing myself lactating and/or breastfeeding.

  16. 16.

    Picturing myself menstruating and using tampons.

  17. 17.

    Picturing myself urinating while seated like a woman.

  18. 18.

    Picturing myself being pregnant.

  19. 19.

    Picturing myself getting my hair done at a lady’s salon.

  20. 20.

    Going to the women’s bathroom or locker room in public.

  21. 21.

    Sitting in a feminine way.

  22. 22.

    Speaking with a high-pitched, clear female voice.

Appendix 2

Paraphilic Interests Scale

How sexually arousing do you find each of the following?

  1. 1.

    Exposing my genitals to an attractive stranger.

  2. 2.

    Performing sex acts while strangers watched.

  3. 3.

    Some nonhuman objects like shoes, rubber, latex, clothing, strap-ons, etc.

  4. 4.

    Looking through a bedroom window at an unsuspecting couple having sex.

  5. 5.

    Watching an unsuspecting person getting undressed and taking a shower.

  6. 6.

    Touching or rubbing against a stranger.

  7. 7.

    Being insulted or humiliated by my sexual partner.

  8. 8.

    Being physically hurt by my sexual partner.

  9. 9.

    Insulting or humiliating my sexual partner.

  10. 10.

    Physically hurting my sexual partner.

  11. 11.

    Wearing women’s clothing like panties, lingerie, skirts, dresses, etc.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Hsu, K.J., Rosenthal, A.M. & Bailey, J.M. The Psychometric Structure of Items Assessing Autogynephilia. Arch Sex Behav 44, 1301–1312 (2015).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • Autogynephilia
  • Erotic target location error
  • Paraphilia
  • Gender dysphoria
  • Transvestic fetishism