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The Psychometric Structure of Items Assessing Autogynephilia

Abstract

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.

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Acknowledgments

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

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Correspondence to Kevin J. Hsu.

Appendices

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.

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Hsu, K.J., Rosenthal, A.M. & Bailey, J.M. The Psychometric Structure of Items Assessing Autogynephilia. Arch Sex Behav 44, 1301–1312 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-014-0397-9

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-014-0397-9

Keywords

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