Birth Order and Sibling Sex Ratio in a Population with High Fertility: Are Turkish Male to Female Transsexuals Different?

Abstract

Western studies have consistently found that androphilic (sexually attracted to men) male-to-female transsexuals have a later birth order and a relative excess of brothers compared with appropriate control participants. However, non-Western studies on birth order and sibling sex ratio in androphilic males (transsexual or non-transsexual) are rare. The objective of the study was to test the hypothesis that androphilic male-to-female transsexuals have a late birth order and a relative excess of brothers in a non-Western culture with a higher fertility rate. The participants were 60 androphilic male-to-female transsexuals and 61 male heterosexual controls. The transsexual participants had significantly more older brothers than the control participants, but the groups did not differ in their numbers of older sisters, younger brothers, or younger sisters. The foregoing pattern is usually referred to as the “fraternal birth order effect.” Slater’s and Berglin’s Indexes both showed that the mean birth order of the control participants was very close to that expected from a random sample drawn from a demographically stable population whereas the mean birth order of the transsexual participants was later. A measure of sibship composition, brothers/all siblings, showed that the transsexual group had a higher proportion of male siblings compared with the control group. In conclusion, the present study found that Turkish androphilic male-to-female transsexuals show the same high fraternal birth order that has been found in comparable androphilic samples in Western Europe, North America, and the South Pacific, which suggests a common underlying biological causal mechanism.

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Acknowledgments

The authors thank Hasmet Isikli, M.D., who first gave the opinion to study transsexuals and birth order. They also thank all persons and especially Mehmet Ak, M.D., and K. Nahit Ozmenler, M.D., from Gulhane School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry, who supported the study.

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Correspondence to Ali Bozkurt.

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Bozkurt, A., Bozkurt, O.H. & Sonmez, I. Birth Order and Sibling Sex Ratio in a Population with High Fertility: Are Turkish Male to Female Transsexuals Different?. Arch Sex Behav 44, 1331–1337 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-014-0425-9

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Keywords

  • Birth order
  • Sibling sex ratio
  • Gender identity disorder
  • Transsexualism
  • Androphilia
  • Cross-cultural