Recalled Separation Anxiety in Childhood in Istmo Zapotec Men, Women, and Muxes
- 691 Downloads
The Istmo Zapotec are a pre-Columbian cultural group indigenous to the Istmo region of Oaxaca, Mexico. Istmo Zapotec recognize three genders: men, women, and muxes. Like Istmo Zapotec men, muxes are biological males. However, unlike Istmo Zapotec men, most muxes are exclusively androphilic (i.e., sexually attracted to adult males), relatively feminine, and routinely adopt the receptive role during anal intercourse. Furthermore, the Istmo Zapotec recognize two types of muxes: muxe gunaa, who resemble the transgender androphilic males that are common in many non-Western cultures, and muxe nguiiu, who resemble the cisgender androphilic males (“gay” men) common in Western cultures. Retrospective research conducted in Canada and Samoa demonstrates that cisgender and transgender androphilic males recall elevated indicators of childhood separation anxiety (i.e., feelings of distress related to separation from major attachment figures) when compared to males who are gynephilic (i.e., sexually attracted to adult females). The present study compared recalled indicators of childhood separation anxiety among Istmo Zapotec men, women, muxe gunaa, and muxe nguiiu (N = 454). Men recalled significantly lower levels of childhood separation anxiety compared to all other groups (all p < .042). No additional group differences were found. Our results are consistent with previous research conducted in Canada and Samoa, suggesting that elevated childhood separation anxiety is a developmental correlate of male androphilia that is cross-culturally universal. This research is also consistent with the conclusion that cisgender and transgender male androphiles share a common biological and developmental foundation despite being different in appearance.
KeywordsSexual orientation Male androphilia Childhood separation anxiety Zapotec Cross-cultural universals
We thank Dan Weeks, Felina Santiago, Julio C. Jiménez Rodríguez, René Díazleal Vega, Cesar Miravette Cortés, and Francisco J. López Bartolo. Funding for this study was provided by a University of Lethbridge Research Fund Grant and through a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Insight Grant to PLV.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
This study was funded by a University of Lethbridge Research Fund Grant (Institutional Grant Number 13261) and a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Insight Grant (Institutional Grant Number 41140).
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. An institutional human subjects research ethics committee reviewed and approved this research.
Participants were required to provide informed written consent prior to taking part in the study.
- Alanko, K., Santtila, P., Harlaar, N., Witting, K., Varjonen, M., Jern, P., … Sandnabba, N. K. (2008). The association between childhood gender atypical behavior and adult psychiatric symptoms is moderated by parenting style. Sex Roles, 58, 837–847.Google Scholar
- Alanko, K., Santtila, P., Harlaar, N., Witting, K., Varjonen, M., Jern, P., … Sandnabba, N. K. (2010). Common genetic effects of gender atypical behavior in childhood and sexual orientation in adulthood: A study of Finnish twins. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 39, 81–92.Google Scholar
- Alanko, K., Santtila, P., Witting, K., Varjonen, M., Jern, P., Johansson, A., … Sandnabba, N. K. (2009). Psychiatric symptoms and same-sex sexual attraction and behavior in light of childhood gender atypical behavior and parental relationships. Journal of Sex Research, 46, 494–504.Google Scholar
- Bailey, J. M. (2003). The man who would be queen: The science of gender-bending and transsexualism. Washington, DC: Joseph Henry Press.Google Scholar
- Besharat, M. A., Karimi, S., & Saadati, M. (2016). A comparison of childhood gender nonconformity and fertility rate in a lineage in male homosexuals and heterosexuals. Contemporary Psychology, 10, 3–14.Google Scholar
- Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences (2nd ed.). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Danver, S. L. (2013). Native peoples of the world: An encyclopedia of groups, cultures, and contemporary issues. Armonk, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Fausto-Sterling, A. (2014, October 13). The evidence of memory. Boston Review. http://bostonreview.net/wonders/fausto-sterling-evidence-memory
- Gates, G. J. (2011). How many people are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender? The Williams Institute. https://escholarship.org/uc/item/09h684x2
- Green, R. (1987). The “sissy boy syndrome” and the development of homosexuality. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
- Hamer, D. H. (2002). Genetics of sexual behavior. In J. Benjamin, R. P. Ebstein, & R. H. Belmaker (Eds.), Molecular genetics and the human personality (pp. 257–272). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Publishing.Google Scholar
- Harris, J. R. (2009). The nurture assumption. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
- Hart, D. V. (1968). Homosexuality and transvestism in the Philippines: The Cebuan Filipino bayot and lakin-on. Behavior Science Notes, 3, 211–248.Google Scholar
- Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía. (2009). Perfil sociodemográfico de la población que habla lengua indígena. Retrieved from http://internet.contenidos.inegi.org.mx/contenidos/Productos/prod_serv/contenidos/espanol/bvinegi/productos/censos/poblacion/poblacion_indigena/leng_indi/PHLI.pdf.
- Kinsey, A. C., Pomeroy, W. B., & Martin, C. E. (1948). Sexual behavior in the human male. Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders.Google Scholar
- Miano Borruso, M. (2001). Hombres, mujeres y muxe en la sociedad zapoteca del Istmo de Tehuantepec (Doctoral dissertation, Escuela Nacional de Antropología e Historia, Mexico City).Google Scholar
- Murray, S. O. (2000). Homosexualities. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- Polderman, T. J., Benyamin, B., de Leeuw, C. A., Sullivan, P. F., Van Bochoven, A., Visscher, P. M., … Posthuma, D. (2015). Meta-analysis of the heritability of human traits based on fifty years of twin studies. Nature Genetics, 47, 702–709.Google Scholar
- Ritchie, J., & Ritchie, J. (1983). Polynesian child rearing: An alternative model. Alternative Lifestyles, 5, 126–141.Google Scholar
- Sanders, A. R., Martin, E. R., Beecham, G. W., Guo, S., Dawood, K., Rieger, G., … Bailey, J. M. (2015). Genome-wide scan demonstrates significant linkage for male sexual orientation. Psychological Medicine, 45, 1379–1388.Google Scholar
- Shear, K., Jin, R., Ruscio, A. M., Walters, E. E., & Kessler, R. C. (2006). Prevalence and correlates of estimated DSM-IV child and adult separation anxiety disorder in the National Comorbidity Survey replication. American Journal of Psychiatry, 163, 1074–1083.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Singh, D. (2012). A follow-up study of boys with gender identity disorder. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Toronto.Google Scholar
- VanderLaan, D. P., Blanchard, R., Zucker, K. J., Massuda, R., Vaitses Fontanaris, A. M., Oliviera Borba, A., … Rodrigues Lobatos, M. I. (2016a). Birth order and androphilic male-to-female transsexualism in Brazil. Journal of Biosocial Science. doi: 10.1017/S0021932016000584
- Whitam, F. L. (1980). Childhood predictors of adult homosexuality. Journal of Sex Education and Therapy, 6, 11–16.Google Scholar
- Whitam, F. L., & Mathy, R. M. (1986). Male homosexuality in four societies: Brazil, Guatemala, the Philippines, and the United States. New York: Praeger.Google Scholar
- Williams, W. L. (1986). The spirit and the flesh: Sexual diversity in American Indian culture. Boston: Beacon Press.Google Scholar