Developmental Histories

  • Anne A. Lawrence
Part of the Focus on Sexuality Research book series (FOSR)


If autogynephilic transsexuals are “men trapped in men’s bodies,” their developmental histories should resemble those of ordinary heterosexual men in most respects, and this was what the transsexual informants generally reported. Informants who discussed the age of onset of their cross-gender wishes and behaviors usually stated that these began in early childhood. In some cases, cross-dressing or cross-gender fantasies in childhood were associated with erections or explicitly erotic feelings. In other cases, cross-gender behaviors and fantasies became associated with overt erotic arousal only at puberty. Many informants recalled that their interests and behaviors during childhood and adolescence were male-typical, but others recalled female-typical interests and behaviors or a combination of male-typical and female-typical ones. About 10 % of informants reported their adult occupations; these occupations were usually male-typical and sometimes extremely so (e.g., involving military service, computer programming, or engineering). A few informants felt that they were “women trapped in men’s bodies,” but most rejected this description, and some agreed that they were “men trapped in men’s bodies.” Many informants observed that autogynephilic arousal had continued throughout their lives, including after sex reassignment surgery, but a few reported that autogynephilic arousal had decreased or seemingly disappeared later in life.


Sexual Orientation Sexual Arousal Gender Dysphoria Penile Erection Genital Arousal 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anne A. Lawrence
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LethbridgeLethbridgeCanada

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