Men Who Have Sex with Transgender Women: Challenges to Category-based HIV Prevention

Department of Social Policy and Social Work, University of Oxford, 32 Wellington Square, Oxford, OX1 2ER, UK.
AIDS and Behavior (Impact Factor: 3.49). 02/2008; 12(1):18-26. DOI: 10.1007/s10461-007-9303-y
Source: PubMed


Although transgender women are acknowledged as a priority population for HIV prevention, there is little knowledge on men who have sex with transgender women (MSTGWs). MSTGWs challenge conventional sexual orientation categories in public health and HIV prevention research, and warrant increased attention from the public health community. This paper used qualitative techniques to analyze how MSTGWs describe their sexual orientation identities, and to explore the correspondence between men's identities and sexual behaviors with transgender women. We conducted in-depth semi-structured individual interviews with 46 MSTGWs in San Francisco. We observed a diversity in the ways participants identified and explained their sexual orientation, and found no consistent patterns between how men described their sexual orientation identity versus their sexual behavior and attraction to transgender women. Findings from this qualitative study question the utility of category-based approaches to HIV prevention with MSTGWs and offer insights into developing HIV interventions for these men.

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    • "Natal males who have become GAMs by acquiring female-typical physical characteristics such as breasts through surgery or feminizing hormone therapy while retaining a penis are sometimes referred to simply as transgender women (e.g. Operario et al. 2008) or transwomen (e.g. Weinberg & Williams, 2010) but are commonly and colloquially referred to as shemales 1 † or t-girls. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Gynandromorphophilia (GAMP) is sexual interest in gynandromorphs (GAMs; colloquially, shemales). GAMs possess a combination of male and female physical characteristics. Thus, GAMP presents a challenge to conventional understandings of sexual orientation as sexual attraction to the male v. female form. Speculation about GAMP men has included the ideas that they are homosexual, heterosexual, or especially, bisexual. Method: We compared genital and subjective sexual arousal patterns of GAMP men with those of heterosexual and homosexual men. We also compared these groups on their self-ratings of sexual orientation and sexual interests. Results: GAMP men had arousal patterns similar to those of heterosexual men and different from those of homosexual men. However, compared to heterosexual men, GAMP men were relatively more aroused by GAM erotic stimuli than by female erotic stimuli. GAMP men also scored higher than both heterosexual and homosexual men on a measure of autogynephilia. Conclusions: Results provide clear evidence that GAMP men are not homosexual. They also indicate that GAMP men are especially likely to eroticize the idea of being a woman.
    Psychological Medicine 10/2015; DOI:10.1017/S0033291715002317 · 5.94 Impact Factor
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    • "White, Western academics acknowledged the problems of MSM categorizations and how or if transgender people fit or do not fit into MSM (, 2002; Operario et al., 2008; UNAIDS, n.d.), critique from (mainly non-Western) people of colour articulated the complexities of sex and gender within MSM. Khan (2000, p. 14) argues that South Asian cultures have incredible diversity of identities, desires, and frameworks of expression – a true queer space. "
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    ABSTRACT: The term ‘men who have sex with men’ (MSM) as commonly used by HIV/AIDS researchers and policy makers is said to describe an obvious group of men. Or does it? While MSM disrupts the homosexual/heterosexual dichotomy through focusing on sexual practices rather than sexual identity, it remains entrenched in binary understandings of sex and gender. Influenced by queer and trans theories, a genderqueer methodology is employed to examine what discourses are deployed when MSM are categorized as a seemingly homogenous group. Who are the “men” in MSM and what are the material consequences of MSM discourse in HIV/AIDS work? Guided by feminist poststructural and Foucauldian theories, this study highlights how MSM discourse functions to exclude trans, intersex, and other non-normative sexed and gendered people while considering the potentially deadly effects of this discourse on those outside of MSM categorizations particularly focusing on its use in the Canadian Guidelines on STIs.
    03/2010, Degree: Master of Social Work, Supervisor: Susan Strega
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