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Autogynephilia in Women

  • Diverse Sexualities Research and Education Institute


Autogynephilia, an erotic interest in the thought or image of oneself as a woman, has been described as a sexual interest of some male-to-female transsexuals (MTFs); the term has not been applied to natal women. To test the possibility that natal women also experience autogynephilia, an Autogynephilia Scale for Women (ASW) was created from items used to categorize MTFs as autogynephilic in other studies. A questionnaire that included the ASW was distributed to a sample of 51 professional women employed at an urban hospital; 29 completed questionnaires were returned for analysis. By the common definition of ever having erotic arousal to the thought or image of oneself as a woman, 93% of the respondents would be classified as autogynephilic. Using a more rigorous definition of "frequent" arousal to multiple items, 28% would be classified as autogynephilic. The implications of these findings are discussed concerning the sexuality of women and the meaning of autogynephilia for MTFs.
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... One aspect of the construct of autogynephilia not studied by the theory's proponents, possibly until now, was the conjecture that women assigned female at birth (AFAB) are not autogynephilic. Independently, Veale et al. (2008) and Moser (2009) tried to test whether women AFAB were autogynephilic, and if so, another tenet of Blanchard's theory would not be supported. If both women AFAB and women AMAB can be autogynephilic, their existence challenges the assumption that autogynephilia is a male trait and women AMAB are just generic men with an unusual sexual interest (Lawrence, 2013). ...
... Bailey and Hsu's (2022) article is a bit odd. It attempts to refute two studies (Moser, 2009;Veale et al., 2008) published over a decade ago. These two articles were rarely cited or even discussed, at least until this paper, so it is surprising that Bailey and Hsu decided to focus on autogynephilia in women. ...
... In general, individuals with transvestism or transvestic disorder do not meet the DSM-5-TR ( (2005) found. Veale et al. (2008) and Moser (2009) independently decided to modify Blanchard's research scales, which purportedly measure autogynephilia in women AMAB for women AFAB. Veale et al. (2008) and Moser (2009) hypothesized that women AFAB may be aroused by imagining themselves as more desirable or with more desirable bodies. ...
... Thus, neither non-dysphoric natal males nor natal females were assessed in this research. Moser (2009) suggested that Blanchard's neglect of the latter populations led him astray. Specifically, Moser argued that both men and women commonly experience sexual arousal to their own bodies. ...
... Lawrence (2010b) criticized Moser's (2009) study, arguing that the items were not good measures of autogynephilia, especially for natal women. Lawrence argued that some of Moser's items were inappropriate, because they tended to conflate sexual arousal to the idea of having a female body (or engaging in stereotypically feminine behavior) with arousal to interpersonal sexual fantasies. ...
... 768). Serano also asserted that such fantasies are relatively common, based on findings from Veale et al. (2008), Moser (2009), andLehmiller (2018). Lehmiller surveyed 4175 American adults, one-third of whom reported that they had fantasized about being the opposite sex. ...
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Blanchard proposed that autogynephilia is a natal male’s paraphilic sexual arousal in response to the thought or fantasy of being a woman. Furthermore, based on evidence collected from natal males with gender dysphoria, Blanchard argued that autogynephilia is the fundamental motivation among nonhomosexual males (i.e., those not exclusively attracted to men) who pursue sex reassignment surgery or live as transgender women. These ideas have been challenged by several writers who have asserted, or offered evidence, that autogynephilia is common among women. However, their evidence was weakened by problematic measures and limited comparison groups. We compared four samples of autogynephilic natal males (N = 1549), four samples of non-autogynephilic natal males (N = 1339), and two samples of natal females (N = 500), using Blanchard’s original measure: the Core Autogynephilia Scale. The autogynephilic samples had much higher mean scores compared with non-autogynephilic natal males and natal females, who were similar. Our findings refute the contention that autogynephilia is common among natal females.
... A sexualização presente na teoria de Blanchard também justifica as posições que defendem a recusa do reconhecimento da autenticidade das identidades femininas de mulheres transexuais, pois a autoginefilia, como uma parafilia, é definida como uma experiência tipicamente masculina de sexualidade. Serano também argumenta que a teoria da autoginefilia compartilha a crença socialmente disseminada de que as identidades transfemininas precisam de uma explicação (já que a transição de gênero do masculino para o feminino seria, a princípio, uma atitude irracional), formulada muitas vezes no interior de uma perspectiva masculina hegemônica segundo a qual as pessoas transicionam tendo em vista atingir um objetivo 23 O fato de uma porcentagem significante de mulheres cisgêneras que passaram pelos questionários semelhantes ou iguais propostos por Blanchard serem categorizadas como autoginefílicas (MOSER, 2009a;VEALE et al., 2008) acaba por colocar em xeque a noção de que a autoginefilia possa ser uma parafilia, tendo em vista que as parafilias geralmente são pensadas como inexistentes ou extremamente raras neste grupo (American Psychiatric Association, 2000, p. 568). 24 Em razão de serem presumidamente visivelmente extremamente femininas, as mulheres transexuais que se atraem exclusivamente por homens são imaginadas como mais frequentemente passáveis, de forma a "enganar" os seus parceiros sexuais de que sejam mulheres cisgêneras. ...
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Este trabalho tem o objetivo de abordar criticamente a teoria da autoginefilia de Ray Blanchard. Segundo o autor, existem dois tipos de mulheres transexuais em função de suas sexualidades: aquelas atraídas por homens e todas as demais, que seriam autoginefílicas. A autoginefilia, compreendida como uma parafilia, designa um conjunto de fantasias sexuais a respeito da imagem de si mesmo/a enquanto mulher. Blanchard postula que a etiologia da identidade feminina em mulheres transexuais não-androfílicas seja a autoginefilia. Nos debruçamos, desta forma, sobre a literatura crítica a respeito do tema, dando especial enfoque às perspectivas das próprias mulheres transexuais. Sustentamos que a teoria proposta por Blanchard é não apenas inconsistente com as narrativas das próprias mulheres transexuais, como também responsável por reiterar visões estigmatizantes a respeito da sexualidade das mulheres transexuais, particularmente daquelas que não se atraem exclusivamente por homens.
... From the outset, the performer appeared to be following the conventions of the contests with a full drag appearance and exaggerated feminine mannerisms. During the dance routine, however, he 5 Whether autogynephilia exists in women has been the subject of debate (Lawrence, 2009;Moser, 2009). 6 Sexual interactions between feminine trans individuals were also said to occur when gynephilic feminine trans individuals were unable to have sex with cisgender women. ...
Feminine trans individuals (i.e., individuals who were assigned male at birth but who have a feminine gender presentation and identity) are present in many cultures. In some cultures, these individuals identify as (trans) women. Many of these individuals undergo medical treatments to feminize their bodies (e.g., breast augmentation), but most do not undergo vaginoplasties and therefore have penises. In many non-Western cultures, feminine trans individuals identify as a non-binary gender (i.e., neither man, nor woman). Many of these individuals do not surgically augment their bodies. Across cultures, some men express sexual interest in feminine trans individuals. Are manifestations of sexual interest in feminine trans individuals consistent across Western and non-Western cultural settings? Our review suggests that, across cultures, most of these men are also sexually attracted to cisgender individuals. Many are sexually attracted to cisgender women or to cisgender members of both sexes. A small subset is sexually attracted to cisgender men. Men who are sexually interested in feminine trans individuals commonly report being primarily insertive during anal sex. Additionally, they tend to report that their sexual interest in these individuals is motivated by attraction to femininity or to the combination female- and male-typical characteristics.
... Money (1991) described a woman who reported sexual attraction to amputees, pretending, and the desire for limb amputation, suggesting an ETII presentation of apotemnophilia. In a study attempting to examine autogynephilia in natal females, 93% of 29 women appeared to report autogynephilia (Moser, 2009). Lawrence (2010b), however, raised serious criticisms about its methodology and interpretation, especially the fact that many items measured not autogynephilia but instead sexual arousal from the anticipation of a romantic evening or sexual encounter. ...
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Sexual orientation is conventionally understood as relative attraction to men versus women. It has recently been argued that male sexual orientation in particular can be extended to include other dimensions of sexual attraction besides gender. One such dimension is sexual maturity, or relative attraction to children versus adults. A less familiar dimension is location, or relative attraction to other individuals versus sexual arousal by the fantasy of being one of those individuals. Erotic target identity inversions (ETIIs) refer to some men’s sexual arousal by the fantasy of being the same kinds of individuals to whom they are sexually attracted. Thus, ETIIs reflect the movement from external attraction to internal attraction on the dimension of location. ETIIs can motivate men to change their appearance and behavior to become more like the individuals to whom they are sexually attracted. ETIIs also provide a compelling theoretical explanation for otherwise puzzling phenomena, such as cross-dressing among heterosexual men, desire for limb amputation, and the furry phenomenon. Despite its scientific and clinical value, the concept of ETIIs has been underappreciated and understudied. This chapter reviews the ETIIs that have been previously identified in the literature, addresses important issues related to ETIIs, discusses the causes and development of ETIIs, and proposes future directions for research.KeywordsErotic target identity inversionAutogynephiliaApotemnophiliaAutopedophiliaParaphiliaSexual orientation
... This tendency is found in transsexuals from male to female (MTF) heterosexuals and it is related to sexual orientation, as it is not present in transsexuals MTF homosexuals. Autogynephilia is associated with gender dysphoria, which can appear concomitantly or after the first [40]. ...
Gender and identity issues permeate society as a whole. Therefore, the matters involving transgender individuals should be analised in order to understand the difficulties experienced by this population and the social practices implemented. In this sense, the objective of this study was to investigate the strategic themes and their evolution in relation to the theme. For this, a bibliometric performance and network analysis (BPNA) was carried out with the existing data in the Web of Science database between 1954 and march 2021. Twenty-three thousand and four hundred and seventy-one (23,471) articles were identified, which were included in the SciMAT software to perform a bibliometric analysis, resulting in the graph of the thematic evolution structure and the strategic diagram, in which 8 motor themes and a cross-cutting theme of great magnitude are highlighted, which are discussed in depth. The results show the relation between the transgender theme and gender, identity, sexual orientation, hormone therapy and gender-affirming surgery. It is concluded that, despite the large number of associated researches, some areas of study are still incipient, such as the inclusion of transgender people in the formal labor market and in the prison context, thus opening field for further studies.
... In other words, one's (gendered) body is an essential aspect of the erotic content of any physical or romantic relationship. Other evidence further challenges Blanchard's theory; in a small sample of professional cis women, Moser (2009) found that 93% of respondents to an Autogynephilia Scale for Women experienced erotic arousal that would classify them as autogynephilic per Blanchard's standards. ...
A specialist book for mental health professionals, sex therapists and educators to develop and improve their clinical work with trans clients with regards to their sexual relationships and sexuality. It provides an interdisciplinary exploration of the subject, and relates to both clinical practice and theory. Topics explored include the shifting of sexual orientation during or following gender transition; gender dysphoria and co-occurring autism spectrum disorder; negotiating issues of sexuality with partners during transition; eating disorders; and an exploration of the intersection of trans identities and disability. It uniquely touches on perspectives from the field of sex therapy, featuring chapter authors from disciplines including social work, marriage and family counseling, early childhood education, sex therapy, sex education, psychology, and women's studies.
... Otros autores han argumentado que la autoginefilia no es exclusiva a los THM (Moser, 2009), que la evidencia empírica no es lo suficientemente convincente como para aceptar la teoría de Blanchard (Moser, 2010), que la autoginefilia está correlacionada con la transexualidad HM pero no es una causa directa de la misma (Serano, 2010) o que el lenguaje utilizado por Blanchard y sus sucesores es innecesariamente equívoco y estigmatizante para las mujeres transexuales (ibíd.). 16 Aun así, como sostiene Moser (2010), "nadie disputa que la autoginefilia existe o que puede explicar la motivación de algunos THM; muchos THM admiten fácilmente que este constructo describe sus intereses sexuales y su motivación" (p. ...
El objetivo de este trabajo consiste en examinar el desarrollo de la ciencia en torno a la disforia de género (DG) a través del marco analítico de la filosofía de la ciencia. En concreto, mi intención es estudiar qué factores han contribuido a la politización progresiva de la ciencia producida en este ámbito. Para ello utilizaré el modelo propuesto por la filósofa estadounidense Heather Douglas, para quien los valores no epistémicos sólo deben desempeñar un rol indirecto en los procesos de inferencia científica. Hablamos de ciencia politizada cuando dichos valores juegan un papel directo en el funcionamiento interno de la ciencia, siendo los únicos determinantes de la aceptación o el rechazo de hipótesis. Aplicando este modelo al caso específico de la tipología de la transexualidad de Blanchard, la disforia de género de inicio rápido (ROGD) y el tratamiento de niños y adolescentes con DG, trataré de demostrar que la ciencia en torno a la DG está politizada, de modo que son los valores no epistémicos de los profesionales e investigadores los que determinan qué ideas y procedimientos terapéuticos resultan aceptables. Todo ello tiene implicaciones para la disciplina en su conjunto y plantea importantes desafíos de cara al futuro.
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The DSM-IV-TR (2000) sets its own standards for inclusion of diagnoses and for changes in its text. The Paraphilia section is analyzed from the perspective of how well the DSM meets those standards. The concept of Paraphilias as psychopathology was analyzed and assessed critically to determine if it meets the definition of a mental disorder presented in the DSM; it does not. The Paraphilia diagnostic category was critiqued for logic, consistency, clarity, and whether it constitutes a distinct mental disorder. The DSM presents “facts” to substantiate various points made in the text. The veracity of these “facts” was scrutinized. Little evidence was found in their support. Problems with the tradition of equating particular sexual interests with psychopathology were highlighted. It was concluded that the Paraphilia section is so severely flawed that its removal from the DSM is advocated.
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The term autogynephilia denotes a male's paraphilic tendency to be sexually aroused by the thought or image of himself as a woman. This term subsumes transvestism as well as erotic ideas or situations in which women's garments per se play a small role or none at all. This review article presents clinical examples of the lesser known types of autogynephilia (i.e., those in which the element of cross-dressing is secondary or entirely absent), sketches earlier attempts to label and conceptualize these phenomena, summarizes recent quantitative studies exploring the relationships between autogynephilia and other psychosexual variables (e.g., heterosexual attraction), and speculates on the etiology of autogynephilia and its relationship to transsexualism. It is concluded that the concept of autogynephilia is needed to fill a gap in our current battery of concepts and categories for thinking about gender identity disorders.
Adult male gender patients present with such diverse signs and symptoms that one cannot assume that they are all suffering from the same disorder or that they will all respond optimally to the same method of clinical management. Therefore, whether the ultimate goal is to investigate the causes of gender disorders or to establish the optimal treatment strategies for different types of patients, the researcher must first partition his or her sample of gender-disturbed males into a manageable number of descriptively homogeneous groups. Several authors have advanced typological schemes for doing this (e.g., Benjamin, 1966, 1967; Bentler, 1976; Buhrich & McConaghy, 1978, 1979; Meyer, 1974; Person & Ovesey, 1974a, 1974b; Stoller, 1971), and a taxonomy that is bound to be influential may be found in the DSM-III (American Psychiatric Association, 1980). These typologies are grossly similar (probably because there is widespread agreement on the descriptive dimensions of greatest importance), although authors differ somewhat in the labels they attach to the various discriminable syndromes and even more in their etiological hypotheses for the different types. (See Table 1, Chapter 1 and related discussion for a comparison of representative typologies.)
Autogynephilia is defined as a male's propensity to be sexually aroused by the thought or image of himself as female. Autogynephilia explains the desire for sex reassignment of some male-to-female (MTF) transsexuals. It can be conceptualized as both a paraphilia and a sexual orientation. The concept of autogynephilia provides an alternative to the traditional model of transsexualism that emphasizes gender identity. Autogynephilia helps explain mid-life MTF gender transition, progression from transvestism to transsexualism, the prevalence of other paraphilias among MTF transsexuals, and late development of sexual interest in male partners. Hormone therapy and sex reassignment surgery can be effective treatments in autogynephilic transsexualism. The concept of autogynephilia can help clinicians better understand MTF transsexual clients who recognize a strong sexual component to their gender dysphoria.