May 5, 2013

Ray Blanchard lied when including autoandrophilia in the DSM-5 proposal

Cracks appear in Blanchard's facade. 
It turns out it was Ray Blanchard who suggested that "autoandrophilia" should be included in the new edition of the American psychiatric manual, labeling a large number of transsexual men as mentally ill in the process. He now admits that he did so in order to avoid being attacked by feminists. He does not really believe in their existence. 

As some of my readers will remember, the  new proposed version of the DSM-5 include a category called "autoandrophilia" refering to  female bodied persons experiencing sexual arousal when imagining themselves as male.

It now appears it was Dr. Blanchard, the chair of the paraphilia sub-workgroup,  who proposed the inclusion. But he does not believe in it.

Let me quote a recent  interview with Blanchard:

"[Motherboard:] Do you think autoandrophelia, where a woman is aroused by the thought of herself as a man, is a real paraphelia [sic]?

[Blanchard:] No, I proposed it simply in order not to be accused of sexism, because there are all these women who want to say, 'women can rape too, women can be pedophiles too, women can be exhibitionists too.' It’s a perverse expression of feminism, and so, I thought, let me jump the gun on this. I don’t think the phenomenon even exists."



Blanchard  is lying to the public in order to avoid criticism

Let me make this absolutely clear for you:

Blanchard is including a psychiatric diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders that he believes is false, in order not to be called out as a sexist! And the American Psychiatric Association (APA) accepts this charade.

Are these people for real?

This is not only scientific fraud. The APA is actually willing to stigmatize a whole group of people so that Ray Blanchard will not be bothered by an open, democratic, debate about the role of psychiatry in society.

And here is the clincher: Female to male crossdreamers do undeniably exist

What truly shocks me is the fact that he is not recognizing the existence of female to male crossdreamers (female bodied persons who get aroused by the idea of imagening themselves as the other sex).

The reason he does not do so is clear to me. In his sexist universe only  male sexuality can generate "paraphilias". Women are apparently not wired for what he considers "erotic target location errors".

Because of this their existence threatens the whole model. The autogynephilia theory requires the male to female transsexual women to be driven by a unique male sexuality, characterized by a need to conquer and possess women.

According to this world view female bodied individuals must be driven by a female sexuality, which is understood to be the exact opposite. The existence of women who would like their feminine boyfriends to bend over and take it from behind is therefore an impossibility.

But yet: There they are, proving once and for all that Blanchard's dogmatic binary is nothing but a mirage created by his own prejudices.

The FTM crossdreamer/girlfag community is probably as big as the MTF

I have documented their existence in a large number of blog posts, and the wide dissemination of yaoi and other types of FTM crossdreamer erotica is undeniable.

And if blog posts aren't good enough for the esteemed doctor, peer reviewed papers are available. (See, for instance, Uli Meyer: "Hidden in straight sight: Trans'gressing gender and sexuality via BL")

I suspect his mind is so closed off, that it now actively filters out anything that can threaten his world view. Or maybe none of his colleagues dare to tell him, as it may break his bubble of academic arrogance.

Blanchard continues to believe that homosexuals are abnormal

The interview also makes clear that Blanchard still believe that homosexual sex is abnormal.

Homosexuality was removed from the DSM in 1973.

I think it is time someone removed Blanchard from the DSM as well.

Unless the President of the APA, Dilip V. Jeste,  and the DSM Task Force Chair, David J Kupfer, take action immediately, Doctor Blanchard will do irreparable damage to the standing of both the DSM and the APA.



For new readers who do not know the context:

Let me make one thing perfectly clear: The fact that there are men and women out there who get aroused by the idea of being the other sex, does not mean that "autogynephiliacs" or "autoandrophiliacs" exist.

The two terms, which refer to love of oneself as a woman or man, entails an implicit explanation for this phenomenon that is clearly wrong.  These people are not suffering from a "erotic target location error". Their fantasies are just their psyche's way of expressing an inner sexual identity that is incompatible with their bodies and/or the cultural norms around them.

Here is a short summary of what is at stake:
  1. Blanchard has developed a typology of transgender conditions where all male to female transgender, transsexuals included, are divided into two groups: "Homosexual transsexuals" (i.e. androphilic transwomen) who are understood as gay men and "autogynephiliacs" who are understood as heterosexual men suffering from an erotic target location error.
  2. The theory has not been proved, it cannot be proved, and is dismissed by mosts sexologists and health professionals who know anything about transgender people.
  3. The theory is highly stigmatizing and demeaning and completely disregards the experience of crossdreamers, crossdressers and transsexuals world wide.
  4. It is true that there are men and women who get aroused by the idea of being the other sex. This blog is devoted to them. The fact that transgender and transsexual men and women have a sex drive does not mean that they are perverts, however. How can a transsexual woman fantasize about having sex, if not as a woman?

Click here for more information about crossdreaming and autogynephilia/autoandrophilia.

UPDATE: Autoandrophilia was not included in the DSM-5!






16 comments:

  1. Why does none of this surprise me in the least? I must admit though that I was not aware of girlfags until I read about them here jack. I always was under the impression that these types of women simply did not exist or were exceedingly rare.,..

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  2. @Joanna

    I guess we could argue that Blanchard's reluctance to embrace FTM crossdreamers is that he, like you, had seen no proof of them existing.

    Blanchard is definitely aware of this blog, but I doubt he is a regular reader.

    Still, I have two objections to such a scenario.

    The first is that his supporter and friend J. Michael Bailey have done research on FTM androphilic transmen. Blanchard must have seen this paper.

    Secondly, it is extremely bad science to be so blinded by your own preconceptions that you do not even test the hypothesis that FTM crossdreamers ("autoandrophiliacs") exists. He should at least made some inquiries and discussed his findings.

    Thirdly, Charles Moser has documented autoandrophilia in non-transsexual women. I guess Blanchard, as often is the case, would argue that Moser is misleading his audience, but his evidence is very convincing. If autoandrophilia is present in non-transgender women, he should at least explore the possibility that it is common among androphilic transmen.

    I must admit that I also find it hard to believe that Blanchard, who is supposed to be an expert on transgender conditions, has not heard about Lou Sullivan, the pioneer FTM transactivist. Sullivan admitted freely to what can only be described as crossdreamer fantasies.

    Or to put it another way: If Blanchard has not heard about Sullivan, he hasn't done his home work.

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  3. Jack,

    I think there are many factors involving the secrecy of F2M androphiliacs...

    1. Their behaviour is more acceptable and "normal" - women overall can cross gender boundaries on many levels without being judged different.

    2. I think the "sexual" component of arousal by being the other sex is less powerful for F2M transmen / non-trans girlfags, than males fueled with testosterone.. so maybe there's a chance it's not as powerful to be concidered a sexual perversion in the first place?

    Maybe transmen's experience of crossgender excitement / arousal is for them concidered more normal than for gynephilic transwomen?

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  4. @Sam Z

    I have read a few of the more explicit FTM yaoi comics, and I can assure you, the sexual component is very strong -- comparable to MTF erotica.

    I am starting to suspect that the role of testosterone as sexual fuel is exaggerated. And if it is such a powerful agent as most researchers argue, the female receptive system must be different, i.e. a little testosterone goes a loooooong way.

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  5. "I am starting to suspect that the role of testosterone as sexual fuel is exaggerated. And if it is such a powerful agent as most researchers argue, the female receptive system must be different, i.e. a little testosterone goes a loooooong way".

    But isn't it? Why is it men tend to seem more overly sexual moreso than women?

    It is pretty difficult to measure differences in experience of sexual arousal anyways.

    If what you claim is true, then at least women experience "strong arousal" differently.
    Maybe womens "strong sensuality" might be the equivailent to "strong horniness" in males, if you know what i mean?

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  6. This is really sad, but unfortunately true and has been the case thought science. But honestly, if someone lies about something like this shouldn't there previous work be made a little more suspicious. Science should be trying to prove things regardless of what that person thinks, if they are wrong then there theory is work and they have to have a new one, but in the case of Blanchard and other science that is not always true.

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  7. @Sam Z

    "Why is it men tend to seem more overly sexual moreso than women?"

    I remember my surprise when I as adolescent read the romance magazines of a teenage female relative, and found that they were full of explicit pornography. Or the day I overheard women in their twenties grading the asses of the boys that passed them on the street.

    In our culture men are raised to appear sexually aggressive even when they aren't, and women are trained to hide their aggressive sexuality by luring men into doing what they want.

    Liberated women behave more like men, and liberated men behave more like women -- if they like to.

    @Sean

    There is going to be a lot of debate abut the scientific soundness of the DSM-5 when it arrives on May 18. In fact, it might be that the whole enterprise will collapse this time. Ultimately autogynephilia and autoandrophilia will be removed, but before that happens, there will be a lot of suffering caused by their inclusion.

    By the way: Blanchard uses words like "sissies" and "trannies" about transgender people in this interview. You cannot do that in 2013 without severe consequences.

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  8. About the differences between ftm and mtf crossdreamers, I think its important that we consider that girlfags usually crave for gay guys. yes they do imagine themselves having male body but I didn't know, that guy in my mind was me for several years! I just enjoyed imagining sth that apparently had nothing to do with me! what I figured out in recent years was that I have some kind of maleness in me that plus crossdreaming means sth weird and now I freely imagine myself in my ideal male form doing stuff and having sex but for a mtf crossdreamer, as I have read, imagining yourself as female is the basic part and causes arousal but for me its simply essential,not that it give me arousal. I look boyish, because its my nature not that it turns me on!

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  10. Rayka is a perfect example why i wonder if testosterone functions differently as a sexual stimulant. Sure, both sexes might describe their sexual fantasies as strong, but i really think a womans sensuality mixed with testosterone causes more arousal than F2M estrogen levels, even though same fantasies might be present.
    I bet if pre-op transwomen didnt have that much testosterone to begin with, maybe the whole AG-confusion wouldnt exist? Just my thoughts..

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  11. @Rayka

    "...as I have read, imagining yourself as female is the basic part and causes arousal but for me its simply essential,not that it give me arousal."

    There is a lot of variation here at both sides, I think.

    I have noted that some MTF TG writers focus on the crossdresser part of the crossdreaming, not requiring a physical change.

    For others the main focus is on the body change, while the crossdressing part is irrelevant.

    Others write heartfelt lesiban love stories, where the sexual side is a unimportant part of the narrative.

    For many sexual arousal is just one of many dimensions associated with the identification with the other sex.

    That being said, it is interesting to see that body transformations are less prevalent in FTM crossdreamer yaoi comics than in MTF TG fiction.

    Could it be that female bodied crossdreamers have been raised to focus less on the visual aspect of sex?

    @Sam Z

    There were tests in the early 20th century where doctors tried to "fix" MTF transsexuals by giving them more testosterone. That did not work. I have seen no studies that confirm different testosterone levels among MTF or FTM transgender people.

    It could be that relative testosterone levels could explain the intensity of crossdreamer feelings, but I have not seen that documented either.

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  12. I don't think its the case for ftm CDs, we surely focus on visual aspect of sex and the fantasies actually are super-erotic! guess I'm as horny as any guy, probably more, so it's not the testosterone (though I have some hormonal issues). there must be some reason that cross-dressing and body transform is basic and erotic for mtf ones but for many of us its usually just two guys getting at it and feeling sth powerful in gay relationships and getting vaguely sad about it(maybe such fellows haven't discover their male part yet just like me in the past) but yeah, we also imagine ourselves in male body cause arousal is impossible without it. when I see a gay couple,its somehow like I'm looking at myself and what I want, that's why I enjoy gay male stuff, I donnow about other girlfags...

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  13. There are most likely millions of FTM crossdreamers or girlfags like you out there.

    Take a look at the yaoi manga culture, which originally was established in Japan, but which is now found all over the world.

    Yaoi is made by female bodied persons for female bodied persons and is all about gay men falling in love and having sex.

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  14. @Jack

    I would like to see AGP and ADP removed from the DSM, and I think that with more people talking about there experiences that it might be removed some day and considered to be a part of peoples natural gender variance. I don't really know if I would like to see the DSM collapse thought, it has its good parts and its bad parts.
    Also to use those terms to describe just about anyone will get you a backlash because many people do not like those terms.

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  15. @Sean

    I would not like to see a collapse of American psychiatry, either, but I would love to see the people involved in the DSM develop some more humility in the face of the diversity and complexity of sex and gender.

    Allen Frances, the chair of the DSM-IV, has provides some wisdom in his book on the DSM-5 process.

    The book does not mention autogynephilia, but it is clear that he is very frustrated with Blanchard. Blanchard lost his fight for including "hebephilia" in the manual (attraction to people in their early puberty).

    It is clear that Allen and many of the people involved in the DSM-5 grew tired of Blanchard's attempts at labeling all kinds of sexual behavior as "paraphilias".

    I guess the members of the DSM teams realized that many, if not most, men (and women!) might have sexual reactions to images of sexually mature but young teenagers too, which would make them all mentally ill.

    They would not feel the same affinity to crossdressers and crossdreamers, however, which is probably why "autogynephilia" is still in the manual.

    See also Greenberg: The Book of Woe: The DSM and the Unmaking of Psychiatry

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