May 21, 2020

The Autogynephilia Theory Debunked by New German Study

transgender asian woman with asian woman

The autogynephilia theory of Ray Blanchard has been part of the transgender discussion since the late 1980s. It is currently being aused by anti-transgender activists in order to undermine the legitimacy of transgender identities. A new German study proves – again –  that the theory has no foundation in reality.

If autogynephilia theory is a completely new concept for you, you might want to read the following  short summary of what it is all about. If you already know the theory, you can skip the next part.

A very short introduction to Ray Blanchard's theory about the two types of transgender women

Blanchard's two type theory on transgender women and MTF crossdreamers has its root in the late 19th century idea that gay men and lesbian women are "inverts".  According to this way of thinking a gay man has a female sexuality and a lesbian woman has a male sexuality. This is why, the story goes, all gay men are effeminate and all lesbian women are butch.

This isn't true, obviously, but it was a neat and simple to understand model. Transgender women were extremely effeminate gay men and transgender men were extremely masculine lesbian women.

This is the basis of Blanchard's category of "homosexual transsexuals" (HSTS). Trans women who love men are gay men who try to seduce straight men by presenting as women.

The people who came up with this model  faced one serious challenge, though. There were transgender women who loved women.

They attempted to solve this problem by focusing on the crossdressing of these "men". So the "transvestites" where straight men who got turned on by dressing up in female clothing – a  parallel to a fascination for rubber and leather, if you like. They were therefore put in the same category as other sexual perversions ("paraphilias" in the current lingo).

Blanchard still  thinks that both gay and trans people are mentally ill, but trans women who love women (including those he calls "pseudo-bisexual") are doubly so. Unlike the androphilic (man-loving) trans women, they are basically in love with the image of their inner female self, as Blanchard sees it. They are suffering from an "erotic target location error". They are "auto-gyne-philiacs" (broken Greek for "self-woman-love").

This means that Blanchard is expanding  upon the traditional "transvestic fetishism" model: It is not the clothing that is the trigger anymore, but the idea of being or becoming a woman.

As you can see, the model rests on one very important premise: What causes the transgender identities in the two categories (HSTS vs autogynephiles) has to be completely different. These women will have to have nothing in common beyond the desire to live as women.

If there is overlap between the two, the model's explanatory power is lost. The gender identity of man-loving (androphilic) trans women can no longer be reduced to an effect of their sexual orientation. The gender identity of woman-loving (gynephilic) trans cannot be caused by a "erotic target location error". Instead you will have to identify another factor or factors that explain their gender variance.

The German study of "autogynephiliacs" and "HSTS"

The German researchers – Jelena S. Laube, Matthias K Auer, Sarah Biedermann, Johanna Schröder, Timo O. Nieder, Peer Briken, Johannes Fuss and Thomas Hildebrandt – have been taking Blanchard's theory very seriously.

In their paper "Sexual Behavior, Desire, and Psychosexual Experience in Gynephilic and Androphilic Trans Women: A Cross-Sectional Multicenter Study" (Journal of Sexual Medicine) they make use of new data provided by 189 gender dysphoric transgender women recruited at four transgender health care centers in Germany.

May 8, 2020

Some reddit polls indicate that an increasing number of MTF crossdreamers would like to transition



Over at the Crossdreaming subreddit two members have posted some polls that give surprising results. They indicate that  male to female crossdreamers are much more likely to want to live as their target gender than many  previously thought.

By crossdreamers I mean people who dream about being "another" gender.

The methodological foundation for these polls are weak, as the concepts used are not clearly defined and we are not completely sure who the respondents are.

That being said, r/crossdreaming is a subforum that attracts people who are interested in the concept of crossdreaming, and the history of that forum tells me that most of the respondents are most likely people who are experiencing crossdreaming fantasies themselves, including – most likely – erotic ones.

The great majority are also male to female crossdreamers, i.e. they were assigned male at birth.

We should keep in mind that it is possible that those who are most likely to find this forum and its poll interesting are those crossdreamers who struggle with their gender identity. We do not know this for sure, but this may represent a selection bias.

In any case: The data tells us something interesting about this specific part of the transgender community.

So, what do the polls tell us?

May 2, 2020

This is why true diversity, and the acceptance of queer and transgender people, is the best way of addressing human suffering


The quest for finding safety in normalcy is a hopeless one. It is better to embrace the diversity of humanity, and let people be who they were meant to be. This also applies to queer and transgender people.


Korviday's brilliant queer analysis of Shrek


Why is it that so many people fear transgender and queer people, or any people that do not follow the norms, for that matter? Why do they want everyone to be like themselves... No, strike that. They do not want them to be like themselves, given that they are all imperfect beings... No, they want them to be like the idealized versions of themselves. The perfect man. The perfect woman. Why is that?

In the  video embedded below korivday uses the two first Shrek movies to discuss what causes this pressure towards “normalcy”.

It is not that these movies present Shrek as queer. They don’t. But they do give us a very good idea about what it means to be an outsider who does not fit the norm.

Korivday is using the interaction between Shrek and the powers that be (Lord Farquaad and the Fairy Godmother) to describe the way society forces queer people back into the closet.

It is a brilliant analysis, and I recommend that you watch it!

April 24, 2020

Transgender and Non-binary News on Flipboard


Here are four new Flipboard magazines on transgender, nonbinary and queer issues.

I have, over the years, become an active transgender and non-binary news curator. I am doing a lot of research when I write my blog posts and take part in online debates, so I might as well share what I find with likeminded individuals.

So you can find me on twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and tumblr.

Right now I am experimenting with a service called Flipboard. Flipboard is an app for smartphones and PCs that gathers news that might be of interest to you and presents it all in an online magazine format. I use it a lot, not only for transgender news surveillance.

Users can create their own magazines on Flipboard, where they share content they find interesting. Others can then subscribe to these channels, visit them and get news from those magazines in their main feed. Shared items may also pop up in search results.

I have made four Flipboard magazines that may be of interest to some of you. You do not need to register as a user to read the magazines in a browser.

If anyone is interested in becoming co-curator for any of these magazines, let me know. 

April 5, 2020

Julia Serano gives us the perfect antidote to transphobic pseudoscience



The trans activist and philosopher Julia Serano has written an excellent overview of the autogynephilia theory of Ray Blanchard, its history, its scientific flaws and its roots in traditionalist prejudices.

Crossdreaming is common


I joined the autogynephilia debate some 10 years ago, and have been trying to reduce the damages the theory has caused among gender variant people ever since.

I would say that one of the most important insights that have been brought up since then, is the insight that erotic crossdreaming or cross-gender fantasies are found among all kinds of people and not only among male to female "crossdressers" and gynephilic ("woman-loving")  and bisexual transgender women.

You find cross-gender fantasies among cis people. You find crossdreaming among trans women who love men. You find it among many of those assigned female at birth. This alone falsifies the theory, which requires that only "straight men" (i.e. lesbian and bisexual trans women) have such fantasies.


April 3, 2020

How to solve the transgender problem in sports

How to ensure fairness in basketball

I have been thinking about fairness in sports a lot. That is the kind of person I am.

The average height of men in the US is 175 centimeters. In basketball it would be only fair to ban those over 175 centimeters, as extra tall men have an unjust advantage compared to the others.

However, since the men that are 175 centimeters have a natural advantage over those that are 170 centimeters tall, we need to ban everyone between 170 to 175 cm as well. But this will leave the ones that are 170 cm heigh having an unfair advantage over those that are 160 cm, and so on and so forth, which leads me to conclude that the best  kind of basketball is the one where every participant is exactly one meter tall.

At this point we will also ban everyone who is below one meter, because you have to draw the line somewhere, right?

In Norway the average height of men is close to 180 cm. The average Sri Lankian man is 165 cm. The one meter rule will make sure that all international basketball games are fair. Err on the side of caution, I say.

(I am sure my American friends will find the use of the metric system here a little bit bewildering. Remember, though, that 1 meter is 3.28084 feet. I think we all can agree that it easier to remember 1 meter than 3.28084 feet.)

Discuss crossdreamer and transgender issues!