Blanchardianism – A Masterpost

“Autogynephilia”

What is Autogynephilia and Blanchard’s Theory

Some interesting notes before we even dive into Blanchard’s theories: he believed all groups of ‘transsexuals’ should have access to transition as it improved their quality of life.

For reference, autogynephilia is part of a broader ‘transsexual’ typology created by Ray Blanchard in the 80s and 90s. It had two classes: “homosexual transsexuals” [HSTSs] (trans women who were attracted to men) and “autogynephilic transsexuals” (AGPTs) (trans women who were attracted to women). The idea was that these ‘autogynephilic transsexuals’ wanted to become women because of their ‘sexual desires’: arousal at the thought of oneself as a woman. According to Blanchard and co., HSTSs were feminine during childhood, realize they are trans at a young age, are exclusively attracted to men, while AGPTs were androgyny or masculine during childhood, are “later” transitioners and are attracted to women. Asexual trans women are considered ‘analloerotic’ and were classified as autogynephilic with the hypothesis that the autogynephilic urges are so strong as to overcome any sense of sexuality;

Analloerotic gender dysphorics represent those cases
in which the autogynephilic disorder nullifies or overshadows
any erotic attraction to women; those cases,
in Hirschfeld’s metaphor, in which “the woman within”
completely supplants her fleshly rivals. Some analloerotics
are most aroused by tangible symbols of their
femininity, for example, changing into women’s attire
or putting on make-up. Others are most aroused by
transsexual ideas, such as the thought of having women’s
breasts or a vagina. The feature common to all
members of this group is their erotic self-sufficiency

Bisexual trans women are deemed ‘psuedo-bisexual’ because their sexual attraction to men is not like that of gay men. Their sexual attraction to men is supposedly limited to the motivation to be affirmed as a woman and “feel like a woman” by being penetrated;

Bisexual gender dysphorics represent those cases
in which the autogynephilic disorder gives rise to some
secondary erotic interest in men that coexists with the
individual’s basic attraction to women. Autogynephilia,
as indicated above, may find expression in the
fantasy of having intercourse, as a woman, with a man.
· In bisexual gender dysphoria these fantasies are especially
strong; they are therefore more likely to be
actualized-or rather, approximated-with anal or oral
intercourse substituting for vaginal-particularly with
the bisexual gender dysphoric in partial or complete
cross-dress (Benjamin, 1967; Person and Ovesey, 1974).
The effective erotic stimulus in these interactions,
however, is not the male physique of the partner, as
it is in true homosexual attraction, but rather the
thought of being a woman, which is symbolized in the
fantasy of being penetrated by a man. For these persons,
the male sexual partner serves the same function
as women’s apparel or make-up, namely, to aid and
intensify the fantasy of being a woman.

Blanchard and co claim have claimed that autogynephilia is a fetish, a paraphilia, and later a sexual orientation over various periods of time. The framing of autogynephilia as a sexual orientation was to reconcile the wish of AGPTs to continue HRT and transition even when testosterone decreases because of HRT with the evidence about increased paraphilias with increased testosterone.

A succinct (yet in-depth) summary of each of his papers and overall paradigm can be found here on Madaline Wyndzen.

Facile Issues With His Theory

His theory fails to explain bisexual, asexual, pansexual or any non-heterosexual trans women, despite non-heterosexual trans people comprising a majority of the trans community. When a lesbian trans woman claims to exist, he states that they must be delusional, lying or denies their claims. His theory also completely ignores the existence of trans men.

Another important note:

Blanchard (1989a) proposed that an equivalent of autogynephilia—first termed
by Dickey and Stephens (1995) as autoandrophilia—does not occur among birthassigned
females. This is because Blanchard believed that a type of transsexualism
analogous to autogynephilic transsexualism does not occur in birth-assigned females

He denies the existence of autoandrophilia, despite proposing it to the DSM.

Definitions: Constantly Shifting, Never Stable

One problem with debating autogynephilia-advocates and Blanchardians is that their definition of autogynephilia constantly shifts as include and exclude specific groups that best fit the theory.
Autogynephilia shifts from meaning its etymology; the love of oneself as a woman, to be characterized and defined by cross-gender fetishism, crossdressing, to only be classified as autogynephilic if one has sufficient scores on Blanchard’s, and only Blanchard’s scales. Other times it’s explicitly defined as exclusive to ‘males’, a priori assuming arbitrary and mutually exclusive distinction between sexualities. Madaline Wyndzen talks about how Bailey uses the term

Debunkings Blanchard’s Claims, Theories and Hypotheses

Prewritten Criticisms, Critiques and Thrashings

Julia Serano has done some fantastic work on critiquing Blanchard’s research. She points out more recent studies contradicting key parts of Blanchard’s theories and exposes the severe methodological flaws in his research, as well as the common ‘correlation = causation’ fallacy all proponents of the theory fall under.

Moser’s critique shows the contradiction between Blanchard’s research and his claims, evidence that autogynephilia is neither a paraphila nor an orientation, provides evidence for autogynephilia in transgender individuals of all sexual orientations, and provides significant evidence to debunk the claim that transgender individuals with autogynephilia have a different motivation for transition and SRS. His research uses much of the data that Blanchard and co. collected themselves to derive
completely different conclusions.

Contrapoint’s video goes over the theory from the perspective of trans individuals in a very in-depth manner.

Madeline Wyndzen has written quite a bit about Blanchard’s theories on her website genderpsychology.com, and has specifically pointed out problems here

This work looks at and critiques the more recent elaboration of Blanchard’s typology in The Man Who Would be Queen: The Science of Gender-Bending and Transsexualism by Michael Bailey. Zinnia Jones has a fantastic post breaking down a specific autogynephilia-advocate (Dreger)’s book; Galileo’s Middle Finger.

When His Own Data Debunks Him

From his 1985 study, he found that bisexual trans women had higher scores for androphilia than gynephilia, casting some doubt on whether his theory about psuedo-bisexual trans women is plausible.

One of Blanchard’s most noted papers is his 1989 paper supposedly “proving” that heterosexual, bisexual and asexual trans women have the same etiology. There’s a fatal error. Asexual trans women had autogynephilia scores that were almost a perfect midpoint between straight trans women and bisexual trans women (1.83 from straight and 1.88 from bisexual), and most importantly, he found that asexual trans women and bisexual trans women had a statistically significant difference in their autogynephilia scores, while asexual and lesbian trans women did not, and bisexual and lesbian trans women did not.

Shoddy Methodology, Lies and More

Blanchard’s 1984 study aimed at proving whether ‘heterosexual’ (lesbian) trans women were lying about a history of gross-gender fetishism has a number of issues. First is the lack of a control sex tape to compare the crossdressing scenes to. It is possible that participants were aroused because of the presence of something erotic, not specifically the crossdressing aspect. There was also no ‘homosexual’ (straight) control group which could show underreporting in that population as well. Furthermore, Blanchard erroneously equates erotic arousal to crossdressing (whether he showed this is dubious) with a history of crossdressing. Lastly, we come to the issues with phallometry; the methodology used to measure arousal.

Moser’s critique (page 9/797) furthers this point, eludicating the fact that Blanchard’s conclusions do not match his results, there are significant missing explanatonary factors that are not tested for, and an extremely small sample size for specific subgroups.

And Wyndzen illustrates a reinterpretation of the data that begets the opposite results

Veale and Wyndzen point out problems with Blanchard’s lack of controls for age;

In addition, many of the questionnaire items that Blanchard uses begin with “Have
you ever…”. Given this format, it is probable that older persons answering the survey
will be more likely to answer “yes”, simply because they have lived longer and are
therefore more likely to have experienced a diversity of feelings, including
autogynephilic feelings. This means their results may not be due to sexual orientation,
but more an experience that TS who do not transition are more likely to experience as
they get older (Wyndzen, 2003). Blanchard does not control for the effects of age in his
studies, this is addressed in this study though.

.

Blanchard’s (1989b) hypothesis is that non-androphilic TSs sexual orientation is
related to having sexual fantasies of being female; he tests this by comparing nonandrophilic
TS to a control group of androphilic TS. However, Wyndzen (2003) points
out that “what this control group fails to distinguish is the role of sexual orientation
separate from gender incongruence, in predicting fantasies about being a woman”
(Wyndzen, 2003). To ensure that BFs do not have such fantasies, this research includes
a control group of BFs. The scales have been modified slightly so that they are
appropriate for both groups to answer.

Furthermore there are a number of various other errors in the paper;

Sampling Errors.
– The number of subjects with clinically diagnosed gender dysphoria is not provided, therefore some, or even all, of them are not relevant subjects for study.
– It is not stated if any of the sample had transitioned, were in the process of transitioning or were considering transitioning.
– Gender dysphoria was self diagnosed by the subjects and transsexuality was determined by a single question, thus not following WPATH or DSM diagnostic guidelines.
– Low or sub-threshold self measured gender dysphoria subjects, and self admitted transvestites were included in the full sample for factor determination (30% of the sample).

Technical Statistical Analyses Errors
– No tests for normality were undertaken, given the high Coefficients of Variation (CV) shown (the highest being 523%) non-normality should have been considered and tested for.
– The core statistical test (Newman-Keuls) has a high ‘false positive’ rate, is not valid for varying sized sample data and not valid for non Gaussian data.
– Sample sizes were averaged using the Harmonic Mean (most commonly used in financial analysis), no results or discussion was provided to justify why this was chosen in preference to other means or the impact on the Newman-Keuls test results or why another and valid test was not used.

Multiplying Hypotheses Errors.
– Several additional hypotheses were introduced
– Two of them showed Circular Categorisation Errors (AGP causes X, X is a factor in causing AGP).

Questionnaire Errors.
– The questionnaires followed the Core Question, Sub Question design. While this is appropriate for detailed analysis, it leads to multiple counting and score inflation when used as a measurement scale. If the Core question is answered with a yes, then at least one other Sub question will automatically be answered with a yes as well.
– No measures of intensity (frequency or recency of fantasies or actions) were used.
– The core question (#12) in the Autogynephilic Interpersonal Fantasy Scale is incorrect, with a score being given for non interpersonal fantasy behaviour, thus the results would be inflated for this test

(Shamelessly stolen from a commenter on Zinnia Jones’ blog)

Moser also points out issues with Blanchard’s research;

Blanchard (1985a) created the Cross-Gender Fetishism Scale as a way of distinguishing autogynephilia, although that term had not been coined yet, from other types of cross-gender interests. A sample item is, “Have you ever felt sexually aroused when putting on women’s underwear, stockings or a nightgown?” (p. 243). All the items in this scale use the term “ever,” emphasizing that even one episode in the distant past factored into the score on this scale. The consistent use of “ever” in these scales is analogous to classifying someone as homosexual on the basis of a few episodes of arousal from same sex contact during a brief period, despite years of satisfying heterosexual experience, interest, and denial of subsequent homosexual experience or interest. Although some MTFs acknowledge ongoing autogynephilic arousal, many others deny this (Lawrence, 2004, 2005). Blanchard (1985b; Blanchard, Clemmensen, & Steiner, 1985) and Lawrence (2004, 2005, 2006) dismiss their denials and insist that they are still autogynephilic

As pointed out by Moser, Blanchard 1985 studies male gender patients, which he laters uses to extrapolate the results to trans women;

Blanchard, Clemmensen, and Steiner (1985) studied “adult male gender patients,” not all of whom were MTFs. They found a correlation between a tendency of the heterosexual sample to describe themselves in terms of moral excellence or admirable personal qualities (as measured by the Social Desirability Scale; Crowne & Marlowe, 1964) and the denial of autogynephilic interests; this correlation was not found in the homosexual sample. The authors argue that those most motivated to create a favorable impression are those most anxious for SRS and that these individuals emulate the presentation of classic (homosexual) transsexuals, who also usually deny a history of autogynephilic interests. Considering that Blanchard’s clinic did not discriminate against autogynephilic MTFs and heterosexual MTFs were an accepted transsexual subtype in the DSM-III (APA, 1980), it is not clear why these individuals would choose to falsify their history. Therefore, the motivation hypothesized by Blanchard, Clemmensen, and Steiner (1985) may not have been present.

And

The study by Blanchard. Clemmensen, and Steiner (1985) has methodological problems. The study did not compare homosexual and heterosexual MTFs, but homosexual MTFs to a mix of heterosexual MTFs and other types of male gender patients with less consistent cross-gender feelings. Only 69% of the heterosexual sample felt like women all the time for at least one year, which was the authors’ definition of a transsexual, versus 96% of the homosexual sample (Blanchard, Clemmensen, & Steiner, 1985). In the discussion, the authors suggested one explanation for their findings was “that heterosexual patients are genuinely more variable in their behavior and in their feelings …” (p. 514). Grouping transsexuals with non-transsexuals seems likely to produce more variability in their behavior and feelings, in comparison to the more homogeneous homosexual MTF group

Wyndzen points out similar errors and a larger methodological error;

To classify participants as ‘heterosexual’ or ‘homosexual’, Blanchard used a scale from +14.13 (completely homosexual) to -31.40 (completely heterosexual). A participant was classified as ‘homosexual’ if their score was greater than 10. That is, only 9% of the possible scores a participant could get made them ‘homosexual’ according to Blanchard. ‘Homosexuals’ may only appear less diverse than ‘heterosexuals’ because they were chosen more selectively. That is, the results say little about transsexuals. Instead these results are likely an artifact of the way Blanchard et al (1995) chose participants and classified their sexual orientations.

All of Madeline Wyndzen’s work here has great methodological critiques and points out numerous scientific errors.

The Impossible Infallibility of Blanchardianism

Possibly the biggest issue with Blanchardianism is its infallibility – the inability to be falsified / proven false. This is a significant indicator of whether the theory is useful, applicable and whether it should be considered as a serious model in the way Blanchard proposes it is. Evidence that would challenge the existence of a two-type taxonomy is best exemplified by the existence of exceptions to the taxonomy; gynephilic, bisexual and asexual (non-”homosexual”/non-exclusively androphilic) trans women that do not report a history of cross-gender arousal and androphilic trans women that do. Blanchard has found that these people do, in fact, exist, but instead of realizing his model is fatally flawed, he decides to deem these trans women liars. If all exceptions to one’s theory are deemed mistaken or liars, there can be no evidence against the theory and it is unfalsifiable.

Recent Research

Exclusivity of AGP in Trans Women, Autogynephilia In Cis Women?

Research indicates that cisgender women can have ‘autogynephilia’.

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.

Note: This research is far from conclusive and has a number of flaws (there’s a Medium article on the topic, as well as Lawrence’s criticism [further see Moser’s defense], and more research on cis women and autogynephilia needs to be done, but it’s just one important indicator of the flaws behind Blanchard’s theory.

Veale’s study uses Blanchard’s original classification and found that a significant number of cis women have significant levels on Blanchard’s test, as Moser points out

It should also be noted that there is another article that has shown autogynephilia in natal women. Veale, Clarke, and Lomax (2008) studied a group of biological females who scored as autogynephilic on their variation of Blanchard’s autogynephilia scales. Lawrence and Bailey (2009) conveniently calculated mean scores for nonhomosexual (autogynephilic) MTFs from Blanchard’s (1989) data; they found the Core Autogynephilia Scale mean was 6.1 (range 0 to 9) and the Autogynephilia Interpersonal Fantasy scale was 2.7 (range 0 to 4); higher scores imply more autogynephilic arousal. On Veale et al.’s versions of these scales, 52% of the biological female subjects scored 6 or higher on the Core Autogynephilia Scale and 3 or higher on the Autogynephilia Interpersonal Fantasy Scale (J.F. Veale, personal communication, July 7, 2009). Lawrence and Bailey concluded that Veale et al.’s transsexual subjects who scored at these levels were autogynephilic. Therefore, they should conclude that Veale et al.’s biological female sample is also autogynephilic. This is another confirmation that autogynephilia is common in natal women

Assuming a normal distribution of AGP scores (for the sake of me not having to read another Blanchard study), 50% of the “nonhomosexual” / “autogynephilic” have scores below that of 6.1 and 2.7 on each scale respetively and 50% have scores above. This is comparable to the 52% of cis women who have scores higher than 6 and 3 on each scale, indicating an approximate equivalence of the prevalence of “autogynephilia” in both trans women and cis women.

Given that there are often very low standards for autogynephilia in trans women, it’s time we apply these to cis women.

A thread from /r/AskWomen seems up to Anne Lawrence’s evidentiary standards;

Is it true that “Women are often erotically aroused by dressing in lingerie and wearing makeup; women are erotically aroused by looking at themselves naked”?

Responses:

>yes for me

>I get aroused when wearing lingerie, but it’s not the act of wearing the lingerie but the knowledge that I’m arousing my partner by wearing it.

Sounds eerily like ContraPoint’s experiences that would easily be classified as autogynephilic by any Blanchardianist standards

>I used to love looking at myself naked as a teenager, I had a wonderful body back then, I would use small mirrors to see various parts more closely, and yes it did turn me on. Sadly I’m not outwardly attractive to most men (I wasn’t at all fat, just my hair and face I suppose, and I could never afford nice clothes) so no one else really got to share it with me.

>Personally, I am aroused by dressing up in revealing clothing, but not by wearing makeup. I am aroused by looking at myself naked, as well. I’m hot, I can’t help it. 😉

Here’s a doctor documenting cis women being attracted to themselves; https://www.maxim.com/women/why-women-get-turned-on-by-themselves-2017-2

https://www.refinery29.com/2017/02/141054/turn-yourself-on-mirror-sex;

If you picture yourself while masturbating, you may be autosexual.

And given that a large number of cis women are determined to be autosexual, it’s reasonable to make the conclusion that masturbation to an image of oneself is somewhat prevalent among cis women. Now, now the Blanchardianist advocate might say, “trans women aren’t attracted to themsselves, they’re attracted to themselveas as women”. The problem here is that trans women don’t originally have the body of the archetypal woman, but rather one that is designated by society to be that of a man. If a trans women were to fantasize about her own body prior to transition, she would not be fantasizing about what she or society views as a woman’s body (there are exceptions). To distinguish between a trans woman’s fantasies and a cis woman’s fantasties based on the fact that trans women’s fantasies are not an “accurate” depiction of material reality ignores the mechanisms by which trans women experience their sexuality and the necessity to change bodies. In effect, this method erases trans women’s “transness”.

Another study shows that ‘highly sexual’ women wear sexy underwear even when they do not want to have sex, and upwards of 75% of women wear lingerie/sexy underwear over their lifetimes and 27.3% of women characterized the activity as ‘very appealing’.

(Thanks Jack Molay for some examples)

Angela Martinez Dy, in Bi, femme and beyond says;

In my earliest sexual fantasies I am naked onstage, dancing for a crowd of ogling, appreciative men. Since my dad was never around, I wanted the attention of men. But men were not the objects of my attention. When I was eight, I saw a comic strip that had a cartoon drawing of a woman on a stage unzipping the back of her gown. I knew it was naughty and I found it inviting. I had a habit of cutting out comics that I liked, so my mom did not find it unusual when I went for the scissors and snipped a square out of the Sunday paper. She did, however, sternly question me when she found the drawing on the counter in the bathroom. I had left it there by accident after bringing it in with me to the shower, where I used the massaging showerhead to give myself my first orgasms.

My first girl crushes trod a blurry line between wanting a woman, and wanting to be her. My favourite film was Dirty Dancing, because it starred not one but two of the first crushes I remember: Patrick Swayze as the strong but sensual dance instructor Johnny, and Cynthia Rhodes as the gorgeous and talented ex-Rockette, Penny, who turned heads and stopped hearts when she entered a room. I both admired and desired her. Since I spoke to no one of my feelings, there was no one who told me that my interest was wrong. My family assumed I watched it over and over because I liked the dancing.

Anecdotally, feminization fantasies have also been reported in cis women. http://juliaserano.blogspot.com/2011/08/whipping-girl-faq-submissive-streak.html

Lesbian women in general report more autosexual behavior

Exclusivity of Cross-Gender Fetishism and “Autogynephilia” Among Differential Groups of Transgender Individuals

One important founding for Blanchard’s theory is that the categories (typologies) are mutually exclusive and that traits are exclusive to each of the types. But, as numerous studies show, there are significant portions of straight trans women (“HSTSs”) that do have a history of cross-gender fetishism and lesbian trans women (“AGPTs”) that do not.

Indeed, Blanchard’s theories require absolute adherence;

All gender dysphoric males who are not sexually orient-
ed toward men are instead sexually oriented toward the thought or image
of themselves as women

From Veale’s Masters thesis we can see that there are significant exceptions. For example, the person with no attraction to females having the highest possible autogynephilia score.

If we look at Table 5 on page 66, we can also note an interesting result; sexual attraction to men was slightly positively correlated with core autogynephilia (but the effect size is very small and did not reject the null), indicating that transsexuals attracted to men can and do experience autogynephilia.

From Table 15 on page 79, we can compare scores for androphilic and gynephilic transsexuals and see how many androphilic transsexuals have significantly high autogynephilia scores.

The mean CAGP score for GTS was 25.52 and for ATS was 16.52, with STDs of 11.34 and 15.91 respectively. This means that 15.9% of ATS lie above 16.52+11.34=27.86. More than 15.9% of androphilic transsexuals have a higher autogynephilia score than the average gynephilic transsexual. This also means that 15.9% (from standard deviation definitions) of GTS lie below 25.52-11.34=14.18. More than 15.9% of gynephilic transsexuals have a lower autogynephilia score than the average androphilic transsexual.

From the discussion section;

However, going against Blanchard’s hypotheses, scales measuring autogynephilia were negatively correlated with asexuality, and not correlated with gynephilia.

She also notes previous relevant literature;

On the other hand, using Docter and Fleming’s (1992) questionnaire, McGrane (2001) found that androphilic and non-androphilic TS did not significantly differ on questionnaire items measuring cross-gender sexual arousal

And self-reported applicability of autogynephilia to ones experiences;

Once again sexual orientation did not appear to have much effect on whether TS
participants identified as autogynephilic. Autogynephilic-identifying TS participants
tended to report greater amounts of androphilia and lower amounts of asexuality than
was expected considering Blanchard’s (1989b) findings. One possible explanation for
this finding is more liberal attitudes towards homosexuality and bisexuality prevailing
in today’s culture.

Table 17 on page 83 shows that significant numbers of androphilic trans women say autogynephilia describes their experiences.

The majority of participants did not think that the theory of autogynephilia applied
to them, although 42.1% believed it did at least “a little bit”. Gynephilic TS were the
the most likely subgroup to report applicability of autogynephilia to own experiences,
although it was reported in participants in all of the sexuality subgroups. This finding
challenges Blanchard’s (1989b) hypothesis that androphilic TS are not autogynephilic.

Veale et. al 2008 found another important result;

The average score of Sexual Attraction to Males was higher for transsexuals classified as autogynephilic than for transsexuals classified as non-autogynephilic, although this difference was not significant, this is at variance with Blanchard’s theory

Autogynephilic transsexuals report more attraction to men, not less.

One problem with Blanchard’s theoriest in regards to sexuality is that \

Asexuality as Autogynephilic

Blanchard claims that asexual trans women are autogynephilic, and do not form a distinct grouping from lesbian trans women;

Analloerotic gender dysphorics represent those cases
in which the autogynephilic disorder nullifies or overshadows
any erotic attraction to women; those cases,
in Hirschfeld’s metaphor, in which “the woman within”
completely supplants her fleshly rivals. Some analloerotics
are most aroused by tangible symbols of their
femininity, for example, changing into women’s attire
or putting on make-up. Others are most aroused by
transsexual ideas, such as the thought of having women’s
breasts or a vagina. The feature common to all
members of this group is their erotic self-sufficiency

From Veale’s Master Thesis, when she performed Kruskal-Wallis tests and used age as a covariate, she did not find differences in asexuality between autogynephilic and non-autogynephilic transsexuals;

However, when age was included in the calculation as a covariate, significant differences were not found for number of biological children, asexuality, Attraction to Male Physique, and emotional jealousy; and significant differences were found for Attraction to Feminine Males.

Table 15 on page 79 finds a lower Core Autogynephilia and Autogynephilic Interpersonal score for asexual transsexuals than androphilic transsexuals

Her 2008 study found more relevant results;

Finally, among the transsexuals classified as autogynephilic, none scored low scores (from 0 to 2 on a scale of 0 to 4) on both the Sexual Attraction to Males and Females scales that would be expected if they were asexual–one of the sexuality subgroups of Blanchard’s autogynephilic transsexuals

.

However, those transsexuals classified as autogynephilic scored higher on average on Sexual Attraction to Males than those classified as non-autogynephilic, and no transsexuals classified as autogynephilic reported asexuality–in contrast to Blanchard’s theory.

Traits That Differentiate

One of Blanchard’s most oft-repeated and used findings is that there are significant differences between the supposed subgroups of trans women. Among this list is masochism (Lawrence, Blanchard, Lawrence, Bailey), recalled feminine gender identity, age of presentation (discovering gender identity) (Blanchard. The problem is that most, do not replicate.

For masochism (from Veale’s Masters Thesis);

For Masochism, post hoc Bonferroni tests showed that, with alpha at .01, means for TS subgroups formed homogenous subsets, and means for BF formed their own subsets with significantly higher means

Recalled feminine gender identity was not significantly related with autogynephilia;

Veale 2008;

Table 2 on page 13 shows nearly identical values for recalled feminine gender identity for AGPTs and non-AGPTs

Recalled Feminine Gender Identity was not related to Autogynephilia variables for transsexual or biological female participants.

(See values in table 3)

Masters;

From Table 5 on page 66, r=-0.6 for relationship between core autogynephilia and recalled gender identity

Using Recalled Gender Identity and Preference for Younger Partners as the dependent variables, post hoc Bonferroni tests showed that, with alpha at .01, means for TS subgroups formed homogenous subsets, and means for BF formed their own subsets with significantly lower means on both of the variables

Psuedo-Bisexuality

As we explored above, Blanchard thought that bisexual trans women were not ‘truly bisexual’, and instead formed a ‘psuedo-bisexual’ sexuality where attraction to men was to affirm their gender as woman; bisexual trans women have sex with men not because they are attracted to men, but because it’s a fetish, it makes them feel like women. His supporting evidence and hypotheses involve the relationship between autogynephilic interpersonal fantasy (a scale he developed) and the lack of attraction to the male physique among bisexual trans women.

From Veale 2008

Finally, in testing Blanchard’s hypothesis that bisexual autogynephilic transsexuals are not attracted to the male physique, we found among transsexual participants classified as autogynephilic in the cluster analysis described above, Attraction to Male Physique correlated significantly positively with Sexual Attraction to Males (ρ = .65, p < .01), and this correlation was comparable to non-autogynephilic transsexuals (ρ = .65) and biological females (ρ = .64).

From the Masters Thesis;

Table 15 on page 79 shows that androphilic, gynephilic and bisexual trans women do not have that different autogynephilic interpersonal scores. Furthermore, if higher autogynephilic interpersonal scores are evidence of psuedo-bisexuality, then cis bisexual women are also psuedo-bisexuals (and given that Blanchard’s inheritors assert that bisexual men are also psuedo-bisexuals, it veers awfully close to the claim that bisexual people do not exist or a self-destruction conclusion that manifestation of bisexuality does not differ significantly by gender identity)

Using Autogynephilic Interpersonal Fantasy, a post hoc Bonferroni test showed that the adjusted mean for asexual participants formed its own subset; the adjusted means for androphilic and gynephilic participants formed a homogenous subset with higher means; and the adjusted means for androphilic and bisexual participants formed a third homogenous subset with a higher mean. The adjusted mean for asexual participants was significantly lower than the adjusted means for the other three sexual orientation subgroups. The adjusted mean for gynephilic participants was significantly lower than the adjusted mean for bisexual participants.

Furthermore, she found that attraction to the male physique was significantly correlated with bisexuality among trans women (Table 5 on Page 66). Table 15 on page 79 indicates that the attraction to male physique among trans women is significantly higher than that of asexual and gynephilic trans women, and is closest to that of androphilic trans women.

Autogynephilia As A Significant Predictor / The Most Significant Predictor

For Blanchard’s theory of autogynephilia to be coherent and useful, it must also be a significant predictor of important variables.

Veale’s Masters Thesis used factor analysis to find which variables recorded had the most significant explanation for questionaire variance and found the following results;

The first factor was labelled Nonconforming Arousability. The term arousability is used because the variables in this factor relate to amount of sexual arousal to a large variety of stimuli. Nonconforming is used because the variables are in areas that do not conform to social norms for persons identifying as female to show sexual arousal to. Nonconforming Arousability explained 22.36% of the questionnaire variance.

The second factor was labelled Conforming Sexuality because it loaded on variables that are in areas that conform to social norms for females to show sexual arousal to. This factor also included Recalled Gender Identity, loading towards the more conforming, feminine way. Conforming Sexuality accounted for 13.56% of the questionnaire variance.

The third factor was labelled Autogynephilia because it loaded towards TS participants, and included variables that measured autogynephilia, that were relevant to
autogynephilia, or had not been previously compared with autogynephilia but have likely relevance. Autogynephilia accounted for 11.88% of the questionnaire variance.

The final factor was labelled Age because it included variables relevant to age. Age accounted for 8.64% of the questionnaire variance

Madeline Wyndzen points out several studies that fail to find significant predictive power for sexuality;

Even if it were consistent with historical scientific standards to consider many of these studies as evidence for Blanchard’s model, it should also be noted that many studies have attempted but failed to use sexuality as predictive of differences among transsexuals. These null-results are published because something else in the study was more predictive. Fruend et al. (1991) noted that among several factors only gender dysphoria was predictive of 3 different classes of gender identity disorder in male-bodied persons attracted to women. A scale of androphilia did not differentiate the groups.. Using an exploratory factor analysis in his dissertation Smith (1997) found a stable feminine gender identity was predictive of psychological adjustment for originally male-bodied transsexuals attracted to women. A sexual arousal factor, including items about autogynephilia, failed to be as useful. Johnson and Hunt (1990) found that androphilia was not linked to any MMPI measures of psychological disturbance.

Sexuality-Based Typology of Transsexuality

She has more works, like her 2014 study debunking the typology model of the sexuality of trans women

Autogynephilia and Gender Dysphoria

There are significant issues with the theory that autogynephilia causes gender dysphoria, especially given the lofty claims about universal presence in non-”homosexual” trans women. First is that Blanchard nor his successors have shown that the relationship is autogynephilia -> gender dysphoria instead of the plausible gender dysphoria manifesting as autogynephilia. It’s also possible that there is a third causal factor that causes both gender dysphoria and what is considered autogynephilia.

Indeed as proposed by Serano;

In fact, in the original papers in which Blanchard first developed and tested his theory of autogynephilia (Blanchard, 1989a, 1989b, 1991, 1992), there is no exploration or even discussion of the possibility that cross-gender arousal may be an effect of gender dysphoria (rather than its cause) or that both traits might simply correlate in nonandrophilic MtF individuals for some other reason.

And Wyndzen;

Blanchard believes that some male-bodied persons have sexual fantasies about being a woman and these fantasies cause gender dysphoria. Here too, there are many other possible causal relationships. For example, maybe some male-bodied people cope with gender dysphoria by having sexual fantasies about being a women? Another possibility is that there is some third factor causing the difference between the groups of transsexuals. In the next section I note why age is a particularly likely third factor. Though there are some ways to experimentally tease apart the causal relationships (e.g. priming studies), there still is no evidence for Blanchard’s predicted causal relationship.

And Moser indicates methodological and explanatonary problems with the hypothesis;

If autogynephilia were a paraphilia, we would expect that MTFs would want estrogens to feminize themselves, but decline anti-androgens or report that they disliked the effect. This is contrary to the observation that MTFs request and like the effects of anti-androgens. Lawrence (2004) attempts to explain this paradox by hypothesizing that the anti-androgens may treat “ego-dystonic paraphilic arousal” (p. 78), but this entity is not commonly seen in individuals diagnosed with other paraphilias. The consensus opinion is, “many individuals with these [paraphilic] disorders assert that the behavior causes them no distress” (APA, 2000, p. 567), “These individuals are rarely self-referred” (p. 566) for treatment, and the paraphilias “are rarely diagnosed in general clinical facilities” (p. 568). This suggests that egodystonic paraphilic arousal is not a common problem motivating individuals with traditional paraphilias to seek professional help (whether psychotherapy or anti-androgens). In my clinical experience, there are individuals with autogynephilia (e.g., transvestites) who request estrogens for feminization, but decline anti-androgens.

And so on

Differences Between Trans Women Of Different Sexualities

Her doctoral thesis goes into even more detail and more thoroughly debunks Blanchard’s typology.

Straight up in the abstract:

Contrary to Blanchard’s
theory, there were no differences in biological and psychosocial factors between birthassigned
male participants of different sexual orientations.

She reviews the research biological and psychosocial on gender identity and comes to the conclusion:

Overall, these findings give little support to Blanchard’s theory’s hypothesis that biological and psychosocial factors causing a gender-variant identity are different in birth-assigned males with different sexual orientations. Research that has tested this has shown mixed findings, with greater evidence that these factors are the same. Research presented in this thesis will test this among a large number of factors. Specific aims and hypotheses of this research are outlined in the next chapter.

Her research provides some evidence for biological and psychosocial impacts on adult gender variance, but finds that this cannot explain all adult gender variance

Only a small proportion of the variance of the dependent variable, adult gender variance, was predicted in the study. The SEMs estimated that 7-9% of the variance was accounted for from the biological and psychosocial factors excluding the systemising quotient. This estimate increased to 20-23% of the variance when the systemising quotient was included as a predictor.

Some interesting (and important) results:

Emotional abuse was the only significant abuse predictor of adult gender-variance in the regression models

Accounting for social desirability did not significantly change the results

Blanchard’s theory predicts that there would be improvement in model fit if biological and psychosocial variables’ prediction of adult gender-variance in this study were allowed to vary between androphilic and non-androphilic birth-assigned males. However, when these restrictions were relaxed, no significant improvement in model fit was observed

Results of the two other taxometric procedures, MAMBAC and MAXCOV, showed greater support for a dimensional latent structure. Although these results require replication with a more representative sample, they show little support for a taxonomy, which contradicts previous theory that has suggested MF transsexuals’ sexuality is typological.

Reframing Autogynephilia

Talia Bettcher’s research is controversial, but has an interesting take on eroticism and sexuality that might be relevant, and Julia Serano’s reframing of autogynephilia is a fascinating reversal of the theory.

This Youtube video gets into the philosophy of sex with the claim;

“Every fetish or sexual obsession is really an imagined erotic solution to a real world anxiety.”

When viewing autogynephilia from this schema, it becomes less of something problematic, but rather a result of gender identity and/or gender dysphoria/incongruence

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