Addressing the question of “autogynephilia”

At our presentation at AAMFT 2011, one audience member approached me to ask about my opinion of the “autogynephelia” diagnosis.  I told her that I was skeptical, based on my reading thus far, and that I felt uncomfortable about the possibility that it was an attempt to provide an explanation for feelings that do not fit the heterosexual, cisgender male model in a way that doesn’t challenge either their sexual orientation or gender identity – essentially, a way to explain feelings of gender variance to straight men that would avoid threatening their masculinity.

Today I ran across Julia Serano‘s discussion of her research into this controversial diagnosis, and her article, “The Case Against Autogynephilia” (abstract available here).  She challenges the lack of evidence supporting such a diagnosis, and asserts that “the taxonomy and terminology associated with this theory are both misleading and unnecessarily stigmatizing.”   This seemed like a valuable resource to pass along since the topic came up after our talk.  Her whole page about psychology and transgender issues is worth spending time on!

2 thoughts on “Addressing the question of “autogynephilia””

  1. Jack Molay says:

    You might be interested to know that there is a whole online community for people who experience “cross gender arousal” (“crossdreamers”), but who do not accept Blanchard’s stigmatizing explanation for what this is about.

    My own blog has a thorough and critical discussion of the phenomenon and the theory of Blanchard , including a large number of real life stories.

    I have gathered links to crossdreamer blogs and sites over at the Autogynephilia Portal ( ), and some of us have also set up an online discussion forum for both male to female and female to male crossdreamers. At this forum trasgender men and women may talk about their lives and how they handle the taboos of crossdreaming.

  2. I have no objection to the observation that some trans women have been turned on by the thought of themselves as women, but to the theory that this causes gender dysphoria. Why should it not be the other way around?

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