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Encyclopedia > Transwomen

Transwomen or trans women are transsexual or transgendered people who were assigned male sex at birth (or, in some cases of intersexuality, later) and feel that this is not an accurate or complete description of themselves. They therefore identify as female or strive to fit a female gender role.

Transwomen can come from the whole of the male-to-female side of the transgender spectrum, from male-to-female transsexual persons to those cross-dressers, transvestites and drag queens who consider themselves transgendered.

Most transwomen who consider their change of gender role and their physical treatments to be completed prefer to be called simply women. Some consider transwoman, male-to-female transsexual, and transgendered person to be terms that should only used for persons who are transitioning.

Sexual orientation

Research on the sexual orientation of transwomen is sparse. Many studies of this issue may suffer from reporting bias, since many transsexuals feel they must give the "correct" answers to such questions in order to increase the chances of obtaining hormones. Patrick Califia, author of Sex Changes and Public Sex, has indicated that this group has a clear awareness of what answers to give to survey questions in order to be considered eligible for hormone replacement therapy and/or sex reassignment surgery:

"None of the gender scientists seem to realize that they, themselves, are responsible for creating a situation where transsexual people must describe a fixed set of symptoms and recite a history that has been edited in clearly prescribed ways in order to get a doctor's approval for what should be their inalienable right".

Therefore, there is a considerable difference between what most of the few scientific papers dealing with the subject claim and what most support groups, help lines etc. report. Both however report that the number of transwomen who consider themselves lesbians or bisexual or asexual is higher than it is in the general female population (at least in studies done from the 1980s on). Most sources from within the transgender community report that the number of lesbian transwomen roughly equals that of transwomen who prefer male partners, and many also consider themselves bisexual or asexual. Scientific papers on the other hand usually report a higher number of heterosexual identified transwomen.

A few transsexual activists claim the orientation of transsexual women corresponds to that of the cisgendered female population; however, these claims so far have not been substantiated and appear to be politically motivated rather than based on facts.

See also

  • List of transgender-related topics

External links

  • The Sexuality of Transwomen (http://anniesrichards.tripod.com/sexuality.htm)
  • Sexuality in Transsexual and Transgender Individuals (http://www.geocities.com/harperjeantobin/thesis/index.html)

  Results from FactBites:
Reference.com/Encyclopedia/Autogynephilia (661 words)
The model is an attempt to explain transwomen (male-to-female transsexual and transgender persons) who are not exclusively attracted to males, including lesbian (or "gynephilic"), bisexual and asexual transwomen.
The model claims that transwomen (called "gender dysphoric males" by Blanchard) who are not sexually oriented toward men are instead sexually oriented toward the thought or image of themselves as women.
According to Alice Dreger, one of Bailey's supporters, two of the four transwomen who accused Bailey of misusing their stories were not mentioned anywhere in the book, and Bailey's critics' publication of obscenely titled photographs of his minor children constituted an unconscionable harassment campaign.
Autogynephilia: A Mistaken Model (0 words)
That some transwomen have had, or continue to have, sexual fantasies that could be termed autogynephilic does not make them “autogynephilic transsexuals.” They are merely transwomen whose bodies have been trained over the years to respond with physical arousal to the fear associated with being caught doing something socially “wrong”.
The shame that so many transwomen feel about these fantasies is a shame that has been internalized, and stems from the response of so many people who have no understanding of what it is like to grow up with gender dysphoria.
Her guilt and shame at feelings which were nothing to feel guilty or ashamed of led her to embrace a model that explained those feelings in a way that seemed to dispell her guilt and shame.
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