AVfM Classics: Male/female discrepancies in transsexualism

Ed. note: With nearly 5000 articles, AVfM is pleased to introduce a new AVfM Classics feature – reprints of some of our classic articles from the past. 

While transsexualism has been and remains a poorly-understood condition, certain consistent aspects have been outlined by experiment and observational evidence. One of these aspects is the discrepancy between the sexes, which several, mostly European studies have shown is quite wide, with around three times as many male-to-female as female-to-male transsexuals. But, what are the reasons for this discrepancy? To examine that, we must first examine the phenomenon of transsexualism itself.

Many would suggest that the cause of transsexualism is inherent and genetic. They point to differences in the brain structures of transsexuals, prior to any treatment with hormones or surgery, as evidence of these inherent differences. Transsexual brains appear to be more like those of the sex they identify with, rather than those of the sex they are associated with by virtue of their chromosomes, hormones, and primary and secondary sex characteristics.

These studies are problematic, however, since they tend to feature incredibly small sample sizes that make any statistical conclusions suspect. Further, even if we accept discrepancies in the brains of transsexuals as an assumption, this is a far cry from establishing that these differences are inherent. Indeed, there is strong evidence that human brains are extremely malleable, up to and throughout adulthood. Brains can quickly and dramatically rewire themselves in response to the right stimuli. Of course, this capacity is even greater in childhood.

Humans are tremendously intelligent and adaptable creatures. We are born with few instinctual behaviors, but the capacity to learn  a tremendous number. And our first type of learning is imitation. Before we understand any language, before we even have a concept of self as separate from the other, we imitate. We are vastly impressionable. While it seems true that we have some aspects of personality that are set from the start, would it not be very strange to label any one aspect of personality, or even array of personality traits, as inherently “masculine” or “feminine”?

Certainly, some are more typical of one sex or another, but the fact of the matter is that there is no such thing as “what it’s like” to be a man or woman. If one is a man or woman, they have a sense of that contribution to their experiences, but that cannot be said to be a typical experience of being a man or woman. Each person’s experience is unique; this is even more true when taking into account people throughout history and in other cultures today.

There do not appear to be any hormonal or other consistent physical differences between transsexual individuals and others of their born sexes beyond those in the brain. Many transsexuals report having the initial inklings of their transsexual feelings arise very young, and while these assertions can easily be questioned in individual cases, there is no reason to doubt that, for many, this is the case. Certainly, some modern cases of apparent early childhood transsexualism have received a fair amount of media coverage.

But, given that the inherent, prenatal explanations for transsexualism are highly questionable, what other explanations are there, and why might these lead to the discrepancy between male and female rates of transsexualism? This area is fraught with difficulty. Few modern studies seek any explanation beyond the genetic and inherent. Indeed, modern research almost seems to put the cart before the horse, seeking reasons to validate the assertions of identity politics it takes as a given. Still, by using information from related fields of study, one can begin to build a case for an altogether different and quite environmental explanation.

That a parent’s own sexual identity affects how he or she deals with children has been shown in studies, as have differences in how parents treat children according to the child’s sex. Indeed, this is even the case when parents are unaware of the differences in their actions and reactions towards their children. These sex-based differences in approach are present from a very young age, and are shown to have profound effects on children.

But how might these effects lead to transsexualism? Children begin forming ideas of gender roles very early, and these ideas are simplistic, exaggerated, and extremely rigid, to the point of outright cognitive dissonance when their stereotypes are not adhered to. Children seek to understand their social environment and their place in it. It is important to realize that children have no deep, abstract understanding of gender roles. If a five-year-old boy identifies as a girl, it is not because of some deep-seated existential angst or abstract understanding of his own sex and gender, but because he associates more with certain simplistic and rigid stereotypes assigned to girls.

And why would a young boy associate more with the stereotypes assigned to girls? Well, one good reason would be because he wants to, because he regards his stereotypes of women as superior. For instance, in a feminist household, expressions of masculinity may be viewed with derision, or, when there is a father present, as a source of shame. Even without such associations, however, a child often just spends more time with his or her mother. While it does not occur until after a large proportion of gender ideas are formed, school also exposes children, primarily, to female role models. Not to mention the fact that many behaviors typical of boys are frowned upon and even drugged out of them in modern school environments.

And where do boys find themselves today? Today, women can be anything they want. Women can be action heroes, happy homemakers, corporate executives, and powerful politicians. There are two categories of fashion, fashion for everyone and fashion for women only. Women are the ones seen as beautiful and glamorous. Women are kind, gentle, empathetic, and allowed to freely express emotion. With the traditional strengths of men now seen as irrelevant or even negative, why wouldn’t a boy rather be a girl? Is this not as good an explanation as any for the discrepancies between MtF and FtM transsexualism?

It is simply implausible that a child that associates with the opposite sex label has any real understanding of what that means, but unfortunately, such associations often stick. Further, this gender dysphoria is extremely harmful, frequently leading to severe depression and high suicide and poverty rates for transsexuals. As one might expect, researchers believe that male-to-female transsexuals are the hardest-hit by these problems.

There are several reasons for this, from the far greater shame associated with men breaking gender roles than women, to the simple fact that, after puberty, MtF transsexuals have a much harder time passing as women, due to body size, facial and body hair, and other secondary sex characteristics, than FtM transsexuals have passing as men. Neoteny is relatively easy to overcome with hormone therapies. There may be other reasons, such as different social pressures that tend to lead to each type of transsexualism, but these are poorly studied.

These arguments, while highly speculative, do raise important questions for how we approach raising boys in a changed culture. If, indeed, the way the sexes are treated by parents, teachers, media, and the rest of society leads to gender dysphoria and its often dire consequences, we must renew our efforts to define a new and modern role for boys, or to seek to end these gender stereotypes altogether. The rigidly controlled idea of what passes for masculine in our culture does a disservice to boys and men alike. Until boys are able to associate positive roles and freedom with their sex, it should be no surprise that a greater proportion of them wind up rejecting it, much to their own detriment.


Please help AVFM continue to spread the message that Men’s Rights are Human Rights by contributing to our quarterly fundraiser. Thank you.

  • Peter Wright (Tawil)

    Refreshing to read an article that takes into consideration environment instead of dumbing it all down to genes. The long history of psychoanalysis starting with Freud made clear that the concepts “boy” or “girl,” and our sense of ourselves as gendered is a gradual developmental achievement – one that takes years to learn.

    I have no doubt that the gynocentric pedestalisation of “girl” and the denigration of “boy” would act as a major motivation for boys to identify as female.

    Is it any wonder that feminists have difficulty accepting ‘man-born-women’ – it’s a potential result of their own misandry coming home to roost.

    • Diana Davison

      This article asks for an important conversation. I’m a member of the LGBT community (add as many letters of the alphabet to that as you want because it’s just getting stupid now) and I have yet to have one of my “advocates” engage in an honest conversation about the community.

      They most often tell me I’m privileged and and it’s not their job to educate me. You know what, fucktards? Social justice warrior LGBT advocates won’t even talk to the people they claim to advocate for and the moment they claim to be advocates they make it their job to educate. And what are their qualifications?

      We’ve gotten to the point where we can’t even trust “peer reviewed” studies because those peers are all buddies and approving shoddy research because it supports their own unsupported points of view. At that point it becomes the duty of the intellectual to ask “inappropriate” questions. If anyone doesn’t like this article it can only be because they don’t have a good response.

      Why do men overwhelmingly find themselves more drawn to be women if the world is oppressive to women? Why are they so keen to give up their “patriarchal” advantage? Who wouldn’t want to be a princess.

      I have no problem with anyone dressing how they want, acting how they want, presenting their gender in whatever fashion they feel represents their personal identity. Alternatively put: I have no phobias when it comes to gender.

      In the transsexual dialogue being presented right now I do have one major concern: Children are being “transitioned” before they are even old enough to legally consent to sex. We need to talk about this shit because we’ve now got children having their reproductive rights taken away from them before they can legally consent – all in the name of “social justice”

      I’m outraged. Because I’m being told I’m not allowed to talk about it. So who the fuck is going to save these children from “social justice”?

      Thank you, Jesse.
      Don’t let anyone tell you to shut up.

      • Jesse Folsom

        Well, shit, the C.O.C.K. fairy gave my article the thumbs-up! That means I win, right?

        Anyway, thank you very much, your support is definitely reassuring.

    • Walter Romans (TDOM)

      Despite how outdated (and obsolete) psychoanalytic theory has become, I still think it does a good job of describing the social process involved in forming one’s sexual identity. The resolution of the Oedipal (and Elektra) complex illustrates a highly complex process that invloves all aspects of the personality (id, ego, and super ego) as well as multiple levels of cognition and behavior (unconscious, preconscious, conscious) with the environment (particularly mother and father) and physical development and awareness. Freud’s terminology may put a lot of people off, but his insight into the human mind was unparallelled. Of course there are problems with Freudian theory that are too numerous to mention here, but modern theories of psychosexual development still can’t provide a better explaination.

  • Gary Trieste

    I don’t think it is genes that make a transexual, rather I think it is congenital, occurring in the womb during morphic development.
    And I don’t think that the post-birth environment is a significant factor in the self-identification of transexual persons, nor do I think that we need to get cues from our society to inherently self-identify as male or female.
    Much like homosexuals, and heterosexuals, I believe that transexuals are wired like that at birth; disproportionate ratios of male to female transexuals are an artefact of other in-utero factors independent of, and prior to, exposure to societal cues and norms.

    • Jesse Folsom

      What evidence do you have to support these beliefs?

      I think a strong but very nuanced case could be made for sexual orientation being largely a matter of habit as well. For instance,

      I actually suspect that humans have hard sexual orientations only because of cultural forces, and are extremely malleable. A norm of pure heterosexuality probably isn’t inherent to our species, just as it isn’t some of our closest relatives:

      It is unpopular to bring up in this context, because of the connotations conservative moralists generally attach to it, but a preference for sex with children or nonhuman animals arises in humans from time to time, and these preferences, particularly the latter, have no plausible explanation through any non-environmental cause.

      I strongly suspect that if you isolated a group of boys or girls on an island and denied them any knowledge of the opposite sex, or sex at all, they would engage in sexual activity with each other and gain a preference for each other.

      • probablydefinatlyis

        In all likelyhood i would guess that it is actually a combination of both genetic and enviromental factors. While there is plenty of evidence to suggest that humans will adapt to social norms, things like an attraction to animals and similar sexual interests fall as far from that tree as is imaginable. This shows that obviously humans are capable of responding to both external and internal infomation and experience to reach polar opposite outcomes.
        However, it seems equally likely that faced with social pressure, ostracism and even direct violence or death that males would adapt to a safer, life prolonging sexual preference. This is not however what we have seen thoughout history.
        Although i have no proof i would imagine that if you viewed sexual preference as a line then the genetic component might act as a starting point and enviromental aspects might be a slider.
        So for instance a male might be born finding sterotypically male traits attractive but be socially influenced to persue females. He may adapt to this life style or find himself living a life “in the closet” so to speak. In cultures where homosexuality was normalised you might see the reverse, a hetro male engaging in bisexual behavior to comply with social norms although he has no drive to do so.

        • Jesse Folsom

          Human psychology is very complex, and humans develop compulsive drives for everything from excessive risk taking to self-mutilation to suicide. Human behavior generally favors survival, at least in a short-term sense, but individually has shown tremendous deviation from that in a multitude of cases.

          Any belief in a genetic cause is premature, especially in light of differing sexual preferences in identical twins, for instance. I see no reason why there is such an insistence on finding such a contributor, when environmental factors can clearly explain the facts at hand.

          Such causes certainly can’t be excluded as yet, but I see no reason to think them especially likely, either.

          • probablydefinatlyis

            Well you had to make me go read stuff and….

            The studies i found on identical twins dont support your base assumption of a purely enviromental cause for sexual preference.


            This meta study from Australia found “male sexual orientation is influenced by genetics” with 8 out of the 10 studies finding some link between genetics and sexual preference.


            This study done in Sweden concluded ” In men, genetic effects appeared to explain 34% to 39% of the differences between the two twin groups (identical v fraternal)” and ” in women, genetics accounted for only about 18% to 19% of the difference”. For both male and females individual-enviromental factors rated in the 60% range.
            There still seems to be reasonable room to believe that sexuality like gender differences are not purely enviromental.

          • Manatee7474

            Forgive the clumsiness of my reply, I’m not very good at expressing myself.
            Firstly ‘typically male’ behavior, to a large degree, has been noted in nearly all written history, over various cultures and continents. Even in primates there is ‘typically male’ and ‘typically female’ behavior. I would go as far to say that nearly ALL mammals have separate sex behaviors – ask a dog handler or farmer, perhaps a biologist.

            Individual animals many show a lesser or greater propensity towards their ‘natural’ sex role but taken en-mass the differences are distinct.

            I would also venture that the greater the physical sex dimorphism in a species, the greater the psychological sex dimorphism – I believe that evolution not only gives us tools to fulfill a specific role but the also the inclination to utilize those tools.

            I also believe in diversity as a primary tool of evolution and survival in that there will always be a proportion of a species that ‘deviates’ from its norms. The further from established ‘norms’ the smaller the proportion. That was a clumsy way of saying behavior patterns are not fixed for every individual .

            I do subscribe to the theory of ‘male’ brains and ‘female’ brains. I understand that brains do change to some degree but I have not found any evidence that they can radically alter from male to female.

            I believe that you can nurture, to some degree, behavior. It may be possible to nurture a ‘feminine’ boy to act in an even more pronounce manner but in some it may be a destructive and futile task – I remember a famous case of a boy being brought up as a female which ended badly (David Reimer).

            I think that there are many reasons why more males wish to be females than visa-verse.

            Hormones in the water supply?
            Adolescent confusion?

            You may be able to raise boys to be girls but nature, like truth, will out – eventually.

          • danah

            Except the part where environmental factors cannot clearly explain the facts at hand. All you’ve got is speculation. There are no facts that directly support your contention. If anything, the available facts make your scenario far less likely than a biological alternative. That psychiatry has been unable to cure gender dysphoria with any known non-medical treatment, nor anti-depressants and anti-psychotics, despite decades of trying is a strong suggestion that the condition is hardwired.

            Furthermore there are several peer reviewed studies that point to a neurological basis for gender dysphoria. While you correctly note that there is no expert consensus on precisely the cause of gender dysphoria, I’ll take a dozen or so peer reviewed studies that find a neurobiological link over mindless speculation and hand waving, at least until better evidence is uncovered.

            As far as citing these studies, I have already cited several already on this thread, in a giant post, including their abstracts. If you haven’t already seen it, look for the giant post from me with all of the links. I don’t intend to spam the forum repeating some enormous post that I already provided once.

      • Manatee7474

        “I strongly suspect that if you isolated a group of boys or girls on an island and denied them any knowledge of the opposite sex, or sex at all, they would engage in sexual activity with each other and gain a preference for each other.”
        Jesse Folsom

        True. But I could raise a pack of dogs and feed them only vegetables – they may even in time get a “taste for it”. Perhaps in time they may even develop a preference to it over meat, but it does not mean that dogs are intrinsically vegetarian!
        As long as there is choice most dogs will select meat over vegetables, most men will have sex with women.

        If we did not have a strong natural inclination towards the opposite sex I suspect we would never have made it as a species – to nature homosexuality is a waste of energy and time if it does nothing to propagate the species!

        • JGteMolder

          Which would make it perfect sense for species where sex has evolved a social role to also evolve a greater diversity in sexual preferences; for homosexual sexual engagements DOES do something to propagate the species; just not in the direct “ejaculate – baby” manner.

          Social cohesion in such a species helps with the survival and thus propagation of the species; sex promotes social cohesion; sexual preferences diversify. Which is exactly what we see; no “cultural”/”social” pressures required. Just natural selection pressures.

      • JGteMolder

        The zebra example has got nothing to do with homosexuality though.

        And you are both right and wrong about the homosexuality. You are wrong in that we are malleable; you are right that the vast majority of us are born bisexual. It’s not that we are malleable and can just change orientation, it’s that we can deny and shut down/ignore parts of our sexuality.

        A healthy human brain has traits of both genders, this would include sexuality; the result is that most of us are to varying degrees bisexual. Much like my other post; this is the problem with our binary, or tertiary view of things; black and white, and nothing else. We are not either heterosexual, or homosexual or bisexual; we are an entire spectrum spanning; most of us falling somewhere in a single standard deviation from the middle. Malleability is an illusion that emerges when you’ve falsely compartmentalized a person’s sexuality in one of the three compartments, and then things happen that make it look like they jumped ship to another compartment, like they actually changed their sexuality, when in fact they didn’t. In reality he or she was simply somewhere in between the compartments and things occurred that would allow new aspects of his or her sexuality to become apparent.

        Finally, this has got nothing to do with sex and gender.

        • Jesse Folsom

          I’m seeing a lot of unsupported statements here from what I gather is an evopsych perspective. If you look at the article related to brain flexibility above, its ability to adapt to various external circumstances is truly remarkable.

          I have endeavored to supply sources for all my speculations. I think, in light of that, you could at least provide an argument rather than just stating that I’m wrong and your own beliefs. How am I wrong? How does your perspective provide support for majority bisexuality? How do you support hardwired sexuality? Why can sexual aversion be a product of environment, and sexual attraction not?

          • JGteMolder

            Unsupported? How about supported by every single piece of evidence in existence?

            From homosexuality in animals, to homosexual behavior in prisons, to transsexuals, to the syndromes of entire male and entire female brain, ALL of it, fits one model:

            Biology puts male and female brains together along a long spectrum; from all female on one side, to all male on the other. Some cases it’s just a few behaviors, or an attraction, sometimes there’s more, and sometimes you’ve got an entire male brain inside a female body. It explains people who can live with a mild form of transexuality, and it explains people who from early on knew: nope, I’m the other sex.

            It perfectly fits with established biological facts; like both sexes having both male and female hormones, who work on us inside the womb, would obviously (help) steer how one develops. Every single case, every single piece of evidence in existence fits this model, there’s not a one that contradicts it.

            But malleability? Just about everything goes against it. The existence of homosexuality in animals goes against it; especially in animals with relatively primitive, and thus not so malleable, brains. ALL forms of homosexuality in humans goes against it; how in blazes, if sexuality is merely malleable do you explain any homosexual emerging the massively anti-homosexuality, and homosexuality denying societies of the 1950s and before? You can’t. If sexuality is malleable with no biological input there would be no homosexuals in a straight relationships before 1950s thinking something was missing. There would be no asexual people, there would be no homosexuals who live alone without women; none of these things could come into existence, because society would have massaged everyone into good little straight folks. Didn’t happen, still doesn’t happen – so sexuality simply isn’t that malleable.

            Men and women falling on a long spectrum, and denying sections of their sexuality (not creating a sexual aversion, as some of the most homophobic people happily raping homsexuals shows) thus fits ALL the data, and has no evidence against it. Malleable sexuality does; across the board everywhere.

    • whiic

      Well, so you think. Or so you’ve read somewhere because those ideas are plastered all over LGBT agenda. The explanation seems to be part of agenda, and it might even be true that the people studying the phenomenon might have indeed put the cart before the horse.

      It is possible there’s scientific grounds for assuming congenital origin but there’s also political reasons why the political movement of LGBT want them to be developed during fetal stage.

      1) If it’s developed rather than born with, there could be “The Cure” be it prevention (child-raising) or fixing (psychotherapy of some sort).

      Trans activists are actually worried about stuff like heteronormativity and “Cis Scum”, hence they’d be horrified with the idea that the painful gender dysphoria might be eliminated via any other way than changing their sex to match their gender.

      It is the same with gay activists: if homosexuality was a learned trait, you could argue it’s a “choice” of sort (even if made at a very early age, well below age of consent) and this breaks the victim narrative. Surely, homosexuality doesn’t produce as much harm as gender dysphoria as long a the society where you live in isn’t totally rednecky and retarded, so there’s little real reason to try to cure homosexuality. They are still afraid of it being cured. And there are some people who wish to cure them (for religious reasons) (which points back to the “rednecky and retarded” mentioned before).

      Things that aren’t (anymore) on LGBT agenda, such as pedophilia, are usually considered learned sexual preferences rather than born-with. Still, even that one shows up in early stages of development regardless whether it’s something born with or “learned”. Calling it “learned” gives a “justification” to cure it.

      A real justification should come from a more rational source such as damage caused to others by following it, and dysphoria coming from denying it, yet many people take easier path of drawing a line between “born-with” and “learned” to determine whether something needs a cure or not. They just avoid more philosophical questions such as what a “self” is.

      2) Like with “learned” having the choice to “unlearn”, they are also afraid of genetic possibility because eugenics. Again, they are afraid there is a cure. This time not to treat transgenders but to prevent them by either selective abortion or replacing the affecting genes with normative ones. Therefore it must not be genetic any more than it can be learned. However, reality can’t actually be derived of what should be.

      The congenital explanation which seems to arise in all LGBT issues is just a way of stating a factual claim (“there is no cure”) rather than making a moral one (“there is no need for cure”). For homosexuality, there isn’t a reason (considering we don’t force heterosexuals to have babies either). For transsexuality, a cure could actually be less harmful than “fixing” it later on – yet the LGBT doesn’t accept that politically incorrect option. They want to kill heteronormativity and cisnormativity. i.e they don’t just seek equal human rights but wish for more people to be non-normative. Which is also hypocritical as they criticize the conservatives for trying to make them normal. How is it better to actively try to make people non-normal?

      While I support gay rights, some ways the LGBT lobby works just gross me. I wouldn’t be too surprised if a big part of the opposition wasn’t at least partly caused by the LGBT lobby’s work backfiring.

      • Gary Trieste

        Just because the trans community has an agenda to innatize internal sexual assignment, doesn’t mean it is not true.
        Even a stopped clock is accurate twice a day.

        • whiic

          Yeah, it could be true regardless. That stopped clock analogy is a good one.

          Adding to my quite lengthy rant:
          LGBT communities do use some odd rhetoric that could be used to promote some harmful ideas.

          One of these is that sexuality should not (i.e NEVER) be repressed.

          And then they exclude stuff out of “sexuality” to not appear as totally being incest-supporting rape apologists. The problem is that even if LGBT limits the meaning of word “sexual orientation” to include gender and only the gender, psychologists are already starting to qualify people-oriented paraphilias (like pedophilia) as a sexual orientation. Not from moral standpoint but from classification standpoint.


          EDIT: Actually, that was outdated information

          American Psychologists Association has since reverted from the idea of categorizing pedophilia as a sexual orientation, most likely due to LGBT’s successful hijacking of the word to mean a subset of it’s original definition. APA is by far not a pro-pederasty lobby (like LGBT-friendly NAMBLÀ was) but it had to succumb under public pressure.

          When LGBT’s ideological opinion of never repressing your sexuality collided with psychiatry’s just-stating-the-facts, it was the mind scientists who had to give in, even though APA made a clear distinction between non-abusive pedophilic sexuality (“pedophilia”) and abusive pedophilic sexuality (“pedophilic disorder”).

          It’s kinda sad it was the LGBT’s narrower, gender-only definition of “orientation” that retained it’s meaning and the “never repress your sexuality” survived along with it.

          “Never repressing sexuality” can be quite harmful to both individuals and society since it’s not just part of the gay rights but also quite far into adultery-is-fine-and-dandy territory as well. Of course, if people are into polyamory, yeah, it actually is fine – if you can be honest with our partners rather than hiding it and causing human misery in process of your narcissistic hedonism of living in the second and not caring a f*ck about your family and tomorrow.

          Sorry. That was a very random rant about pretty much everything.

        • Paul Elam

          Thank you. I was waiting for that. I see several cogent points on both sides of this debate, but the idea that you can logically rule out an idea because an individual or group you don’t like agrees with it is the weakest possible position to take.

        • Dean Esmay

          I like to say it this way: if Fred Phelps (of “God Hates Fags”) fame says “don’t eat cyanide, it can kill you,” you probably should believe him. In other words, agendas aside, facts are facts. Although we are in an area where there are some indisputable facts and some hot contention due to lack of incontrovertible facts.

          • August Løvenskiolds

            If he is the true believer he claims to be, Mr. Phelps would believe that cyanide is harmless to him and his flock – “they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Mark 16:18.

      • JGteMolder

        Ugh, you got it all wrong.

        First, there is no “trans community” let alone an agenda, apart from “equal rights”. There isn’t even an LGBT agenda apart from equal rights. Indeed, you know the people from which “it’s all fabricated”, come from?

        1. Feminists/sociologists/psychologists: for if sexuality, and gender are NOT created by society, they are NOT victims of the patriarchy. And they’ve hung their hat on how vile, evil and oppressive men (excuse me, the patriarchy, :rolleyes:) is, and thus how they need even more funding to fight the evil patriarchy… that’s handing them the money to fight it…(Another reason why homosexuals, men especially, need to break with feminism fast.)

        2. Religious fundamentalists; after all homosexuality is something you’re born as; it is something the way god created you. And thus not only would their justification for hating homosexuals be gone, they’d be hating one god’s creations. They have an absolute need for homosexuality to be a choice, something to be cured through Jesus, so they can continue label it as a sin and something god hates.

        It seems then, that the ones who put the cart in front of the horse aren’t the LGBT and the neurologists researching it, but the ones against it being something neurological. Indeed, type in “brainwash” in youtube and watch the entire Swedish English subtitled documentary to show just how far this goes; and how the neurologists do actual experiments, and the social sciences are hell bent to not let it happen.

        Finally, you are wrong. Pointing to it being neurological and it happening in animals is not an effort to show “there is no cure”, nor is it indeed an effort to show “there is no need for a cure”, they’re going a step further, the the right place: “There is nothing to cure.” To claim “there is no need for a cure” still says there is something inherently wrong with them, but we’ll just let those people stumble around. What LGBT people want, is to be treated equally; that includes being treated as people who have nothing inherently wrong with them, like we do with the “normal” people. With the exception of the T, they know something is wrong with them, or they wouldn’t want a sex change; but they want to be treated like someone born as blind or deaf; not as someone who is vile and evil.

        • danah

          I don’t agree with quite a bit of what you write – even about trans people, and I certainly do not agree with the elements of this post in which you outline your gender politics, but I’ll overlook all of that and thank you for writing something cogent at least from point #2 to the end. All in all it’s better than many of the people commenting on this have been able to manage.

      • danah

        > If it’s developed rather than born with, there could be “The Cure” be it prevention (child-raising) or fixing (psychotherapy of some sort).

        Umm, yeah, about that – they’ve tried that. A lot. It didn’t work.

        > Trans activists are actually worried about stuff like heteronormativity and “Cis Scum”, hence they’d be horrified with the idea that the painful gender dysphoria might be eliminated via any other way than changing their sex to match their gender

        What? I can only speak for myself, and account for other trans people (trans women in particular) who I’ve spoken with about this and the consensus seems largely to be in favor of some sort of “cure” that doesn’t involve transition. Many of us live most of our lives looking for exactly that. I routinely tell people that transition was the most horrible thing I’ve ever done, but it’s also the best thing that ever happened to me. Because that’s the truth. If someone had come up with a viable treatment for gender dysphoria that didn’t involve transition they’d make a *fortune*. Trannies like me would be lined up around the block.

        You seem to have pulled your entire argument straight out of your arse. It’s amazing that you still managed to find room up there for your head.

  • Fredrik

    Random thought: instead of hyper M2F due to superior stereotypes, what if the discrepancy is actually hypo F2M, as the flip side of the infamous greater plasticity of female sexuality? They have less rigid sexual orientation and sexual roles. The more flexible your identity, the less likely your identity dysphoria. Could it be that easy?

    • Jesse Folsom

      I would guess it’s probably a combination of the two, but you make a good point. In either case, it would tend to mean that increasing the permitted spectrum of masculine expression would decrease the rate of M2F.

      • Fredrik

        You know, that sounded very clinical to me, but it might not sound that way to someone for whom it is personal. What I perceive is that you’re exploring the suggestive combination of mass cultural misandry and a numerical discrepancy in the directionality of transsexuality. I would also like to clarify that I respect my brothers and sisters for whom this is a lived experience, and at the same time, I need to follow my intellectual curiosity where it leads.

      • Dean Esmay

        As you correctly point out, there is still insufficient study on this to draw any firm conclusions, however, one thing I note is that multifactorialism seems to be something that escapes people. You may start with a genetic propensity or “vulnerability” or whatever you want to call it to develop a certain sense of sexual orientation or identity, but then multiple environmental and cultural factors can come into play after that. Anyone who thinks anything is 100% one or the other looks rather silly to me.

        Yes, we do have the reality of identical twins who wind up one gay one straight–it’s unusual, but not bizarre. Study on transsexualism is even more uncertain. A lot of people seem to make thundering statements about what it is or what it isn’t based mostly on a few bits of data that support their point of view and that’s it.

        And all this puts aside the question of transvestism, which gets a lot more attention when a man is strongly obsessed with it than when women are.

        That said, I suspect what it really looks like is not just multifactorial, but also a matter of degrees. There is at least one case in Australia of a couple with four children, the youngest of which was born a boy but identifies as a girl and has since before able to form sentences. Interviews with the parents make it clear they’re bewildered, and there’s nothing like this in the other children, indicating that whatever is going on with this little child cannot be explained purely by cultural factors and is unlikely to be perverse behavior in the family environment. All right, let’s put that child on one end of the Gender Dysphoria spectrum, and on the other end, possibly the casual transvestite who occasionally thinks “gosh it would be nice to be a girl,” but would never undergo surgery and still has otherwise fairly everyday sexual relationships.

        I suspect that whenever cultural factors can be a contributing factor to gender dysphoria, the current cultural environment would probably be a major factor for some people with at least some degree of gender dysphoria. In fact I’ve long suspected–for years now–that much of what you mention here is a possibility. There is also a rather surprisingly large and popular little underworld of transgender fantasy fiction and coimics out there on the internet, and the vast majority of it, overwhelmingly, is fiction around the idea of men becoming women, and most of it is obviously fapping material. I would be shocked if the growth of this phenomenon did not have a strong cultural influence. Misandry is something most young men now encounter at a very early age.

        • Jesse Folsom

          Thank you! It’s nice to know there are some other, more well-known thinkers who find this plausible.

      • Dean Esmay

        I would also note an anecdote that somewhat supports your overall thesis: I have spoken to at least one M2F transsexual who said that cultural misandry and feminism were influential in her decision to transition, and that an environment more supportive of males and maleness may have made the gender dysphoria less painful and more easy to deal with without surgical intervention. Cultural misandry was deifnitely a factor in her decision to transition.

        This is only an anecdote, although, the plural of anecdote is “data.” I find it hard to believe I managed to stumble upon the only M2F in the world who felt this way.

        • Vivica Liqueur

          There’s a difference between transgender and transsexual. Transgender are those who identifying with a different gender than what they are born with however, they may not decide to have surgery. There are some born this way and there are others who yes, are made this way by social influence. For those who go on to decide to become transsexual, I do believe there would be less MtF if society embraced masculinity and men.

          The masculine is just not supported or celebrated. We very much live in a society that puts women above all else, women are treated as supreme and femininity is celebrated as the only safe gender to be around. Since men are treated as criminals and have very damaging stereotypes pushed onto their masculinity, it does create a very unsafe space for those who identify with both genders or who identify with a gender that is different than their body. Instead of supporting their transgender being, they are being told the male part of them is not acceptable. Instead of being in love with both their body and their gender identities they may be more likely to run away from their male body to the point of surgery. I’m not discrediting that maybe for some surgery is real, who am I to say that, but I highly doubt it’s necessary for so many.

          Now, it’s not just surgery that is changing gender, the main way is through hormones. Some decide to start hormone therapy on their own to not go through the required therapy in fear of being rejected. Now, the therapy is apparently only 2-3 months to receive hormones. That’s not nearly enough time to help someone discover what is really their motivation for considering a sex change. It’s also necessary that these therapists be evaluated themselves, just how many of said therapists are actually anti-male? That’s a very big possibility and unjust to those questioning their gender identity.

          Also, we live in a world that very much is ‘you’re either a man, or a woman, choose’. Doctors seem obsessed with making Transgender fully look one gender. That’s horrific to know they are getting away with hormone therapy and surgery for children, this needs to be made illegal. If Transchildren wish to do this when they are older that should be choice, not the first choice they are given but THEIR choice. Instead of surgery the discussion that may help is showing the children how to love the body they are born with and that they are Transgender. That it’s OK to identify different than what society says a boy/girl is supposed to be and to call themselves opposite than the body they are born with. It’s very important to teach Transgender they are beautiful and perfect just the way they are, they do not need surgery! They can still live the gender they choose without surgery or hormones. Doctors should not be allowed to push their dogma of forcing the genitals to match the identity, that’s just not how everyone is!

          If after Transgender reach being feeling empowered in the body they live, in they still choose surgery or hormones [usually hormone ‘therapy’ comes before surgery too] then that is their conscious choice to make. I don’t think we’re anywhere near fully helping Transgender in their identity process. As a society we still have so much to learn about Transgender and Transsexualism.

        • Vivica Liqueur

          There’s a difference between transgender and transsexual. Transgender are those who identifying with a different gender than what they are born with however, they may not decide to have surgery. There are some born this way and there are others who yes, are made this way by social influence. For those who go on to decide to become transsexual, I do believe there would be less MtF if society embraced masculinity and men.

          The masculine is just not supported or celebrated. We very much live in a society that puts women above all else, women are treated as supreme and femininity is celebrated as the only safe gender to be around. Since men are treated as criminals and have very damaging stereotypes pushed onto their masculinity, it does create a very unsafe space for those who identify with both genders or who identify with a gender that is different than their body. Instead of supporting their transgender being, they are being told the male part of them is not acceptable. Instead of being in love with both their body and their gender identities they may be more likely to run away from their male body to the point of surgery. I’m not discrediting that maybe for some surgery is real, who am I to say that, but I highly doubt it’s necessary for so many.

          Now, it’s not just surgery that is changing gender, the main way is through hormones. Some decide to start hormone therapy on their own to not go through the required therapy in fear of being rejected. Now, the therapy is apparently only 2-3 months to receive hormones. That’s not nearly enough time to help someone discover what is really their motivation for considering a sex change. It’s also necessary that these therapists be evaluated themselves, just how many of said therapists are actually anti-male? That’s a very big possibility and unjust to those questioning their gender identity.

          Also, we live in a world that very much is ‘you’re either a man, or a woman, choose’. Doctors seem obsessed with making Transgender fully look one gender. That’s horrific to know they are getting away with hormone therapy and surgery for children, this needs to be made illegal. If Transchildren wish to do this when they are older that should be choice, not the first choice they are given but THEIR choice. Instead of surgery the discussion that may help is showing the children how to love the body they are born with and that they are Transgender. That it’s OK to identify different than what society says a boy/girl is supposed to be and to call themselves opposite than the body they are born with. It’s very important to teach Transgender they are beautiful and perfect just the way they are, they do not need surgery! They can still live the gender they choose without surgery or hormones. Doctors should not be allowed to push their dogma of forcing the genitals to match the identity, that’s just not how everyone is!

          If after Transgender reach being feeling empowered in the body they live, in they still choose surgery or hormones [usually hormone ‘therapy’ comes before surgery too] then that is their conscious choice to make. I don’t think we’re anywhere near fully helping Transgender in their identity process. As a society we still have so much to learn about Transgender and Transsexualism.

          Great to read this article that really brings the conversation and tough questions to light.

          • Vivica Liqueur

            Hmm, perhaps it’s more accurate to say Transgender identify with the opposite sex they are born with as well as a different gender. For instance, a boy grows up and wants to dress like what society says a girl looks like. That idea is based on gender, the ideology we have attached to each sex. That boy also disagrees with what his body should look like, in that he identifies with a different sex.

            Gender identity is based on social image and social gender roles. Sexual identity is different and I do not have any understanding on what that means specifically. It seems as if the latter can very much be affected by social image. When boys and their bodies are treated as if they are inferior I don’t see how that would not a major effect on people.

            Transgender can also identify as both female/male without picking between either. In this Transgender are their own gender. Transgender in the media is important for those who are Transgender to feel accepted in society.

            The move to Transsexual is different, that is the choice to pick one of the sexes they physically identify with. To force Transgender children into Trans-sexuality is unjust and a confused decision made by adults who should not have this right.

          • danah

            I’m pretty sure you need to read the WPATH standards of care.

            It’s available online.

    • whiic

      I’m not sure how much a young child (pre-daycare or daycare age) would understand about the plasticity of female sexuality. They will see the basic gender roles of men and girls quite easily but understanding that girls role is totally plastic and non-enforceable might be too much for a child to understand at the age s/he’s at the age of forming one’s own gender identity.

      Heck, even most adults outside of MRM probably don’t see it that way – that the gender roles are mainly a male issue. All they talk about is how oppressive it is that
      – females are viewed as baby making machines, and
      – how they shouldn’t work outside the home, etc.
      And I’m all like “WTF? I know no-one who thinks like that in this day and age (note: Finland), and you think there could be such stereotype even without anyone holding that belief?”

      You can have very tight stereotypes for men with next to no limitations for females… and people will still cry about oppressive stereotypes women face. And only about them.

    • Gary Trieste

      Interesting observation.
      Females in most other things have a tighter statistical variance in mental and physical traits than men.

  • Cylux

    I don’t know much about the Trans condition, but what I do know is that radical feminists tend to hate M2F transsexuals, but are fine with F2M transsexuals. Hence the whole Suzanne Moore/Julie Burchill ‘Brazilian Transsexuals’ flap from a year or so ago.

    From what I can gather Transsexuals ‘reinforce gender roles’ which is apparently bad, and most damningly of all, pre-op male to female transwomen could sneak a secret penis into hallowed women-only spaces, thus contaminating the ground forevermore…

    • numbCruncher

      Yes, Germaine Greer is another feminist who despises M2F transsexuals. She thinks they are simply in love with the outward appearance of being a woman and that they have no idea “what it’s really like to be a woman” (yet another manifestation of the classic feminist trope “I know your life, but you don’t know mine”).

      Large numbers of people going through painful, difficult, life-changing surgery and hormone therapy in order to live fully as a woman – and small numbers going the opposite way – threatens the whole feminist narrative of “being a woman is difficult – being a man is easy”.

    • whiic

      >“From what I can gather Transsexuals ‘reinforce gender roles’ which is apparently bad”

      Well, it is true. And it is actually bad. Gender roles is what male disposability for example is all about. Transsexual activism does about as much to eliminate male gender roles (by offering way to become a woman) than feminism does, i.e they don’t do squat.

      >“pre-op male to female transwomen could sneak a secret penis into hallowed women-only spaces, thus contaminating the ground forevermore”

      To me, feminist’s opposition toward M2F transsexuals is oppressive mainly because they oppress men (and M2F only as a side product). I don’t see refusal of accepting M2F as anything else than a byproduct of misandry.

      Why? Because I don’t consider transsexuals women anymore that feminists do. What on earth is a “pre-op male to female transwoman”? Pre-op is before male to female surgery. Hence pre-op is by that idea “male”. How is male a woman at the same time? Also, after surgery, he’d only be neutered. A eunuch. And with hormone therapy, intersexual at best. Not a woman by any standard.

      The only thing “woman” in them is their willingness to be one and belief that they are already one (but trapped in a body that “is not theirs”).

      Does this sound familiar?

      What about “otherkin”, people who believe they are animals?

      Why don’t the non-affected (i.e not mentally disordered ones) have to treat them as real amputees or foxes, werewolves and dragons? What’s so damn special about gender identity compared to other identities?

      Also, where as the lengthy evaluation of transsexuals prior to any corrective surgery is often considered discriminatory, why is it that everyone understands that a person who deep down believes s/he has only three limbs and the fourth one is not part of him/her cannot just have the “extra” limb cut off without some severe evaluation of his/her condition? And even after diagnosing most doctors would probably prefer to erase that twisted identity than mutilate a body. Yet, when it comes to gender, we consider it the real identity that overrides biological one.

      I’m not against genital surgery but I don’t consider myself obligated to address the genitally altered as “man” or “woman” anymore than I will call an otherkin by the species s/he believes s/he is. I don’t want to feed other people’s delusions. I’m no-bullshit person.

      Also I don’t see discrimination against M2F transsexuals in cases where they are discriminated because they are considered to men to be transphobic but just plain androphobic – and that’s the root problem that creates problems for men and transsexuals alike. Feminists are androphobic in quite a literal way: they’re not only man hating but also afraid (of rape).

      • Jesse Folsom

        The therion/otherkin phenomenon was one I forgot about. I do think it has a bearing on this discussion, although many would take offense at the association to transsexualism. Still, the examples you cite of physical dysphorias besides transsexualism, which are less amenable to congenital explanations, is one that must at least be considered.

    • JGteMolder

      They’re not fine with F2M transsexuals, they’re gender traitors to them. They just hate them slightly less than the other way around.

  • sybil

    Jesse, this is a great article, really fascinating. Thanks for writing it.

    Do you think the ratio of male-to-female versus female-to-male transsexuals was different in different cultures or at different times in history? For example, in the past it doesn’t seem it was that unusual for women to disguise themselves as men and join the military.

    Do you think it depends on the relative status of male and female roles in that culture at that particular point in time?

    • Jesse Folsom

      Thank you!

      If my hypothesis here is correct, yes, it is likely that F2M was proportionally more prevalent in the past, although it would not surprise me if the phenomenon itself was far less prevalent in times when the technology for any sort of transition simply didn’t exist. I rather suspect that, with the idea of being a woman/man in a man’s/woman’s body being relatively new as a widespread phenomenon, it simply didn’t occur to people that such might be the cause of any feelings of discomfort with themselves.

      • Seele


        I do not believe anyone has done an exhaustive survey of the numbers of FTM and MTF TS people so as to establish the split between the two; the difficulty in determining what makes a person TS is still a contentious subject. That said, I have a sneaky suspicion that FTM TS men are indeed better at integrating into the wider society, and can still be seen as generally acceptable when seen as “tomboys”, or “butch dykes” or even somewhat effeminate men, etc. MTF TS women would find it much more difficult to integrate into society where they are just faces in the crowd like all others: those who can truly integrate – as in “passing” – consists of a somewhat smaller proportion, so they are more easily spotted, making the presence of MTF appears to be more prevalent.

      • sybil

        Yeah, I’m assuming that people who changed their identities and passed as the other sex are ‘the same’ as today’s trans people, and that might not be a valid assumption.

        But if it is valid, it might provide a way to test some of your ideas. You should find a greater proportion of MTF changed identities/transitions in cultures and time periods when men are more devalued. It might be impossible to get accurate historical numbers on this, but it’s my understanding that people who lived as the other sex were usually discovered when they died.

        Just a thought.

    • JGteMolder

      There’s a difference between dressing up like a man, and being an actual man as your gender. Those women wanted to fight, only men could fight, so they dressed up as one. It does not mean that they considered themselves men.

      • Christopher Wedge

        Well, some female pirates dressed as men – and pirates, being outlawy types, didn’t care much for social norms, and only cared that the crew they hired would be an asset to their raping, looting and pillaging. Maybe they were trans*, or maybe they were trying to look more intimidating to merchant vessels to reduce the number of fights they got into.

        (Of course, there might have been exceptions for individual ships)

        • Vivica Liqueur

          Funny I was thinking about this. This was probably usually more of a cross-dressing bit than Transgender. And yes, there were ships that did not want women on board so in order to get on the ships the women would cross-dress. But yes, I do think depending on which gender society revered, you would find more people emulating that gender.

          I love Pirates. They are the ultimate ‘shut the fuck up’ I use to those who tell me women didn’t have options in history. There were several very successful female pirates. One of which commanded I believe it was over 300,000 Pirates. Oh yeah, poor women they had no options or respect. Bullshit. Most women just didn’t want to work hard to get it or risk their lives like men had to to earn it. OK, off topic…but sine we were talking about Pirates, I couldn’t resist.

  • Tom Golden

    I think you are correct that our socialization plays a significant role here but I also firmly believe our biology is a potent factor. We have been told for the last 50 years by feminists and the academes who white knight them that socialization is the sole factor involved. They say we are the same at birth and socialization is the only factor. This allows feminists to demand “equality” since we are the same at birth. It also allows them to shame men for not being more like women. etc etc. It is the camouflage they live under. It has allowed them to bash men and their unique ways for the last 50 years. It is also seriously wrong.

    Research since the 1950’s that shows any variation from that ideology is hushed and not taught. The media has acted like a lap dog to both the fems and the academes and has rarely focused on the important biological differences that make us unique. One of the reasons they have gotten away with this force feeding of only half the story is that the biology itself has a great deal of variability. We know now that boys pre-natal testosterone organizes their brains in utero to be what is being called a male brain, or a systemizing brain but what most don’t know is that this same organizational pattern occurs in 17% of females. This means that you will always have some women who are more like men and some men who are more like women. Everyone has an aunt sallie who wanted to play linebacker for the Packers and also has an uncle Mort who loves to crochet and read romance novels. But, of course, the exception does not disprove the rule. When you separate humans by their brain type and not their sex you start to get a different contrast.

    I would strongly urge every MHRA to read As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was Raised as a Girl It is a heart wrenching story of a boy who due to an early botched circumcision was raised as a girl after his mangled penis was amputated. The book reveals this boy’s understanding from an early age that he was masculine and a boy. Even though he had every signal that he was a girl he knew he was male and acted in ways that were harmonious with his real sex. It gives a fairly good account of the biology involved and also tells the story of Dr John Money who used this young man to further his own ignorant ideas at great expense to the boy and his family.

    After reading that book you will have a better idea of the interplay of socialization and biology. It is complicated indeed but we have been told only half the story and need to inform ourselves.

    • Jesse Folsom

      It’s hard to consider such stories conclusive. As much as parents might try to raise a mutilated boy as a girl, they know what he is. As a study I cited found, parents treat children of sexes differently, even when they don’t think they do. The cues and emotions they felt must have an influence.

      As much as they tried, don’t you think they just might have let a little twitch through when they called him, “she”?

      • Manatee7474

        It’s possible that such stories ARE indicative. I think perhaps some people such as Jesse Folsom (I mean absolutely no disrespect to you personally Jesse as I am genuinely sympathetic to your view) are perhaps beyond even accepting the possibility that sex, for most, is innately entrenched and that most societies have merely nurtured these differences. – not created them.

        My proof is to be found in 2000 years of recorded history from every continent, legends, stories, myths, history all extoll incredibly similar accounts of how men and women have acted and thought differently. From Plato to Freud and every thinker between, despite being separated by 1000s of years and coming from vastly different civilizations have all agreed on one thing – men are not women.

        Stallions act different from mares
        Dogs act different from bitches.
        Male chimpanzees act different from females.

        Although for most of my life I wanted to believe otherwise – MEN really are different from WOMEN.

        • Jesse Folsom

          Yes, men are different from women… on average. Nonetheless, I challenge you to list any set of character traits exclusive to one sex or the other. Any description of a personality that you could know, conclusively, was of one sex or the other. I am almost positive that I could find a non-trans person of the less likely sex who fits said description.

          There are traits which are more likely to occur in one sex or another, but such statistical truths are not greatly meaningful for individuals, and treating them as if they are is practically the definition of prejudice.

          If you can find a non-trans person with a proportionally high level counter-sexual personality traits who is, nonetheless, at peace with their sex, then such traits must not be a sufficient factor for transsexualism.

          Further, while we can observe different behaviors and listen to different descriptions of emotions, ultimately, a person’s subjective experience of self is not available to us directly or clearly. The language we use to describe aspects of character is very vague and abstract.

          Which all means that we really don’t know if our own experience is more like a typical man’s or a typical woman’s. There is no way to know if you “feel like a man in a woman’s body”, because, as a woman, you simply cannot know what it is like to be a man.

          • Manatee7474

            Point 1. There are NO traits that are exclusive to a particular sex. That’s irrelevant. There are a small proportion of people who have the opposite sexes ‘brain’ – obviously in function rather than form, all men’s brains differ in innate structure in the same way their body’s differ from women’s; ribs, muscle mass, bone density etc

            The various hormone differences which affect behavior and reaction are markedly different between the sexes.

            I also subscribe to instinctive behavior; weaker in some, stronger in others…

            Point 2. Can you tell what a typical male behavior is when you can never know for certain what anybody else really feels? I think yes.
            When I am listening to my friends, reading a book, watching a film or just watching people going about their lives you can tell. Whether I am reading the Epic of Gilgamesh ( a text whose origins are 3000 years old from a long dead civilization) or watching the Godfather I have an absolute empathy for the male protagonist – I may not agree with what they do but their characterizations find resonance at an almost subconscious level. The males, in the way they view themselves and those around them is markedly different from females and it is commonality in EVERY country and EVERY age. Yes, I have ready many books from the ‘female perspective’ and although I can certainly appreciate them, some number among my most favored literature, I can never wholly empathize with the heroine. I’m not a woman.

            I’ve never had a period. I’ve never been pregnant. I’ve never worn high heels. I’ve never had a man fight over me or had a stranger send me flowers. I’ve never felt ‘sexy’ in tight or revealing clothes. I’ve never had menstrual cramps and I very much doubt if anyone has “undressed me with their eyes”. In short I’m taller, stronger and balder than any but the most exceptional female with a life experience radically different from anyone born without a penis – I’m male, Do I know what it’s like to be a male? Hell yes! Drop me into any African village with a Swahili phrase book, a bottle of booze and a group of guys and all I’d have to say is, mwanamke! (Women!)

            Hakuna anayemshinda mwanaume kama mwanamke.
            Swahili proverb – Nothing can overpower a man as a woman.

            Two hours later we would all be drunk mates….

          • Jesse Folsom

            As cited in my article, there is no consistent hormonal difference in TS people from non-TS people. Therefore, the behavioral and emotional differences caused by different hormones are not a factor.

            While I don’t think they are without value, in a scientific debate I’m afraid neither personal anecdotes nor speculations about how you would fare if dropped into a foreign culture are of great value. You ascribe your experience to various factors about which you might be mistaken, and which at this point are likely impossible to establish conclusively.

          • Manatee7474

            In reply to Jesse 6:47 PM

            Hormonal factors may be A factor though perhaps not the ONLY factor.

            Let me remind you this is NOT a scientific debate, if it were then the empirical truth is that any human with XY chromosomes is male (penis and testes – highly probable) and any with XX (vagina and womb – highly probable) is female (mutations aside) – that is the end of it. Nothing more to be said. Period. Clothes, makeup, attitude, desire, sexuality are all irrelevant – it’s a question of genetics.

            XX = Male
            XY = Female

            There, nothing to debate.really – that’s the science of it.

            What you are asking (I think?) is what it means to be male – that’s not scientific.

            So may I ask, with genuine respect, Is it really so hard to concede that PERHAPS there are some natural differences, both physiological AND psychological between men and women that are not a product nurtured environment?

            The truth is twenty years ago I would have conceded physical differences (Bloody obvious) but would have said something like – The psychological differences between the sexes are smaller than the differences within the sexes and can be accounted for largely, but not wholly, through societal expectations and enforced gender norms.

            I was wrong, I can see that it was in part wishful thinking on my part (I was a die hard ‘equalist’ for my own selfish and peculiar reasons) – but I’m older and better informed than I was then.

            Still, it’s entirely possible that I was nearer the truth then than I am now! The real difference being that I accept the possibility of being in error…

            Anyway, it’s been a pleasure conversing with you Jesse – thank you.

          • JGteMolder


            “XX = Male
            XY = Female”


            I think you mean the other way around.

            But no, that’s not true. It isn’t just mutations there’s a whole slew of possibilities; men with XX and XXY chromosomes and IIRC even YY chromosomes, and women with a Y in there as well.

            The binary dichotomy of XX and XY is false; they’re merely the combinations that occur more often than the others, but the others aren’t an insignificantly small number occurring mutations.

            The binary dichotomy is just the way it’s depicted in the media, because the media and society likes black and white, good and evil, everything occurring in twos.

          • Manatee7474

            I am so amazingly stupid – duh!!!
            …and embarrassed

            Of course I meant

            XX = Female
            XY = Male

            I’m no geneticist (see previous post for proof) but as far as I can see, help me out if I’m wrong please, is that aside from incredibly rare conditions such as ‘XX male syndrome’ et al the ‘XY sex-determination system’ is the accepted scientific method for sex determination in humans – at least at a chromosomal level.

            Of course you are correct in that it does not hold true for every human being, there are 6 billion of us with a fantastic level of biological complexity with massive scope for replication error – but it IS the template.

            Think of it this way. The human hand has 4 fingers and a thumb. Some are born with various combinations of digits but these are not representative of the archetype ‘human hand’. They are aberrations, genetic ‘mistakes’ from the current norms. Perhaps if they pose some evolutionary advantage they may in time become the ‘standard genetic template’ but for now it is a deviation.

            XX = norm for female
            XY = norm for male

            Although I do agree that the media does like to simplify everything into ‘black and white’, in the case of male and female I believe it really is a ‘binary dichotomy’ – you need a male and a female to procreate. Females hold eggs and a womb, males have a penis and testes. That’s the way we are – at least for now…

            Genetic diversity may ‘blur the edges’ like twilight and dawn blur the edges between night and day but never-the-less night really is different from day. (Please don’t mention eclipses)

            Again sorry for my stupid ‘XX’, ‘XY’ confusion…

            I suppose it’s natures way of saying you should proof read what you write…

        • danah

          Manatee regarding your characterization of sex as a binary and based on two karyotypes – the chromosomal configurations 46-XX female, and 46-XY male:

          Earlier you dismissed statistically significant variations such as Swyer’s syndrome (XY female), Klinefelter’s syndrome (XXY male), XX male and others.

          They are absolutely a critical part of this discussion.

          First, some background: You may be surprised to learn that unlike lizards, human sexual dimorphism is not driven by chromosomes. That’s right. It’s not. It’s driven by hormones. The Y chromosome carries the SRY gene, which in *most* cases (but not all) will “communicate” to the mother’s body to trigger a release of testosterone from the mother to the fetus – all fetuses are proto-female, regardless of karyotype. This happens at several stages, at various times over the course of gestation, creating the initial, fundamental dimorphic features that differentiate female from male – the gonads become testicles, the labia fuses to become scrotum, etc. (human reproductive tissue is homologous). Once born the gonads will eventually produce androgens (if testicles) or estrogens (if ovaries) which create further dimorphic features during puberty.

          So, your view on chromosomes is reductive. It’s actually just a component of a complex biological process. Y chromo->SRY gene->androgen->tissue dimorphism

          And now, why this is relevant to the discussion: According to the body of research we have, the evidence suggests that many intersex conditions, *as well as* the condition of being trans are products of the above process going awry. In the case of intersex conditions it may result in an XY female due to the Y chromo lacking an active SRY gene, leading to androgen insensitivity. In MtF trans people it seems that during brain development there is insufficient androgens to completely masculinize the brain, leaving the trans woman with neurological structures such as the limbic nucleus which appear decidedly feminine – the BSTc count ends up in the characteristically female range. There is some hint at white matter differences and even other differences as well. That’s not to say that the brain is “female” – nobody’s is anyway, nor is any brain exactly “male” – but enough of it is to cause processing problems involving a person’s sense of their own gender (Unfortunately no amount of socialization, psychotherapy or drugs seem able to correct this, so the standard treatment involves changing the body to relieve the symptoms of the condition.)

          So basically, put in blunt terms, trans conditions as well as intersex conditions seem to be the result of a birth defect.

          Whether or not you think an XY trans woman is female, the scientific evidence suggests she’s more intersex than male.

          The same goes for FTMs.

          In my case, there were some other physical artifacts of lack of insufficient androgen exposure, such as my 2D:4D ratio, that is higher than the vast majority of men (and even a lot of women)

          I really don’t care for the chromosome argument. It’s sort of irritating to hear people reduce all human development to a dramatically simplistic view that leaves out whole biological processes and is only effective for describing maybe 99% of people. It’s especially hard to watch someone do that and erase all the corner cases (as you did when you dismissed non binary karyotypes) when we are *specifically focusing* on a group of people that are themselves, part of those rare corner cases. The bottom line is that chromosomes are a predictor of sex – and in 99% of cases, it’s an accurate predictor. But it’s not the absolute *arbiter* of sex. Basically it’s a piece of evidence about someone’s sex, but it’s no good without looking at the whole picture.

      • Tom Golden

        Yes. Plenty of twitches. The author spent a great deal of time with both the boy and the parents. The mother was aware of her hopes for her son to have a good life. These hopes were so strong that she would do anything to foster his well being, including bringing him up as a girl. The mom, as I remember, was able to describe her ambivalence. Not surprising in the least. The author was very skilled and in my mind is a master storyteller. The book is extremely well written and I hope some find the time to check it out.

        Are these stories conclusive? Of course not. They are just more data to help us understand the truth. It puzzles me how the socialization zealots seem so threatened by the biological side of things. It’s just so plainly both factors that those who have a hard time admitting that biology is involved are like flatworlders to me. It reminds me of the years of crap we would hear from them about the toy research. The research that showed that boys liked guns and trucks and girls liked dolls. These folks would yammer on about how there must be socialization involved in their choices. This even though the research was on kids so very young that they couldn’t have gotten much socialization…but that didn’t stop them from their mantra of it’s all about the socialization. Then along comes the research on chimps that tested boy and girl chimps and their toy preference. Guess what? The chimp boys loved the trucks and guns, the girl chimps loved the doll babies! LMAO. That shut them up, at least for a while.

        • Jesse Folsom

          I was able to find a study using rhesus monkeys that showed a correlation like you cite.

          It is compelling, although one could find some flaws in it, such as the unequal numbers of males and females, such that there were vastly more females and higher-ranking females tended to prefer the relatively few plush toys. I think the experiment could be repeated with equal numbers of each sex, or with the sexes separated, and ample toys for all to play with one category or another at the same time.

          The observational study of chimps that I found, however:

          …actually refers to sticks, not manufactured toys. In this case, it referred to stick-carrying, with the sticks appearing to be proxies for infants. However, this has only been observed in a single population, and is lacking in other populations after long study. Thus, it is characterized in the article as a local tradition, that is, a cultural phenomenon for just those chimps.

          It would be foolish to deny that there are biological trends that feed into gender stereotypes. Nonetheless, these remain mere statistical facts, of which no one has any binding hold over individuals, including non-TS individuals.

          • Tom Golden

            Jesse – Have you had a son or a daughter or better yet both? I know my views on this topic were helped greatly by having raised both a son and a daughter. Other parents I have spoken with have had a similar experience. You learn things raising and loving your kids that research can’t quite match. Are you a parent?

    • Vivica Liqueur

      The thing is, they didn’t HAVE to raise that boy as a girl. What they should have done was still raise him as the boy that he was and helped him with the trauma he endured that was the parent’s fault to begin with. Why raise him as a girl if they did not want him to be a girl? Doesn’t add up.

  • osullepmitom

    On this issue: has anyone considered how the world-wide growth in soy (a very well known testosterone reducing agant), coupled with a 20% reduction in testosterone production in men, has contributed to this issue?

    Also, I have wondered why most M2F transgendered rarely actively pursue men as partners (I say this from a measure of experience with them): many pursue women.

    So in some sense, is it possible they have internalized misandry?

    • Seele


      I do not know if “internalized misandry” is an appropriate term for it, but it is quite surprising that a fair proportion of MTF TS women are very vocal feminists, but not even heard of Cathy Brennan. However, I do find that most MTF TS women are interested in men: a subject I shall elaborate a little later.

      From where I stand I feel that a lot of MTF TS women are very keen on asserting their femaleness to themselves and others; to be more precise, it’s more like their own individual views on what makes a person male or female, and that is often based on their past experiences. A proportion of them hate what they consider as their own “maleness” so they make conscious efforts to eliminate them, and often making a point about it: getting into feminism is one example.

      A very common affliction is what I term as the “TTT Syndrome”: “Trannier Than Thou”, as if it is a competition to be more “female” than the others, by making up yardsticks on the run. One would say “I am the real deal and you are not because I started my transition at a younger age than you”, and if they started at the same age, “I am the real deal and you are not because I am post-op and you are not”, and if they are both post-op, “I am the real deal and you are not because my surgeon charged me more than what yours charged you”, and if they went to the same surgeon, “I am the real deal and you are not because I managed to fool more men between the sheets than you”… there is no end to it.

      But if you are talking about the sexual aspect, the ultimate self-affirmation would be to marry a straight man without him knowing, and that never works, not even for Caroline Cossey.

    • silvercoin

      ‘Also, I have wondered why most M2F transgendered rarely actively pursue men as partners (I say this from a measure of experience with them): many pursue women.’

      While they are still male they are into women. However when they undergo hormone replacement therapy with estrogen many report that they begin to be able to smell men and to be attracted to them to their amazement, and some become bisexual.

      • Correctrix

        Silly overgeneralisation. Some trans women remain attracted to men, some remain attracted to women, and some experience a shift in attraction from women to men. In this last group, some report that they actually had been attracted to men before but had suppressed it while having the wrong body and social role, whilst others report that HRT created a new attraction from scratch.

        Those are the three main patterns (with two subsets for the last one), and of course some people don’t neatly fit in. I do, however. I was exclusively with women before transition, with a slight attraction to men that I suppressed for social reasons and because it just didn’t feel right. After transition, HRT triggered a physiological upheaval that made men and women look and smell different to me. It suddenly felt entirely right to date guys, and I found myself to be a 50-50 bisexual, when I had assumed I would be lesbian.

        So, a partial maintenance of earlier sexuality, and partial shift towards androphilia.

        • silvercoin

          Yeah but what do you think has caused this? That sudden change in the perception of look and especially smell of women and men. Is it safe to assume that hormones play a role into all this, perhaps not the exclusive role but still an important one.

          • Correctrix

            Do you know what “overgeneralisation” means?

        • danah

          I like sex more, I like women less, now.

          For a large part of my life I was happily asexual.

          I had sex at 18 the first time, largely because it was expected of me – and also out of curiosity I suppose. I got myself so drunk that I hardly remember it, and I didn’t know her.

          That same year, I wound up with a couple of men.

          The next year, I ended up with a woman, much older than me, (@ 27 to my 19)

          Then a man, who I actually stayed with for couple of years years.

          Then another, and then a woman, who I stayed with for even more – when I began my transition. That helped, because she was a stripper, and I often loitered in the dressing room all day and did makeup for the girls who were working there. I’ll take my vital life skills where I can get them, thanks. =) But honestly, I’m grateful for the time and experience because I learned quite a bit about presentation in a relatively short time.

          That may sound like I was bisexual, but I don’t think it was. I didn’t have a preference, because I didn’t enjoy sex, really at all. To the point where I’d “outsource” sex in my relationships as much as possible, Despite the problems it would cause, I’d encourage my partners to f*ck around. I just needed the emotional attachment and not to be alone.

          Part of this was that sex was painful to me. I wouldn’t use my bits, regardless of who I was with, because I had to be really drunk to not breakdown trying to use my peen, which I’m sure sounds weird to any man here, but you like;y have at least an inkling of what I’m on about in that regard.

          HRT changed sex for me. OMG. I totally love men now. I can be with a woman, but it doesn’t so much interest me. I spent a lot of my life wondering why people were so carnally interested in it, and now I get it. RAWR! =)

          Anyway, just my experience surrounding it. From the other trans women I’ve talked to, it seems like my experience is uncommon. but almost all can relate to part of it.


  • Riku

    This is indeed very speculative. It’s time for a research with great sample size to be done. One researching the environment the trans grew up in. Until then…these articles are nice to read, but I like proven facts. Otherwise I’d be a feminist. It’s completely alright to question if the environment the average young boy/man grows up in is healthy for him, but I personally would prefer you didn’t throw wild speculations out there. The site should be about facts. The speculations can and should inspire a proper research, though, so they’re better used as suggestions.

    Good article though :)

    • Jesse Folsom

      There are some very good reasons why such research is and will remain extremely difficult. To be really conclusive, you would have to track their lives almost from the cradle. Self-reporting of their emotions at various times of life are simply too terribly unreliable, as one of the studies I cited showed. People remember things differently than they happened, and these memories are easily altered.

      When a person has a tremendous emotional commitment to a certain identity, it cannot be known exactly how much their desire for validity will alter their recollection of events. Further, trans people are relatively rare, and gathering information would suffer a high selection bias because they would have to be volunteers.

      • sybil

        Here’s how I think it could be done. Come up with an index of male disposability, that would include stats like the relative male/female life expectancy, suicide rate, homelessness, etc. And then examine the correlation between this index and the ratio of MTF/FTM transsexuals.

        You could either do this across cultures at a particular time, or within a culture over time. The prediction would be that male disposability is correlated with a higher MTF/FTM ratio. (Longitudinal would be the best, if it showed that, during the same time period, the MTF/FTM ratio increased in countries with increasing male disposability, but decreased in countries with decreasing male disposability.)

        True, this would be just correlational, but I think it would provide some pretty cool evidence for your hypothesis. Maybe it would be publishable either in a social psych or sociology journal. I think it’s doable, if it’s possible to come up with accurate data on numbers of transsexuals. What do you think?

  • Seele

    While I have been looking into transsexualism as a subject of interest – much like the history of optics and Russian horology etc – I still cannot find a definitive explanation of its cause. But I am pretty sure what it is not. The convenient grouping of LGBT as a somewhat homogenous group is not realistic as the LGB part and the T part are different: the former is about sexual preferences, the latter is about self-identity, and the they are seldom good bedfellows at all (no pun intended). In fact, the L contingent tends to treat MTF TS with great suspicion, to put it mildly, as though they’re men with the aim to score with lesbian women, etc.

    A person can be totally celibate and without romantic or sexual connections with women, but his gender identity can still be male, and his sexual preference can still be straight, and so on. Needless to say, those who are CD (crossdressers), TV (transvestites), etc are not transsexuals at all, but they tend to muddy the water somewhat, especially in the minds of the general public, and gender feminist ideologues such as the likes of Cathy Brennan.

    • whiic

      “The convenient grouping of LGBT as a somewhat homogenous group is not realistic as the LGB part and the T part are different: the former is about sexual preferences, the latter is about self-identity, and the they are seldom good bedfellows at all (no pun intended). In fact, the L contingent tends to treat MTF TS with great suspicion, to put it mildly, as though they’re men with the aim to score with lesbian women, etc.”

      That is to be suspected to happen. After all, if feminist women refuse to accept men into their lines, surely homosexual women might have the same attitude. Heck, feminists are so anal about the “no men allowed” that not only have they prohibited men some organizations have also prohibited transsexuals as well.

      But I can’t judge lesbians on the same grounds as feminists. Sexuality is something you have less control of and refusal to accept transgenders isn’t (necessarily) a political decision. It’s their freedom to choose their partners. And even when talking about organizing lesbians into groups, the personal preference might come through into policies.

      The real hypocritical part is that LGBT community tends to criticize heterosexual men for not accepting MTF transsexual “women”.

      The fact that I’m sexually attracted to cis-women probably affect my view of what a “woman” entails. Still I cannot think of myself as any more transphobic than lesbians are. Surely, lesbians are a “victim-class” hence in leftist thinking cannot be in any way guilty of bigotry because of it. (Likewise, black people are never racist. They’re just “color aware”.)

      I also feel that I have a right to refuse to address them as women if I don’t think they qualify as such. Likewise, you have the right to refuse to acknowledge me as the Emperor of Rome even if I insisted to be titled as one. I’m all for gender-neutral society (except for every individual’s freedom to “discriminate” in partner selection based on any criteria) but I will not acknowledge people to be opposite gender of what they were. Even if they had penises clipped of, they’d merely become non-gendered freaks medically created intersexuals rather than actual women.

      Transsexual activism doesn’t even appear to work toward gender-neutral and free society, and it is even more so fixated on gender than people who don’t suffer from gender dysphoria. Considering where they come from, I think it’s understandable, but I will still disagree. I think men should be freed from their disposability without men needing to recognize themselves as women.

      • Jesse Folsom

        It’s probably not helpful to the discussion to be too venomous toward TS people. I happen to agree with your basic point; I do not view TS people as their chosen sex, but rather the sex they most resemble to me. There may, indeed, be some TS people I can’t tell are TS, and I think of them as how they look. But claiming to be a woman when you look like a man, even if you are dressed like a woman, is no more true than any other costume.

        That said, I think we could approach this situation with some compassion. TS people are vastly unhappy, even tortured, with their internal conflicts and identity confusion. I understand that their activism and insistence on their labels is irksome, it is to me, too, but I don’t think more hate is going to do them any good.

        • whiic

          >“It’s probably not helpful to the discussion to be too venomous toward TS people.”

          Yeah. And even if we were to lobby in favor of gender-neutral society (and for some social engineering on common perception on men’s role), it doesn’t necessarily, pragmatically hurt to do the opposite: to support TS agenda, even if it’s based on very strong gender roles.

          Why would it be good? Because most socially conservative people are truly appalled by transsexuals. If they are officially recognized as opposite gender of their biological one, it would probably destroy the support for gender-roles entirely, because when a man can become “woman” and woman can become “man” the idea of gender-role becomes totally absurd. Hence, it would be a pragmatic method to work towards end of stuff like men-only conscription and female favored partnership violence campaigns. At first, these benefits would ONLY apply to M2F transsexuals who would be freed from discrimination… but hopefully more would be to come for the cis-male.

          For example: “never hit a woman” would probably lose it’s meaning. Even if M2F transsexual was legally a “woman”, should a case of self-defense vs. turn-the-other cheek arise, I’d bet even most White Knights and Manginas would punch the shit out of that “freak of a man”. When you become a target of violence, political correctness and programming gets easily broken down, and you react on gut feeling. And even people who support TS right probably (deep down) think they’re not really the opposite sex regardless how many surgeries they’ve had. It would in a way be a first step toward gender-neutrality even if it may seem initially a stray step away from the path.

          Basically, it’s a political idea I’d support reluctantly and only pragmatically, as a tool toward actually gender-neutral legislation. Considering all the power feminism has in the politics, it might be actually the only option to drive men’s rights – because LGBT-machine is (at this moment at least) way stronger than MRM.

          • KURAYAMINO

            Therefore, feminist perceive TS/TG “women” as a risk. Then, that is the reason why there are radical transphoic feminists.

            I smell an necesary alliance against a feminist Goliath (i would include queer theory which seeks for a neutral gender, exactly what we want).

            You know, even for just pragmatically reasons. Its not just for us as men, it for a really free society.

      • danah

        Fair enough. In that spirit, I have a right to address you as “moron” since clearly, I have leftovers with sharper cognitive skills than you.

    • Jesse Folsom

      I actually think they are all about identity, in a political sense, although you are quite right in terms of their inherent nature. Identity politics are rife throughout the LGBT community, and there are innumerable identity groups that have formed within it. Some people sure do love their labels.

      I am actually curious as to why some people have such a need to find such quick, easy, and ultimately very limiting names to stick to themselves and others. I am personally uncomfortable committing to such labels.

    • JGteMolder

      The status of the different groups is right; however they do fit together because the same cause underlines all four. Or rather three; homosexuals, bisexuals and transexuals. HBT would be a much better name, but feminist narcissism had put the L in front and separate themselves from the men; considering men had and have it worse, this doubly nasty.

      The same forces that shape the sexuality of the brain in the womb, will form transexual brains. The things that produce an attraction to the same sex, to greater levels, will make the brain gain even more aspects of that sex until eventually it becomes transexual.

  • justman

    Since there are more homosexual men than homosexual women, it seems also likely there would be more transgender biological men than transgender biological women. Is it politically incorrect to say that transgender is a subset of homosexual? I bet it is, but there, I said it.

    Then one can get into the discussion of why there are more homosexual men than homosexual women. It is well established that birth order of males have a statistically significant correlation with homosexuality. Why? Well, my theory is that the mother derives evolutional advantage by having son number 2 (especially) being homosexual, because it reduces the chance of strife and resource conflicts between two highly competitive heterosexual brothers. Think Cain and Abel, if you want a classic and biblical example of the problem.

    Anyway, a womans body KNOWS how many times she has been pregnant, and also the gender of the fetus that inhabited it. So a woman can adapt the hormonal chemistry of her 2nd pregnancy to favor or cause feminine traits, thereby making the 2nd son homosexual.

    Basically, she get’s offspring that has a male body and that can provide/labor like male can, it is more likely that the oldest son will be successful and there will be less strife over inheritance, succession and the like.

    But to get back to the original point, a higher prevalence of homosexual men than women, will, I think, naturally lead to a higher prevalence of transgender biological men than women.

    • SlantyJaws

      King Hery VIII’s wives would like a word…

    • Jesse Folsom

      This doesn’t seem like a plausible evolutionary idea. With the frequency of death of children, as well as death in childbirth, in history, having your second son be homosexual would be a vast gamble and overall genetic survival disadvantage. Humans, like any other animal, have as many viable offspring as possible. There is no example in nature that I know of where a single birth is followed by genetic “throwaway” births. This does happen in species with litters, in some cases, but not single births.

      Rather, it is more likely, in my mind, that intrasexual competition between males always tends to favor an older and usually larger brother. A boy, constantly overshadowed in his masculinity by an older sibling, might be more likely to adopt a non-competitive role to enhance his sense of self-worth.

      • justman

        Jesse, You have not provided an alternative theory as to why male birth order is a predictor of homosexuality. Clearly, there IS some sort of evolutionary advantage, or else homosexuality would not occur.

        Also, consider that the correlation i not equal to 1: it is something around 30% if I recall correctly.. There may very well be additional and even completely external factors, perhaps the mother’s body is susceptible to factors such as overall health, diet, other bodily indicators that predict that a 2nd son is more likely to be a competitor than a valuable insurance policy. That would rhyme a bit with the argument you are making.

        Nothing is ever simple.

        • Jesse Folsom

          What, then, is the evolutionary advantage of suicidal teenagers? Self-mutilation? Not every pattern of behavior has an evolutionary cause.

          • justman

            Tendency toward suicide or self-mutilation are not innate traits. Homosexuality is an innate trait already established at the time of birth.

            That is the difference. It is reasonable to think that innate traits that survive across 1000s of generations have an evolutionary advantage.

        • Jesse Folsom

          Also, I do not have to provide an alternate theory in order to state that a given theory is implausible. It is unfortunate that scientists and people in general are so uncomfortable with the phrase, “We don’t know.”

        • JGteMolder

          The prevalent theory is that the female body’s female immune system sees the male as foreign and doesn’t like it; so it seeks to change it into female. And the more times a male grows inside her, the better the body gets at feminizing it.

          Also; the first to second son barely has a statistical change between them, it really only starts getting prevalent with the third and fourth sons; and having had daughters diminishes it. (Which would fit with this theory; a daughter means the immune system doesn’t do it, and doesn’t train itself further, and like anything in the body not trained, it atrophies.)

          • justman

            The immune system theory is a theory of what the MECHANISM is for CHANGING the sexual orientation of a fetus. It is not an explanation of WHY this mechanism exists, and why having the mechanism has indeed shown itself to be a genetic/evolutionary advantage. My point all along has been that an increased prevalence of homosexuality based on fraternal birth rank is an evolutionary advantage to the mother, and indeed has been a competitive advantage for the human race as a whole.

            From wikipedia: According to several studies, each older brother increases a man’s odds of having a homosexual orientation by 28–48%

            In other words, it is quite wrong to claim that the birth rank effect on brother #2 is statistically insignificant.

    • justman

      SlantyJaws, can you explain? Did King Henry VIII kill off his wives because they were producing too many gay offspring? Or not enough of them?

      • SlantyJaws

        Mostly because they kept producing female offspring. Ironically the biological gender of the first child at least, along with it’s hormones, appears to find its source in the father’s genetics.

    • Correctrix

      Is it politically incorrect to say that transgender is a subset of homosexual? I bet it is, but there, I said it.

      No, factually incorrect.

    • The_Other_Steve

      Isn’t making the assumption that homosexuality and feminine traits are interrelated something of a stretch? There certainly are some very masculine, in the traditional sense, homosexual men, and even hyper-masculine individuals. We can look to history, wherein we find the likes of Alexander the great, who was certainly bisexual, and Richard the Lionhearted, who is suspected of being so (but opinions differ on the matter), men who epitomized masculine ideals of their times.
      There are also heterosexual men who exhibit effeminate traits. Men who are less competitive, less physical, less ambitious, but attracted to women sexually.
      Am I in error in seeing a disconnection between the way a man comports himself and his sexual preferences?


        Well, i think the same. Sexual preferences are separate from behavior.
        Ask me,

        I’am homosexual and i feel proud to be a man, but the latter thing doesn’t have to restrict me my behavior, you know, i take some stuff from “manly stuffs crate” and another stuff from “feminine stuffs crate”.

        Alexander the Great or Ernst Rohm were the opposites. They were homosexual and masculine guys.

  • silvercoin

    What about the case of the Carribean Island where girls turn into boys at puberty? It turns out these were genetically male, but because of insuficient dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the womb masculinization of the external genitalia doesn’t happen and they appear female at birth, although they have internal testes. Those boys are raised as girls until they reach puberty when the testosterone produced is enough to trigger complete masculinization of the external genitalia along with the secondary sex characteristics, so then it is revealed that they are actually male. Those boys grow up to be fully functional men and the most surprising thing is that those first 12 or so years during which they were raised as girls in the respective gender role don’t have an impact on them. When interviewed they say ‘I just knew I am not a girl’. This case casts a very interesting light on the nature vs nurture debate when it comes to gender.

    • Jesse Folsom

      Saying, “it does not have an impact on them,” is simply unsupportable. We cannot know the contrary case, that is, what they would have been like without this series of events, and therefore we cannot know that there was no impact. In particular, we do not know what would have occurred were they not part of a culture where such a transition was common and known to be a possibility.

      • silvercoin

        Once the transformation begins at puberty they adjust very quickly and without any trouble at all, in fact they themselves start saying that they feel male and not female. This has been happening for over 50 years in the same village with more than 30 kids so far. It’s caused by a genetic abnormality. And scientists have studied this case because it’s unique, because it’s like a scientific experiment but it happens naturally and noone intervenes in it, there is no doctor to asign gender at birth and the parents genuinely raise them as girls. And another interesting thing is that those boys affected grow up to be more muscular and virile men than the other men without that abnormality, so they undergo a complete change. It’s trully fascinating.

  • Theseus

    Wow. Thank you for a thought provoking article on an exceedingly difficult and complex issue.

    You know, It always irked me that so many in the LGBT community along with many on the political left, virtually want to stick their fingers in their ears when you suggest to them that human sexuality is very complex, and that it may vary from individual to individual as to what degree genetics and environment play a role in sexual orientation. There seems to be this stubborn willful mindset that if something is not a conscious choice then it MUST be 100% genetic. “I was born this way” they say. Sorry, I completely understand being proud of who you are (as gay and trans people should), but how the hell do you know that you were “born this way”?

    Now I understand all the reasons for not wanting to give trad/cons ANY ammo in saying “See? Them thar queers ain’t born that way, and thet means we kin fix ’em”! But this kind of ignorance can easily be countered in many different ways rather just than sticking to a “genetics only” explanation.

    Anyone familiar with my posts knows I am for human rights and therefore by extension gay and transgender rights as well. I do think that there is evidence for a genetic component in the larger context of gay and trans people ( twins that were separated at birth were brought up); however I think there is also room for an environmental factor as an explanation in many cases as well. Plus, how in the hell do we explain wide spread and culturally encouraged bisexuality (ancient Greco-Roman culture) in all of this, especially if sexual preference is really so damned fixed in our psyche?

    It’s damn complicated and it gets even more so when dealing with trans people.

    • Jesse Folsom

      I have little doubt that there is actually some genetic or other congenital contributor to homosexuality and transsexuality, but I have just as little doubt that such factors are not sufficient to explain these phenomena. Rather, I would guess that these traits are more likely to produce these phenomena in response to certain cultural and other environmental stimuli. Thus, if these stimuli, which are likely to be subtle and complex, were to be analyzed and eliminated or compensated for, these phenomena would decrease substantially.

      • whiic

        Sure there are genetic contributors as well, to both of them. Genes determine what we are physically made of, after all.

        But like they say that there’s no pure hetero- and homosexuality, and we’re actually bisexual with high variance on hetero- and homosexual components, the gender-identity is probably equally a sliding scale.

        If we assume that all humans have bi-gender identity of various amounts of normative and non-normative component, then culture can force people to toward some direction from where they’d naturally feel comfortable with. Conservative society would push people toward cis-gender role, where as transsexual community might press people to the non-normative extreme (see: Trannier Than Thou syndrome). Transsexual activism isn’t necessarily the most tolerating toward half-hearted people in the middle. Likewise, radical feminists push exclusive lesbianism for ideological purposes, attempting bisexual women to reject their heterosexual portion of sexuality.

        Sure, feminist lesbianism (is that called queerfeminism?) is quite a bit more wacky than standard LGB lobby.

        Likewise, transfeminism is probably the same toward TS lobby.

        Which brings us to the fact that non-feminist input to LGBT community is probably a good thing not just for the non-MR related stuff (which most MRAs still support since they’re rather on the socially liberal side) but also to reduce the amount of feminist influence to stuff (sexuality and gender identity) that is not only about women.

        From this point forward, branching to different topic:

        We can’t mirror feminism, though. We can’t for example form “Gay By Choice” movement just that easy. At least not yet. Males’ more strict gender identity doesn’t allow that. It’s against the programming. There are also parts of feminism that should never be replicated even if possible: that being hate toward opposite gender, hate toward heterosexuals, hate toward… when you get the pattern.

        MGTOW movement might in a long time span spin-off such a movement. The feminist reaction toward male gay community and potential ideologically gay people (bisexuals who date/fuck with other men only, for ideological reasons) has been varied:

        On other hand, there’s gay bashing:

        On the other hand, several feminists here in Finland (don’t know if it’s an international thing) have recommended that beta (nice guys) and gamma (nerds and social rejects) males stop complaining about mens problems, female’s bitchy behavior and just become gay.

        I guess the latter is mainly about shaming (comparing non-alpha’s to homosexuals), combined with presenting an option that is under politically correct narrative impossible to do (since LGBT insists that it’s impossible). It is kinda funny how two arbiters of SocialTruths(TM) can blatantly talk against each other yet progressive circles will always take whatever each of them says as the reality.

        • Theseus

          Well said.

          I think that your second and third paragraph encapsulates quite nicely why certain cultures ( ancient Greeks, prison populations) have a tendency towards a wide spread practice and acceptance of bi-sexual behavior. If a tendency to swing the other way (by varying degrees) wasn’t a common human trait, then why would such a high percentage of these populations be engaging in this behavior? I mean, even in prison, there is always your hand…so I doubt that a take what you can get explanation suffices if there was absolutely zero sexual attraction for the same sex in these situations.

          • Christopher Wedge

            IIRC: Most people aren’t actually straight, but bi with a heavy marked preference for the opposite sex. (Because most people tend to also be cissexual – transgendered people can’t really reproduce after all, particularly if they choose to op) And heavy means heavy, to the point that any kind of homosexual relation would only be considered in times of sexual desperation.

            If Paragraph A is true, then that could mean that cultural influences can make their mark… but only within the preset congenital sandbox. In ancient Greek cultures where enjoying straight sex as opposed to enduring it was shameful for men, you’d see a lot of that default slight bisexuality being expressed often enough to look more like my own. Well, if I weren’t also homoromantic and liked casual sex more. The explanation about gay men who”d take wives would kind of fall flat in this context, as there’s only so long that people would do something just because they think everyone else likes it before they realise what the hell’s going on. Religion might be a strengthening factor – but think about Zeus and how he screwed everyone. Or, I could just be completely wrong, and Alfred Kinsey’s research was just a load of crap.

            And in prisons, particularly American ones where it’s the most common form of the crime in the country, where committing a rape is less shameful than being a lover. (I will never understand how anyone could ever think that. And the fact that I can’t reassures me greatly.)

    • JGteMolder

      Can we then not ask heterosexual people the exact same thing? How do you know you were born this way? What if your heterosexuality isn’t something you’re born with? Just created; then what?

      It is utterly ridiculous to ask of only one demographic whether or not they were born this way or not (the demonized demographic no less) and leave the “normal” out of it. As if they are somehow not affected by it.

      • Vivica Liqueur

        Agreed. There are many people who choose heterosexuality as it is considered the most acceptable in our society. Very valid point is not everyone is born straight either. There are those who choose to be straight in order to avoid all of the hatred that the gay community endures.

        • JGteMolder

          No, nobody chooses to be straight; people merely fake being straight.

      • Theseus

        Well said, and in retrospect I should have phrased it that way to include the heterosexual side as well.

        It just seems that there is a defensive reflex on the part of some in the LGBT community to want to justify with “I was born this way”. That was my point.

        In the end, as far as human rights go, It doesn’t really matter.

  • Clint Carpentier

    Ok, so the largest portion of MtF’s come from the femdom camp? And it’s the rejection of masculinity, not the clockwork of femininity?

    Ok, so it’s feminist’s son’s who are killing themselves over their sexual dimorphism. If there’s evidence of this, then what’s the problem? I see one of two solutions; one – the evidence proves feminists are horrible parents and they’re restricted access to their kids; two – the extreme misandry breeds itself out, due to genes being passed through the male line.


    So if we raise our girls a little more callus, and a little less sympathetic, they’ll become more like boys? Try as I might, I have failed miserably at turning my three girly girls into something resembling masculinity. I suppose I could try making them hate everything feminine; but that just seems like so much bad parenting, even for my callus nature.

    Parenting seems like an overly simplistic explanation. Given the circumstances, this would show a higher likelihood of Black MtF’s, rather than a higher likelihood of black inmates.

    I don’t know. I’ll poke through the links, but this article is proving to be a tough sell.

    • Jesse Folsom

      Again, this is an overly simplistic protest. Sure, if you try to force your children to be a way, they may well rebel against it. It is not about conscious effort, it is about subtle cues, unconscious differences in the way children are treated, your own attitude and example. As a study I linked stated, many of the differences in the way people treat different children are unconscious. Parents aren’t aware of them.

      We are exposed to an tremendous multitude of influences everyday, primarily from our parents, but also from media and other individuals.

      I suspect that part of the reason so many parenting books exist, and even well-meaning parents sometimes raise people with serious character deficiencies, is because there is no simple guide to molding children. We don’t even really agree on what the goal should be, but it is almost certain, that unless you want a really programmed, brainwashed child, trying to directly control children is simply not the way to go for your intended result. You can only put forward the best stimuli you can, but what will matter at least is much is how they react to it, and that is unpredictable.

      That said, would it not be good thing to at least remove influences, to the best of your ability, that might cause children discontent with the physical reality of their bodies?

  • vanillaswirl

    Have you talked to many trans people about your theories, Jesse? If it turned out that trans people self-reporting never mentioned internalized misandry as a reason for transitioning would that invalidate your theory or would you suggest something akin to false consciousness? Do you think your position as a non-trans person leaves you more objective and better able to assess the motivations of trans people? I’ve seen research in the past that suggests that trans women are more common but that is changing. As governments start funding transitions for trans men and as they get more surgical options the numbers of trans people are equalizing. I transitioned 6 years ago and there were equal numbers of trans men and trans women in every youth group I attended. Not one of them gave the greater social position of women as a reason for transitioning. Do you think that they are lying to themselves, and if so, do you feel comfortable in your own social position to make that call? Do you think there should be education to stop women from becoming men because perhaps they are mistaken in their belief that men can become action heroes, stay-at-home dads, powerful executives, and politicians? I would hate to think that women are becoming men with the mistaken belief that men are allowed to be these things.

    • Correctrix

      I transitioned 6 years ago and there were equal numbers of trans men and trans women in every youth group I attended. Not one of them gave the greater social position of women as a reason for transitioning. Do you think that they are lying to themselves, and if so, do you feel comfortable in your own social position to make that call?

      Well done on pointing out that the distribution within the community actually seems to be 50-50, whereas cis people are convinced that trans women vastly outnumber trans men. No one actually knows what the true numbers are, due to difficulties with definitions, people living stealth, etc.

      Yes, I have noticed that misandry is almost unmentioned amongst trans women, and only occasionally among trans men. I wouldn’t quite put it as them lying to themselves, but simply point out that our society is saturated with feminism, and thus the concept of misandry is unthinkable to most people.

      I have also noticed that, among the trans women I know, the ones that blindly accept the whole patriarchy narrative go on about it all the fucking time, whereas those of us who don’t, mainly just roll our eyes at that nonsense and don’t make a fuss. And when we do occasionally speak up in the meekest way (e.g. saying that both men and women face specific discrimination), some feminist will pipe up complaining, “This place is infested with MRAs!!” and eventually a feminist moderator will find some excuse to ban you. Since feminists are authoritarians, they gravitate towards mod and censor roles, and you find them controlling forums even when a sizable proportion of forum members are much saner.

      I wouldn’t want, however, to imply that gender dysphoria for trans women is really all about misandry in our society, but feminism is covering it up. There is a plethora of triggers and incongruities and early signs and ways of behaving that really have nothing to do with anything like that. I have always been pro-man, and I’ve used the M(H)RA label since I came across AVfM, and yet I still had to practise a male voice and mannerisms in the mirror (before transition) because maleness was so fake and alien to me personally.

      • Christopher Wedge

        One bad apple spoils the bunch. I think that sums it up.
        Actually, no. One bad apple takes out a +6 Hammer of Feminist Bigotry and dons the +5 Cloak of Public Misconception, then smashes the other apples to pieces.

    • Jesse Folsom

      Internalized misandry is just that, embedded deep within the psyche, not necessarily something someone is aware of as an influence on their actions. Many diehard feminists claim not to hate men, too. The thing about limiting beliefs though, is that discovering them is actually a step in overcoming them. In fact, any number of assumptions can remain unexamined, yet highly influential, in a person’s mental landscape.

      Your more equal proportions can be just as easily explained by the greater hesitation of M2F trans to come out to anyone about their feelings, given the greater stigma attached to them.

      • Clint Carpentier

        Internalized misandry?

        I’m afraid you’re losing me here. Are we really gonna do the coin-flip version of the feminist “internalized misogyny” conveniently used for porn, prostitution, battered wife syndrome debates and what have you???

        As for the numbers discrepancy.

        I could just as easily point out the Fe/Male bell-curves in just about any other biology mainframe. Those double X’s tend to back each other up, thus the women cluster to the average; easily explains away the lower number of FtM’s.

      • vanillaswirl

        I feel like internalized misandry as you’re using it here is an accusation of false consciousness; ie if I don’t agree with you about your assessment of why I transitioned or why the majority of trans women transition the obvious logical jump is that you are right and I am completely and utterly incapable of knowing my own intentions better than you do when it comes to an extremely difficult life decision I debated endlessly with myself. You aren’t me and you aren’t trans and you don’t research trans issues. I’m going to file your theory under other theories cis-people have used to describe us without our input. Radfems think we’re agents of the patriarchy in a conspiracy to destroy feminism, Ray Blanchard thinks we have severe sexual fetishes, you think we have false consciousness and deceive ourselves about our true motives, people here have suggested we’re the result of pollution. It’s getting a little tiresome. Do you have many trans friends?

        • Jesse Folsom

          Not that I know of. In part, because I don’t actually want to hurt anyone. I am not blaming transsexuals for their condition. I don’t even think its a matter of blame, per se, at least not for any particular individual in most cases. I don’t have any trans friends, because I place a high value on honesty and I do not want to face a situation where I would have to be honest about my perception of them. When I do deal with trans people, I must be very careful to be both honest and not hurtful, and frankly, that’s stressful.

          My “accusation” isn’t a hypothesis special to trans people. We all have a “false consciousness”, except maybe for the enlightened, if such people exist.We are all mired in unconscious assumptions and self-deception, near as I can tell. I include myself in this.

          There is a large problem in the general dialogue of identity/victimhood politics, which is a rejection of the processes of reason, logical argumentation, and scientific analysis, in favor of “lived experience”.

          Unfortunately, personal experiences are simply not compelling in such a setting. You may be absolutely right, but I must work from the actual data available, not subjective and demonstrably fallible self-reporting. And, if you follow my links and argument, you will see that, scientifically speaking, my explanations, which include more factors than just misandry, are at least as plausible as yours.

          I would like to see one person actually explain a mechanism whereby body dysmorphia arises from congenital factors alone. How could a desire for a different body arise in any other way, but with association with anatomical features after the fact? A female transsexual’s body map, pre-transition, does not lack breasts or include a penis. They can move just fine not ramming their boobs into everything. So, why dysmorphia? Where? And why insist that that must be a pure expression of congenital variations when the mind is so immensely, demonstrably plastic and complex?

          • Clint Carpentier


            First – you’re a dishonest asshole. You deserve better than the internalized self-loathing contemptuous prick steering your integrity. If you want a cop-out, you could have went with, “no, T’s are too rare, I haven’t come across any.” But oh no, you just had to go with, “I don’t have any trans friends, because I place a high value on honesty and I do not want to face a situation where I would have to be honest about my perception of them.” You sound more in fear of having to change your perceptions, than you are about hurting feeling. You’re a dishonest asshole, to both them, and yourself.

            Second – as much as I trust in science, it is fallible, and if something doesn’t add up logically, one needs to wonder where the funding is coming from, or what the purpose actually is. I watched a FORAtv by Louann Brizendine about the Male Brain. It was a fascinating watch, painful as it was to watch, the science was sound; and then her conclusion was a complete 180 from her own research.

          • Jesse Folsom

            I can’t say, “they’re too rare,” as that’s not true. I have been acquainted with a few friend-of-a-friend transsexuals, both F2M and M2F. I could have pursued friendships with them. I elected not to. I refuse to closely associate with anyone who insists on my perceptual conformity to their desired identity, and thinks me ignorant or even a bigot if I don’t comply.

          • vanillaswirl

            I didn’t actually give an explanation, I simply disagreed with yours. So are you saying that your theory of internalized misandry as a cause for a (increasingly non-existent) discrepancy in transsexualism is just as plausible as my theory that it isn’t? It doesn’t follow that a partly social basis defaults to your theory of internalized misandry. I don’t deny social factors, I simply disagree that the social factor you’ve identified as the main cause of a discrepancy is the correct social factor.

            You have no trans friends. I find it intriguing that you think that this is because of your opinion of them and not because they also think you’re a gigantic jerk. Do you also refuse to call your cis friends by their desired nicknames and ask to see their birth certificate? It is such a minor, inconsequential thing to refer to a trans friend by their preferred pronouns that your refusal to do so makes you seem obsessively committed to your own personal version of truth masqueraded as objectivity.

            So let’s get objective! Going back on the numbers we find that approaching the modern day the ratio of trans women to trans men is actually going down if you include the number of trans youth, or at the very least steady back to the 1960s. Since according to this website and the Men’s Movement misandry is increasing since the 1960s, this goes counter to your claim. So your hypothesis is invalid and you are spreading ignorance about a group of people you don’t want to be friends with and who face violence on account of this ignorance to an audience of thousands of people who are more inclined to believe a non-trans person over a trans person despite the fact that you are not an expert.

            So to conclude I don’t think you’re a bigot. I do think you’re ignorant of trans issues, since you seem to think some halfhearted “research” makes you more of an authority on an entire group of people you’ve rarely spoken to than those people themselves. That also makes you a victim of your own hubris. Proper skepticism and rationality means paying attention to the limits of your own knowledge and perhaps not making blanket generalizations of a group of people (millions of us, by the by) based on your own poorly researched understanding and zero experience as one of them or even friends with one of them. Own the limits of your own knowledge and apologize, please.

          • Jesse Folsom

            I cited studies. You cite “people you know” and “stuff you’ve seen”. I don’t tell trans people my opinions, so no, that doesn’t play into it. I avoid those discussions.

            I’ll call anyone by any name, because that’s not inherently to do with sex. However, to me, sex pronouns are about sex. If you look and sound like a male, I’m going to think of you as one, or at least, not as a female.

            I apologize for nothing, at least until somebody can actually give some evidence that the possibilities I presented are implausible given current, undisputed information. Even then, given that I’m operating off of the best info I could find and my earnest effort at constructing these ideas, I’m not sure I have anything to apologize for. Honest intellectual inquiry cannot shy away from topics and ideas just because people might choose to take offense at them.

          • Clint Carpentier

            Now that’s being hypocritical, Jesse.

            You know T’s, but you won’t talk to them because you are reluctant to hurt their feelings. Yet you say, “Honest intellectual inquiry cannot shy away from topics and ideas just because people might choose to take offense at them.”

            I’m still trying to work out the parenting thing. So far as I can tell, the damage necessary to make a boy show a girl brain scan has to be done before the age of five; I don’t know, but, I think we even cross into the realm of internalized fetal misandry.

            The type of parent needed to create an MtF personality, is not the type that could or would support the transition, as that type of feminist does NOT trust T’s of either gender; one is a wannabe, the other is a traitor.

          • vanillaswirl

            If you want studies I can cite them:


            That’s the one you cited for your information on the ratios of trans women to trans men. If you do the math you’ll notice that the ratio hasn’t changed over time. Here’s another:


            This one shows that the ratio is roughly 1:1, counter to your claim. Turns out there is a lot of dispute over how to count the numbers. You’ve seen some criticism of that on this page. But never mind, since it seems the burden of proof is on trans people to prove you wrong and not on you to do some actual research yourself.

            You have no actual proof of your theory. Proof of your theory would include a way to measure societal misandry levels over time, accurate information on the numbers of trans people (which doesn’t exist yet), surveys of trans women that show even a small number (say 10%) self-reporting transitioning because of the elevated social position of women, and a dearth of reports from trans women that say in their experience that men have it better (you have the opposite).

            Linking to a few studies and making uneducated guesses in a field you haven’t studied is not science. You are simply one more pseudo-skeptic who has no idea what constitutes proof and confuses it with confirmation bias. You have a pet theory, you wrote about it, you have a lot of people calling you out on it and telling you you’re wrong, including many trans people in your own movement, and you are responding defensively and insulting trans people at the same time. You’ll face no consequences for it because nobody cares about trans people anyhow. I’m personally just tired of the MRM acting like they’re trans-inclusive when they haven’t earned it.

          • Jesse Folsom

            I never said my theory was proven. Never. I said it was plausible, given current information. It’s not indisputable. You are the only one here making an absolute truth claim, that my theory is wrong. So, yes, the burden of proof is on you.

          • vanillaswirl

            I thought I did prove it wrong! Oh well. Here’s a concept in science:


            So is your theory falsifiable? You said the burden is on me to prove your ‘plausible’ theory wrong. Okay, what evidence will you accept as proof that it is wrong? Can it be proven wrong? If it can’t then it’s not a true hypothesis and calling it science would be incorrect. Your theory depended on the number of trans women being greater than the number of trans men and I provided some evidence, both empirically and observationally from my own experience that that is not true and based on cherry-picked, outdated, and/or poorly done research. Your theory is also dependent on a measurable amount of societal misandry, and since the general consensus on this website is that misandry has increased since the 1960’s it would imply that the ratio of trans women to trans men should be going up, whereas your own cited data shows that it is steady. What are your own ideas on what would prove your theory wrong?

          • Jesse Folsom

            Well, the first study you cite is the very same one I cite, and in almost every number there M2F outnumber F2M, so I don’t know how that establishes anything for your case. The second one is mostly behind a paywall, and while it acknowledges that the numbers seeking treatment are very different, it seems to be saying that many of the men seeking treatments aren’t “real” transsexuals. Which, I would think, would be insulting to those men and, frankly, without some idea of what criteria they are using for “authenticity”, nor how they gathered the information to make that determiniation, I can’t know if it’s a good argument.

            The raw numbers support my claims. You may be right, in which case I’m not even wrong, I’m arguing about the digestive tract of a unicorn. But, that one interpretive meta analysis is not proof that I’m wrong. It suggests I might be. I don’t know.

            Frankly, I don’t know what your big problem with this is. I haven’t suggested that we abuse transsexuals in any way. I have only suggested that we make a more positive environment for young boys. Whether or not the facts wind up supporting my argument, that can only be a good thing.


    Bravo!! I really like to read Paul’s articles. Seriously I never have thought about transsexualism in that order of ideas… Its better explained that anyone else.

    I am very anxious to receive my monthly pay, then i could donate some bucks to AVFM’s quarterly fundraising.


      Sorry, its a Jesse’s one. I didnt see the name. Anyways, excellent article

    • danah

      No, it was nonsense, but whatever floats your boat.

      Someone who has actually been through it.

  • JGteMolder

    The problem with this idea is, that the people that are after identity politics, that is victimhood shit are post-modernists/feminists and the psychology field they essentially rewrote. These people are NOT going after physical reasons, they’re ENTIRELY about all gender being created by society and parents. And they have no experimental data to back up their claims; because they don’t do scientific experiments.

    All actual research by tho who do do scientific experiments are biologists, neurologists, etc. That is people who don’t care about identity politics and what they get is entirely neurological. Just nine days after birth, girls go for girls toys and boys go for boys toys when you arrange a variety of toys for them to play with. Nine days.

    The discrepancy most likely comes from a combination of factors. First is neurological; but the problem is that most people, including the writer of this article as binary, black and white. You either are, or you aren’t. However, sexuality and gender is a spectrum that is in fact the same spectrum. The same forces that shape a gay brain pushed to even greater heights produces a transexual brain. And in the other direction produce straight brains and brains which are so devoid of traits of the other gender there are syndromes for both sexes.

    Second in other cultures, older cultures, men and/or women with the other gender are just considered another gender; not something wrong with you. If you get the message that there’s nothing wrong with this difference you’re less likely to focus on it and make it a complex. (It also shows that transexualism isn’t something new and isn’t entirely produced from social pressures.)

    Third is the treatment of boys and men in our culture.

    When you combine these three factors you get the picture we see in our society. If it were sociological would the number of men considering themselves women be far, far, far greater? But no, we see that there are even fewer transsexuals than there are gays. This indicates a neurological problem, and an extreme outlying one. However, if being of a different gender than your sex is considered something wrong, you are more likely to want it to change. If you’re transexuality is a mild form; and the message that your sex is awesome and are allowed to be and do everything; how likely are you to focus the problems and magnify them? Indeed, the mild differences may just be something you attribute to the greatness of your sex. Now if you’re transexuality is a mild form and the message that your sex is disgusting, stupid, violent, oppressive, etc. etc, every hint that you’re not actually like that, you will eagerly grab a hold of and not let go.

    This is the picture we see in our society; a neurological disorder that is exasperated by negativity toward one sex. Indeed, it is very possible that a good number of those of those, especially of the male sex, and perhaps even of the female sex, have traits of the disorder that aren’t actually advanced enough to be a disorder, and would not manifest as a desire to change sexes in a less fucked up society. This however does not take away that there is a neurological and inherent basis for it.

  • Stu

    I’ve actually known quite a few male to female transsexuals. Many years ago, a friend of mine was in a defacto relationship with one. Birds of feather flock together, and she had many, many male to female transsexual friends. It got that way that every time I would see a new woman at his house I would whisper to him to find out which equipment she was born with lol

    I’ve also known two female to male transsexuals. From my limited knowledge of them, and from knowledge of them from other sources, I have noticed something about the difference between girls that used to be guys, and guys that used to be girls.

    The holy grail, overwhelmingly for guy to girl transsexuals seems to be to be undetectable. They seek to, as much as possible to pass as born women. The girl to guy transsexuals want to be able to pass as men, but they seem to almost wear their transsexualism on their sleeves. They don’t give a fuck who knows. In fact, when you meet one, it’s almost like…….”Hi, I’m Bob, I used to be a chic” Where as the guy to girl trans, seems to delight in going undetected. After they have achieved that, they don’t seem to mind surprising you with the information, once they know you a bit and think you are cool.

    I’m not sure of the reason for this, but I have my theories. It sort of seems obvious why this might be doesn’t it LOL So obvious that I don’t even have to say what I think do I?

    • vanillaswirl

      It’s because 98% of the violence directed at trans people is directed at trans women. Trans women are trying to stay safe. A lot of people also have negative opinions of trans women but neutral or even positive opinions of trans men.

      • Tom Golden

        Vanillaswirl said: ” A lot of people also have negative opinions of trans women but neutral or even positive opinions of trans men.”

        That’s an interesting observation. What do you think are the reasons for that?

        • whiic

          My guess would be that trans “men” are still considered women. Hence the plasticity of female gender role applies to them – rather than the ruthless male gender role.

          But with trans “women” who were men, they’re considered men, and they totally such at being manly. And male gender role should never be breached lest you want to anger pretty much everyone from a conservative to a feminist


          Also, men can get repulsed by being approached by a non-attractive person – just like a woman can. A gay approaching a heterosexual usually causes just momentary awkwardness but a trans “woman” approaching a heterosexual man the same repulsion surface after the man already had a chance of considering said trans person a genuine woman, thus creating cognitive dissonance with his self-identified sexuality (heterosexuality) and having felt attraction to a non-woman (which would be “gay”, except of course that the features that caused attraction were probably the feminine part of the trans person). This cognitive dissonance could manifest as anger (toward self, toward other).

          This dissonance alone wouldn’t probably cause an aggressive attack because there are a lot more of feminine men and masculine men than actual transsexuals and transvestites.

          When it however is a trans person who causes feeling of sexual attraction on a person who considers himself strictly heterosexual, there is not only the feeling of having made a mistake (and potential anger toward self or other) there is also the fact that the other party intentionally tried to deceive them (i.e the “justification” to direct the anger toward other rather than self)… and it is a fact that they try to deceive people, even for prolonged periods. The biggest limitation is if they pass as one, not how far their willing to go in trying

          Then, why don’t F2M trans people get punched by women? Maybe it’s just because that’s not the way women react to unwanted approaches. Women use shaming (preferably in a loud voice) to mentally destroy unwanted approaches. F2M trans people won’t get punched but they must know that heterosexual women use ruthlessness and mental violence in turning down approaches.

          There was a nice piece of gonzo journalism, where a lesbian woman dressed up and acted as a heterosexual man approached heterosexual women for company in bars. Not a transsexual, just cross-dressing, short haircut, fake moustache, etc.


          • Fredrik

            If that’s the case that I’m thinking of, she got really depressed by the end. It turns out that it can screw with your head to pretend to be what you aren’t. Imagine if it was the other way around, and that it was a relief to present herself as a man? But that wasn’t how it worked. I always think of that case now, when I think of TS, as an example of how it really isn’t an individual choice. Gender is a very deep part of your identity, and acting it out wrong will mess you up.

          • Tom Golden

            Yes, good points. Maybe a summary of what you are saying might be that females are more often judged based on appearance while males are judged more often based on their status. MTF would be a man who was shirking his responsibility to gain status while simultaneously seeking “extra” status based on his appearance. FTM would leave people wondering why anyone would want to simply take on the onerous responsibility of proving their worth through status. Plus women are mandated to have “choice” and therefore would likely have an easier path in “choosing” their sex. Men have no such option and are expected to get the job done. Any variance from that will have him labelled as a shirker.

            I do hope that vanillaswirl will add to this discussion. I’d be really curious to hear.

          • whiic

            If that’s the case that I’m thinking of, she got really depressed by the end. It turns out that it can screw with your head to pretend to be what you aren’t.

            Big part of the depression must have been her interaction with other women went into a steep downfall compared to when she approached them as a lesbian.

            Also she invaded men-only spaces such as therapy groups and a monk monastery. In some occasions within the therapy group men expressed fantasies about murder and mutilation of women (fantasies that were verbally expressed for the obvious reason of getting over the anger rather than going through with them). She was afraid of blowing up her cover in such situations, thinking “never hit a woman” wouldn’t apply, and probably felt that men being numerous in those rooms would have only increased rather that reduced the risk of one of them managing to get his punch through (note: chivalry).

            She must have seen the situation from female point of view and the fact that is a man invaded women-only space, the women WOULD have ganged up to beat the shit out of the man – unanimously (rather than either letting it happen, let alone risking their own health to prevent violence from happening, protecting the intruder just because of it’s opposite gender).

            Despite the 18 months of undercover experiment, Norah still didn’t learn (or at least internalize) the concept of chilvarly. She did a good job at learning how privileged women are. She admits it clearly. And she learned a lot.

            I don’t think Norah’s developed depression during the period of experiment had much to do with being forced to play a different gender role. She was willing to pretend. And she took her male alterego only when needed. At home, she was Norah and she did interact with people in the society as woman to make comparisons.

            Her depression probably had nothing to do with gender dysphoria because she knew her body was a woman’s, under the removable fake moustache and goatee.

            Imagine if it was the other way around, and that it was a relief to present herself as a man? But that wasn’t how it worked.

            It couldn’t have worked because it had nothing to do with gender identity. Even if she was a transsexual with male self-identity, she would still have been appalled by for example the way heterosexual women behave toward men.

            It’s one thing to think you are and want to be male, and to understand what “being a male” includes, if you have lived as a woman. A F2M transsexual put into the place of lesbian woman Norah, would still have been equally emotionally destroyed if ey decided to enter into therapy groups for men or into a monastery. Ey might actually be even more destroyed because ey would see a part of being a man ey didn’t previously know of but of which ey agreed to become when ey decided to become a man.

          • danah

            You may not think I was ever a woman, but I certainly was *never* a man. If I was, I’d have had no need to transition in the first place.

        • JGteMolder

          Yes, that’s because a man, one of the slave class, not only claiming to be equal to women, the master class, but saying he IS one, and work to BE one, is unacceptable.

      • Christopher Wedge

        98%? That seems rather steep – and I’d honestly like a feminist-free study on that. As in, actual solid science. Because that statistic could easily be spin of the “male privilege” variety.

        Although it could make sense if transphobic violence is being meted out based on sex, rather than gender. Even then, 98% is a bit steep, and it honestly looks fishy. Even among the cis populace, women are the victims of violence more than 2% of the time – and transphobes would doubtfully refrain from attacking someone they see as a woman. Unless they’re feminist transphobes. Possibly.

    • Stu

      Ok, I’ll tell you why I think it is. The F2M trans gains something by letting people know he was a girl. He reclaims some of the pussy pass, some of the chivalry. He gets to hang on to a bit of the special treatment, less accountability, etc etc, by letting people know, that he was a she.

      The M2F trans, gains nothing and loses some pussy pass and chivalry but being detected. They used to call this…..being sprung. The only way she can actually be treated preferentially, as a woman, is if people think she is totally female, and always was.

      • Tom Golden

        Great points Stu.

      • vanillaswirl

        In my experience most people’s reactions have been the opposite, but maybe I’m unique.

        • Christopher Wedge

          Considering that you previously claimed that 98% of trans*-targeted violence is directed at women… Then, most likely unique and mistaken both.

      • Christopher Wedge

        That makes a bunch of sense, actually.
        And it honestly kind of sucks for all involved that this is a cultural thing. Especially cissexual or transphilic straight men, who’d kind of like to know beforehand.

        • BBR

          cissexual or transphilic, are you using real words? No spell correction, no “look up: ” no search with google, can’t find anything about them. I must be behind on my PC, I can’t wait for a PC dictionary comes out so when people talk PC I can translate that to english.

          New-flash! Found “cissexual”, apparently its a synonym for hetrosexual.

          • JGteMolder

            I don’t think cissexual exists at all, the term is cisgender; and it does not mean heterosexual; it means that your mind sex is the same as your body sex; aka you’re normal, you’re not transgender. It’s also a slur; the term coined by people who hate normal people (well normal men) as being oppressors, hated that they didn’t have a special word for them, and thus created it; and has always ever been used as a slur. It’s a vile and tainted word.

          • danah

            No, it’s not. Thanks for playing.

          • Christopher Wedge

            Nice try.
            I was referring to people who fetishise or simply don’t want to sleep with trans individuals.

      • Lewis Rose

        Honestly, I’ve only known of 1 transman who was that open about being trans. From what I understand, it was a way for him to spread awareness and be an advocate. You don’t get special points for outing yourself as trans, you risk having your gender identity rejected and undermined, labeled an outsider, a sinner, a fag, in more severe cases you can be fired from your job and denied housing. Treating a transman differently just because he’s trans and giving him a “pussy pass” is highly insulting, and undermines his identity. It’s not something to be aimed for.

    • danah

      > The holy grail, overwhelmingly for guy to girl transsexuals seems to be to be undetectable.

      There are several reasons for that.

      1. Society punishes “men” who do not follow rigidly defined roles of masculinity, sometimes very severely. As soon as the trans woman is read as a “man” this judgement will apply, and is often severe.

      2. A “man” behaving in a way that is gender non-conforming is thought somehow to be “less than” a man, by society. People react to someone that would “willingly” give that up with fear and confusion.

      3. There’s a permissive trope that trans women are thought of as deceivers and “traps”, which too often gets them beaten, raped, and killed.

      4. For every 4 feminine characteristics, a man needs only 1 male characteristic to counter it. That’s why women get misgendered pretty regularly, and men almost never do. A trans woman who transitioned post initial puberty has to try particularly hard to not be read, and so passing tends to rent a lot of space in their heads.

      Trans men on the other hand do not generally face these same reactions reactions. For starters, society will even view a F2M as an “upgrade” in status (whatever you think the reality of this situation, I’m speaking about perception).

      “Women” are not as severely punished for acting like men.

      “Women” are not considered “less than” for acting like men.

      Trans men are not seen as intrinsically deceitful or “traps”.

      Trans men have an easier time adopting secondary sexual characteristics, and need less of them to blend in, so the prospect of passing doesn’t rent so much space in their heads.

      Each person’s individual experience may vary. This of course is necessarily broad.

      • JGteMolder

        >1. Society punishes “men” who do not follow
        >rigidly defined roles of masculinity, sometimes
        >very severely. As soon as the trans woman is
        >read as a “man” this judgement will apply, and
        >is often severe.

        This of course, does not happen because men are valued, quite the contrary; it’s because men are disposable utilities, a tool, a beast of burden, a machine, a slave. And the likes of those better get funny ideas about not being disposable, about being free and not only as high as the master class, but BE the master class. That equals scorn and shame. If men were actually considered higher; they wouldn’t get judged like this at all, quite the contrary:

        >2. A “man” behaving in a way that is gender
        >non-conforming is thought somehow to be “less
        >than” a man, by society. People react to someone
        >that would “willingly” give that up with fear and

        Once again, that is backward. A man behaving in a way that is gender non-conforming things of himself as more than society wants him to be. He’s a slave/donkey who has broken free of his conditioning; and that must be nipped in the bud; the rest of the slaves might get ideas. Indeed, well trained slaves will happily beat down slaves trying to be free, as they’ve been conditioned to take their entire value and human identity from being a disposable tool. A slave breaking that, is a danger; the master class may deny their one human identity. Of course, the proper slave fails to see that the man who stops being a good tool, is entirely free to give himself his own human identity.

        >3. There’s a permissive trope that trans
        >women are thought of as deceivers and “traps”,
        >which too often gets them beaten, raped, and

        Which has less to do with the transwomen, as the terror of the utilities to women fearing they may no longer be a good utility to women now that they’ve been with a “man”, that this will cause his positive human identity stripped from him, and thus in their terror they lash out against the one perceived as responsible.

        >Trans men on the other hand do not generally
        >face these same reactions reactions. For starters,
        >society will even view a F2M as an “upgrade” in
        >status (whatever you think the reality of this
        >situation, I’m speaking about perception).
        >“Women” are not as severely punished for
        >acting like men.
        >“Women” are not considered “less than” for
        >acting like men.
        >Trans men are not seen as intrinsically
        >deceitful or “traps”.

        Wrong. Society does not see it as an upgrade; they see the woman as still part of the master class, and as the master class they are fully allowed to do anything, including lowering themselves to the status of the disposable tool, without losing a single bit of the respect and idolatry as a member of the master class. The slave class, the disposable utility, has no such luxury.

  • justman

    Let me expand on my previous politically incorrect (I’m almost sure it is ;-)) observation:

    A M2F transsexual is sometimes just a gay man that wants to be desired by straight men, rather than by other gay men. Sometimes it is a gay man that wants to be the “feminine” partner of a “masculine” gay guy.Other possibilities also exist.

    A word on terminology: I have noticed that the politically correct appear to use a different terminology than what I do. When I say M2F I mean biological2sexual or biological2psychological. Also, I would call an M2F a trans MAN. I see others apparently calling that person an M2F a trans WOMAN.

    Another observation: According to some, a transsexual can also be heterosexual or homosexual. Some would define these orientations relative to the biological gender, whereas others would define them relative to their psychological gender.

    All in all it does create some interesting misunderstandings and ambiguities. It sure makes for endless fun.

    • whiic

      A word on terminology: I have noticed that the politically correct appear to use a different terminology than what I do. When I say M2F I mean biological2sexual or biological2psychological. Also, I would call an M2F a trans MAN. I see others apparently calling that person an M2F a trans WOMAN.

      I’m still refusing to call transsexual by their mental gender image or refer to eunuchs by the gender which they are surgically made to resemble but which they still aren’t. But at least I could use gender-neutral pronouns out of courtesy (not referencing them by their past sex). Referencing them by past sex would also be factually inaccurate (at least for post-ops) as many countries require transsexuals to go through castration during juridical sex change.

      I think I’ll try to refer to transsexuals gender-neutrally from now on, like I would prefer to refer intersexuals gender-neutrally. I know this is going to offend the most sensitive of TS people but I don’t really think you have an entitlement to be called what you want to be called or be what you think you are. You are only getting the sex change (possibly funded by the people through taxation) because
      A) it might be cheaper or more effective than extremely lengthy therapy,
      B) because society want you non-depressed so you can enter the workforce.

      But you are not any more entitled to be a woman or a man based on your decision, than otherkin is entitled to be a dragon. That’s equality in general, rather than just transequality.

      Another observation: According to some, a transsexual can also be heterosexual or homosexual. Some would define these orientations relative to the biological gender, whereas others would define them relative to their psychological gender.

      That’s when it get really muddled up. There should be some other words for non-gendered person to feel attracted to men, women and non-gender, and some word for men and women toward non-genders. It’s not just about transsexuality but intersexuality, i.e people who physically don’t have a clear gender. (Transsexuality on the other hand, is about the brain.)

      Inter and trans people are pretty much genders of their own. Intersexuals actually promote the idea of a “third gender”. Transsexuals strictly refuse it as they live in the gender binary – they’re just not happy at which side they are on. Unfortunately the intersexuality awareness lobby get a lot let attention toward transsexual lobby. I’m not even sure if intersexual issues are part of LGBT.

      • whiic

        Edit-time expired: “a lot let attention toward” should be “a lot less attention than”

        I’ll add that where I previously expressed that TS agenda is gender-emphasizing, hence not directly useful to loosening up the male gender role (but still potentially a pragmatic ally toward mudding up the legislation toward the point that creates political will toward gender-neutrality somewhere in future), the intersexual agenda has a lot more overlap with MHRA agenda.

        It’d be a shame to leave that territory only to queerfeminists. Why?
        Because they are batshit crazy people!

        But the one thing I like about them despite them being batshit is how they portray that feminism is filled with – guess what – patriarchy. That idea is something to agree on, although I’d call it gender-conservativism rather than “patriarchy” because feminism is clearly matriarchal while retaining most parts of the past systems such as male disposability.

        Ok, queerfeminists aren’t going to fix male disposability. Hell no. They are only talking about discrimation against gay, race, trans people, sluts, etc. and would wish for more focus on fight against imperialism, capitalism, rape culture, etc.

        What I see in them, is just probably an attempt at whitewashing a hateful ideology. NAFALT.
        Of course it would be nice to be mistaken and see feminists actually conflicting each other rather than avoiding the topic, attempt to whitewash the entire concept of “feminism” and when called on their shit, NAFALTing and using the “feminism is not a monolith”.

        But feminism is a monolith, if we judge it based on how lackluster the self-critique is. And the fact that self-critique is mainly presented to public when confronted about bigotry by non-feminist. Self-critique as a whitewashing attempt isn’t really self-critical. It’s just dishonest PR stunt, or self-deceit if one isn’t even aware of what’s going on around in within the movement one claims to support.

      • danah

        This post is like a slow motion train wreck where all the passenger cars are packed with clowns.

        There’s simply too much fail here to address it all in one reply, and to do so with a straight face would be impossible.

        Most of it appears to be an elaborate attempt at rationalizing acting like the biggest d-bag you can possibly be, for which I at least applaud your ambition, while at the same time I can’t help but wonder why you bother to justify it all, and not just let your sociopathic freak flag fly. Try it. I’m sure you’ll find it liberating. It will also, thankfully, shorten your posts.

        That said, among this roiling sea of dumbstupid, there is one profoundly ignorant statement you made that’s really quick to address, at least for someone with a triple digit IQ and an education beyond an orientation video at Orange Julius. It also clearly illustrates your level of knowledge, or rather, lack of knowledge about this entire topic:

        > That’s when it get really muddled up. There should be some other words for non-gendered [sic] person to feel attracted to men, women

        I fear I may be further enabling this idiocy, but I’ll risk it for the comic relief.

        The words you were groping for are androphilic and gynephilic.

        Those are terms used in behavioral science. I’ll leave looking them up as a thought exercise, since you clearly need the workout.

    • JGteMolder

      That’s not politically incorrect.

      That’s just plain incorrect.

    • danah

      > A M2F transsexual is sometimes just a gay man that wants to be desired by straight men, rather than by other gay men.

      Yeah no, we’re not, but thanks for displaying your own silly assumptions about the issue. Hint: They aren’t a substitute for actual research – research which happens to disagree with you.

      Your assumption is likely based in the notion that homosexuality is some form of deviance from the gender binary, and trans people are just “”extreme gays”

      Hint: Either way, umm no, it’s nonsense.

      PS: There are plenty of very masculine gay men out there. It’s far easier and more effective for a gay man to simply fish the pond looking for a “Straight Acting(TM)” gay man. They’re out there in droves, as any gay man could tell you. Thanks for playing.

  • Seele


    You said, “A M2F transsexual is sometimes just a gay man that wants to be desired by straight men, rather than by other gay men. Sometimes it is a gay man that wants to be the “feminine” partner of a “masculine” gay guy.Other possibilities also exist.”

    That sounds like something lifted straight out of the Blanchard/Bailey/Lawrence playbook; Bailey’s book is still being used as canon in some gender study courses, even though it’s been debunked thoroughly: his field research in MTF transsexualism mostly consisted of hanging out at gay bars trolling for sex. How academically professional.

    • justman

      Blanchard/Bailey/Lawrence ?? Never heard of them. Seriously, I thought this up all by myself. Mostly as an attempt to decode all the mystical blah-blah that is being spouted by those engaged in gender studies.

      I’m surprised if any academic in the field of gender studies would agree with me. Such a person would almost certainly be politically correct before getting a professorship. And I think my observations above are pretty far from being politically correct.

      • Seele

        My point is that some supposed experts in “gender studies” are effectively charlatans. I did my share of reading from a very large pool of materials, and had been helping out at a TS support site. Thinking things up yourself is all very well, but that should not mean it is as valid as work already done in a field of study which is still fraud with pitfalls and red herrings, as I have already used Blanchard/Bailey/Lawrence as an example.

      • danah

        Anne Lawrence used to be my doctor. She took advantage of her position of authority to abuse me in a clinical setting, and as a result helped delay my transition for about a decade – thank heaven I have ethical doctors now. All of her research on the subject seems to be an exercise in justifying her own proclivities and behavior. Once the abuse allegations started consistently coming in from her patients, she was asked to resign her medical practice. As a result she no longer works in the medical field, although, disturbingly enough, she went into private practice psychology instead.

        Ray Blanchard isn’t even respected by his peers in the APA on issues of gender identity, because he insists on lumping it in with paraphilias.- his actual area of research, despite all of the evidence that it is not.

        Bailey was a scam artist who, like Janice Raymond, milked the sensationalism of transsexuality to make money from book sales. As far as I know, nobody in the psychiatric or medical field takes him seriously.

        You may have never heard of them, but you’re echoing their views. Often times people with similar unexamined prejudices will produce similar ideas. I’m sure you’ve seen that dynamic play out yourself in other areas, so I hope I wouldn’t have to explain the concept to you.

  • Jack.Rayner

    I’m failing to see how your link about “plasticity” does anything to support the assertion that transsexualism is caused by environmental factors, post birth.

    Your link was basically speaking about the brains write/rewrite ability, but you seem to be trying to say that it was speaking about it’s architecture instead.

    This is smelling dangerously close to the long debunked “blank slate” hypothesis…

    • comslave

      I’ve always opposed the “blank slate” idea due to models in nature. it seems that the moment an animal is sophisticated enough to have behavioral traits, those traits become gender linked.

    • BBR

      Blank slate was definitely debunked, I believe the view now is that how we organize our brains is a lot like how we organize computers (which makes sense since what we view as “advanced technology” like gears, motors, stators and rotors, have all been found to exist in biological creatures). There are certain “system files” that we cannot alter, like the process that turns food into fingernails, then there are experience files that are like word files and we alter them as we open them up (remember them) and start changing the contents of the file after we open it depending on the mood we’re currently in.

      I highly suggest reading “The boy who was raised as a dog” by Bruce D. Perry, its an amazing book by the leader in severe childhood abuse and neglect in the first 3 years of life (aka corruption of emotional system files when they are being written). There are lots of great insights in regards to ‘system files and how memory and augmentable files behave that he’s learned through these severely SEVERELY abused children).

      I guess the question is, is gender a deep written system file, is it a file that can be augmented (without hacking the system, i.e. can you raise a gender) or is it a combination of both?

  • comslave

    My current position on the state of research into the causes of LGBT behavior is that until a predictive capability comes from neurological research, I remain skeptical of it’s genetic origins. As a matter of law, I don’t care what anyone wears or what they do with their privates as long as it’s consensual and not with children.

    We, from scans of brain activity, guess the gender identity of the owner of those brain activity patterns. However, those claims for seeing “gay” patterns in the brain appear to be only “post hoc”. In other words, find someone who is gay, scan their brain, and identify some kind of uniqueness that identifies their “gayness”. As far as I know, no study has ever even tried to find the gay individual from a set series of scans. If we could, there would be pressure to apply such technology to find pedophiles.

    That being said, even it it’s all just role playing, so what? After all, you won’t see me outside of Comic Con with a sign saying “You aren’t really Wonder Woman”. If someone wants to identify was “Wonder Woman”, why the hell would I care?

    • danah

      > the causes of LGBT behavior

      Wow, Did you really just try to shoehorn a contrived political construction into a statement about clinical behavior?

      You’re aware that transsexuality has nothing to do with homosexuality, right?

      Gay activists have been looking for forever for some sort of gay gene, but the evidence that transsexuality is neurological is far more concrete, despite having a much smaller and elusive population group to work with (6%-8% of the “LGBT” population) and despite lacking the money and political power to force research.

      I’m not sure if these will get moderated, but here is some light reading for you, in the form of peer reviewed research on the neurological differences in transsexual braiins. Before you dismiss it, remember that you’ll need to provide peer reviewed research to debunk each of these results if you want to be taken seriously.

      Peer-Reviewed Papers on Nuerological gendered differences in the transsexual brain

      Male-to-female transsexuals show sex-atypical hypothalamus activation when smelling odorous steroids. by Berglund et al Cerebral Cortex 2008 18(8):1900-1908;

      …the data implicate that transsexuality may be associated with sex-atypical physiological responses in specific hypothalamic circuits, possibly as a consequence of a variant neuronal differentiation.

      Male–to–female transsexuals have female neuron numbers in a limbic nucleus. Kruiver et al J Clin Endocrinol Metab (2000) 85:2034–2041

      The present findings of somatostatin neuronal sex differences in the BSTc and its sex reversal in the transsexual brain clearly support the paradigm that in transsexuals sexual differentiation of the brain and genitals may go into opposite directions and point to a neurobiological basis of gender identity disorder.

      Sexual differentiation of the human brain: relevance for gender identity, transsexualism and sexual orientation. Swaab Gynecol Endocrinol (2004) 19:301–312.

      Solid evidence for the importance of postnatal social factors is lacking. In the human brain, structural diferences have been described that seem to be related to gender identity and sexual orientation.

      A sex difference in the human brain and its relation to transsexuality. by Zhou et al Nature (1995) 378:68–70.

      Our study is the first to show a female brain structure in genetically male transsexuals and supports the hypothesis that gender identity develops as a result of an interaction between the developing brain and sex hormones

      A sex difference in the hypothalamic uncinate nucleus: relationship to gender identity. by Garcia-Falgueras et al Brain. 2008 Dec;131(Pt 12):3132-46.

      We propose that the sex reversal of the INAH3 in transsexual people is at least partly a marker of an early atypical sexual differentiation of the brain and that the changes in INAH3 and the BSTc may belong to a complex network that may structurally and functionally be related to gender identity.

      White matter microstructure in female to male transsexuals before cross-sex hormonal treatment. A diffusion tensor imaging study. – Rametti et al, J Psychiatr Res. 2010 Jun 8.

      CONCLUSIONS: Our results show that the white matter microstructure pattern in untreated FtM transsexuals is closer to the pattern of subjects who share their gender identity (males) than those who share their biological sex (females). Our results provide evidence for an inherent difference in the brain structure of FtM transsexuals.

      Regional cerebral blood flow changes in female to male gender identity disorder. – Tanaka et al, Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2010 Apr 1;64(2):157-61.

      RESULTS: GID subjects had a significant decrease in rCBF in the left anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and a significant increase in the right insula compared to control subjects.

      CONCLUSIONS: The ACC and insula are regions that have been noted as being related to human sexual behavior and consciousness. From these findings, useful insights into the biological basis of GID were suggested.

      Sexual Hormones and the Brain: An Essential Alliance for Sexual Identity and Sexual Orientation Garcia-Falgueras A, Swaab DF Endocr Dev. 2010;17:22-35

      The fetal brain develops during the intrauterine period in the male direction through a direct action of testosterone on the developing nerve cells, or in the female direction through the absence of this hormone surge. In this way, our gender identity (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) and sexual orientation are programmed or organized into our brain structures when we are still in the womb. However, since sexual differentiation of the genitals takes place in the first two months of pregnancy and sexual differentiation of the brain starts in the second half of pregnancy, these two processes can be influenced independently, which may result in extreme cases in trans-sexuality. This also means that in the event of ambiguous sex at birth, the degree of masculinization of the genitals may not reflect the degree of masculinization of the brain. There is no indication that social environment after birth has an effect on gender identity or sexual orientation.

      and also

      Boys and girls behave in different ways and one of the stereotypical behavioral differences between them, that has often been said to be forced upon them by upbringing and social environment, is their behavior in play. Boys prefer to play with cars and balls, whereas girls prefer dolls. This sex difference in toy preference is present very early in life (3–8 months of age) [1]. The idea that it is not society that forces these choices upon children but a sex difference in the early development of their brains and behavior is also supported by monkey behavioral studies. Alexander and Hines [2], who offered dolls, toy cars and balls to green Vervet monkeys found the female monkeys consistently chose the dolls and examined these ano-genitally, whereas the male monkeys were more interested in playing with the toy cars and with the ball….

      • Dean Esmay

        Such studies as you point to (and we probably both agree that the size of the population is problematic) really put to question those who insist that this is an entirely psychological problem. The whole notion is troubling to feminist ideologues who insist that “gender is a social construct,” which is why there is a lot of conflict over this in feminist circles.

        I don’t think you’ll get much disagreement with the main front page article author here.

        • danah

          To be clear, I was responding to comslave’s statement

          > My current position on the state of research into the causes of LGBT behavior is that until a predictive capability comes from neurological research,

          Furthermore, you’re conflating TERF feminists with other feminists. I don’t know if that’s intentional, but regardless of how you feel about feminists, there is a decided difference in the gender theories of the TERFs (biology *is* destiny) and the gender theories of most feminists (biology is *not* destiny) – I know you’d love to give me a wall of text on why feminism is the root of all evil, but I’m not really interested in derailing this discussion by making it about feminism. Since you brought up feminism however, I just wanted to address that.

          I have other issues with what the author wrote. In fact, is entire article is speculative nonsense scrawled with an air of authority.

          Take this gem for example:

          > But, given that the inherent, prenatal explanations for transsexualism are highly questionable, what other explanations are there, and why might these lead to the discrepancy between male and female rates of transsexualism?

          I just provided several studies above that put lie to that claim. In my case, my high 2D:4D ratio does as well. What’s funny, is he’s essentially saying “well, I don’t know of any research that suggests the cause is prenatal so I’m just going to assume there’s some social aspect absent any evidence, Maybe I’ll write a bunch more fancy sounding things and hope nobody notices.”

          Yeah, cute that.

  • crydiego

    One thing is clear, humans are sexual. They will have sex with ether men/women if confined or they will have it alone. Either way, they will have it.
    I think there is a lot of confusion between sex as a stress relieving act verses a gender identification. Gender identification is a cultural average such as girlish and boyish while sex is a climax associated with the mind.
    I’m not sure this tangle will ever be figured out because no researcher can be neutral. However, until it is figured out, I think that all shades of gay and straight should be friends because it could be harmless fun for both.

  • Spoonwood

    This article should get taken down.

    AVFM’s mission statement says:

    “AVFM’s sole ideology is compassion for men and boys that is equal to that of women and any other identified group.”

    I believe it fair to say that our viewpoint entails that biological sex trumps psycho-social gender when there is any doubt. Consequently, what gets called a “trans woman” we tend to regard as male. From our own viewpoint, the most upvoted commenter named ally_s94 at the Men’s Rights reddit makes it clear that this article does not promote compassion to these sorts of men and boys equal to that of women.

    • danah

      I agree that the article should be taken down. Or rather, I guess if I were the author I’d strongly consider taking it down out of shame.

      The whole thing is pants-on-head stupid.

      • Christopher Wedge

        I would never take an article down out of people taking offence. It won’t remove it from the Internet – and a simple editorial header would be better for distancing your organisation from writer’s opinion.

        • danah

          That’s nor what I wrote, Christopher. I don’t care if anyone found it offensive. If I were the author however, I’d be ashamed of it – because it’s pants-on-head stupid.

          I don’t care to repeat myself, but apparently you need everything spelled out at least a couple of times.

          In the future, please just read each of my replies to you twice in the interest of saving us both time.

    • Christopher Wedge

      You misunderstand “biological sex” as if the brain isn’t part of biology.
      In fact, it’s the most important part. By far. If your brain says you are male or female, then you are – even if the rest of your body attempts to contradict that.

      The mission statement is to help men and boys equally to how we help women (as individuals, moreso than a group of activists, where we target our collective speciality, men’s issues – and I as an individual am working toward branching out to trans issues from an MHRA perspective too)
      In addition, comments like this make people with serious medical disorders (going by the truscum definition of transsexualism, and more to the point the neuroscientific one) and who aren’t exactly getting an easy ride from feminists either. Not even just TERFs, though they’re obviously the worst of it.

  • Meryl Scarlett Fortney

    I’m a trans woman and I’d just like to say that I am a woman.

    There is no need for extended discussion between TERFs or MRAs. There is no need for cis people to speculate why I’m not okay with being a man.

    The only thing all of you need to do is accept people for who they are and leave it at that.

    (and you should probably think twice about acting like men have it bad, at all)

    • Paul Elam

      First of all welcome to the house of pain.

      Second, fuck you. There is no need for you to imagine you are the arbiter of what people discuss, with whom, or whether or not it is extended. If someone told you that was your place, they lied to you.

      The same for your officious instructions of what I or anyone else here needs to accept or not, and what they should or should not believe.

      I bet you were just as much of an arrogant prick as a man as you are now, as a woman.

      • danah

        Fair enough.

        How about I just point and laugh then?

        You all look like fools, scratching your chins and twirling your beards over transsexuality when not a single one of you has the first clue what you’re on about.

        You may as well be speculating on the breeding habits of the mellivora capensis.

        • Deucalion

          Or, here’s a thought, how about you fuck off?

          • danah

            How about no.

            Does no work for you?

          • Deucalion

            Are you here to help AVFM in it’s mission or just to bitch about the views expressed in this one article?
            If it’s the latter, then I repeat: Fuck off.

          • danah

            Again, I won’t “fuck off”

            I *will* point and laugh at the author and several commenters here making fools of themselves by babbling about something that most of them do not understand in the slightest.

            And I “will” point and laugh at the author’s ridiculous hypocrisy, like when he claims that there isn’t any evidence of a neurological basis for the disorder (there’s plenty of it, actually), and then goes on to make a bunch of claims about environment without any evidence – most of which can be debunked by looking at the David Reimer case.

            If you don’t like it *you* can fuck off, princess, but I’m not going anywhere. I suggest you find a way to cope with that, poor little incel.

          • Deucalion

            Oh goody, ad hom insults.
            Seems you really are a typical woman. And yes, that should be taken as an insult. Because from what I’ve seen of you on this board, there is nothing good about what you do or who you are.

          • danah

            > Oh goody, ad hom insults.

            You’re going to whine about that after telling me to fuck off? I may be a woman, but between us, you’re the bitch.

            > Seems you really are a typical woman.

            I’m so glad you’ve caught up with the rest of the class. Have a cookie.

            > And yes, that should be taken as an insult.

            Oh yes, tubby incel. Tell me more.

            It could be worse. I could look like you.

            > Because from what I’ve seen of you on this board, there is nothing good about what you do or who you are.

            The only thing you’ve seen me do on this board is point, laugh, and occasionally when I got bored of that, post peer reviewed research. A lot of it.

            I don’t particularly care whether you think there’s anything “good” about what or who I am. I’m not sure who led you to believe I give any f*cks at all about the opinion of aggrieved, lonely, tubby little men.

          • Peter Wright (Tawil)

            @danah: “I give any f*cks at all about the opinion of aggrieved, lonely, tubby little men.”

            @danah: “So some friends and I are reading this page and basically having a really great time thanks to all of you trying to pick us apart. It’s precious. We’ve decided to make “internalized fetal misandry” into a tee shirt.”

            By all means strut your peacock feathers of wisdom, and spray your snark around like cat’s piss. There’s nothing wrong with you challenging people on a topic about which you know a lot and have clearly researched.

            But if you resort to ridiculing the gravity of misandry on a forum dedicated to examining its impact on men and boys, or demeaning men (little, tubby) you are out the door.

            Kapish, princess? Your one and only warning.

          • Deucalion

            Danah, all you’ve done is reinforce my belief that a portion (By no means all, or even a majority as far as I know) of the MtF transgender community has decided to be women because they’re men who hold a deep hatred their own gender and want to basically detach themselves from it.
            And I believe you are one of them. Your attempt to insult me for being a man, calling me a incel, calling me tubby, and basically attempting to use your shaming language basically reinforces that for me. You became a woman because you hate men.
            It’s not completely unthinkable, you know.

            And Peter, I’d just ban her right now. She’s obviously not here to help men or boys but to play social justice warrior. She doesn’t like the author’s opinion, so she’s here to seagull her PC rhetoric. Nothing more, as far as I can see.

          • danah

            You should babble about “PC” and “social justice warrior” some more.

            It’s precious.

          • danah

            @Peter Wright, Deucalion

            If you don’t care for my presence here than don’t public ridiculous, blatant nonsense about my condition.

            I don’t visit your site, because I don’t agree with you, or your gender politics.

            But when you publish this kind of ascientific *crap* about me and people like me in a public venue, you’d be stupid to think I won’t have something to say about it, or about what fools you are. And your whining about me calling some guy tubby, after he repeatedly told me to f*ck off is just silly.

            If you don’t want me here, then don’t publish things that essentially are a combination of made up crap and socialization theories that were debunked back when Dr. John Money was still having David Reimer raped repeatedly. Which by the way, I think it’s amazing that the author, who purports to be for the rights of men and boys would share ideological kinship on such an important issue with a man that had a boy abused, and raped to try and prove the very same thing the author is suggesting, until he took his own life as an adult. Interesting company he keeps.

            The bottom line is that if you do not want me here, or you do not want me treating you like the fools you’re acting like, then do not lie about me.

            It’s that simple.

          • Peter Wright (Tawil)


            You referred not to one man -Deucalion- as lonely aggrieved tubby little man, but to men plural. A stereotype and a generalization. You also ridiculed the motion of misandry.

            It is clear you are a bigot, and your attempt to excuse your bigotry failed.


    • BBR

      Ever read the John/Joan case?

      “In 1967, an anonymous baby boy was turned into a girl by doctors at Johns Hopkins Hospital. For 25 years, the case of John/Joan was called a medical triumph — proof that a child’s gender identity could be changed — and thousands of “sex reassignments” were performed based on this example. But the case was a failure, the truth never reported. Now the man who grew up as a girl tells the story of his life, and a medical controversy erupts.”

      -Rolling Stone, 1997

      The reasons for trans /ARE/ still poorly understood. The whole sex reassignment industry was built off the idea that sex is learned not inherent, but the doctor who did the surgery was out to prove exactly that, to the exclusion of all the evidence against his claims. It took John/Joan to go on Opera to get the truth out about his experience, before committing suicide.

      As someone who’s struggled personally with gender dysmorphia, I can say with certainty that (save for the incredibly small percentage of the population that is actually intersexed) an underlying mental disorder which causes you to be unhappy is the root and can evolve into gender dysmorphia. Gender dysmorphia is not the root and my claim is backed up by a mountain of evidence that people who trans are equally unhappy after the surgery as they were before the surgery, if not MORE unhappy because now they have additional social pressures on top of not addressing the root of the unhappiness. The root issue is usually self-esteem, at least in my case.

      My childhood environmental Alexithymia (inability to relate to others) caused extreme anxiety in elementary and as I watched the girls get much more attention regardless of their personalities, and help with their problems while I was left in the cold so to speak (unfortunately I was entering grade 1 as the “boys are stupid, throw rocks at them” t-shirts came out and the craze behind it, also it was becoming unpopular to help boys, at least at my elementary). The Alexithymia and confusion behind it caused severe self esteem issues and eventually gender esteem issues as I viewed my sex as lesser. I wanted to trans to be part of the “better” sex, the one that was showered with lavish attention, resources, and mainly: help. What kept me from going for it was that I felt I would never be a “real” woman, I knew in my heart I was a man and would never have that particular ‘magic’ that healthy women have in the way they walk, talk, and carry themselves. A brutal 20 years later I still have Alexithymia to the point where I can’t perform sexually *embarrassed face*, the past few years of therapy for Generalized Anxiety Disorder (not the root problem but a frame that lead me to find out about Alexithymia) has helped my self-esteem greatly. And I found that as the esteem about myself and gender rose, the gender dsymorphia I felt fell in relation. The better I felt about myself the less I wanted to be a woman.

      The road to happiness shouldn’t be paved with scalpels and hormones, but with self love and acceptance.

      I bet you dollars to donuts that once you finish transing that you’ll still face all the same mental difficulties you did before. And if you ever address the root problem, like so many before you, you’ll transition back.

      Mean bit:

      I think its a bit ironic (and patronizing?) to say that “The only thing all of you need to do is accept people for who they are and leave it at that.” When your acceptance of yourself stops pretty damn short, and you feel the need to chop your own genitals off. I believe the road to transsexualism is not above criticism, the John/Joan case shows that it has been built on a weak foundation at best, and boys need to learn to love themselves, their gender, and “look at how those girls are treated, maybe if I’m a girl I would be happy” or “look at how pretty those girls look, I wish I could dress/ like that, maybe if I’m a girl I would be happy”, or one of the other many rationalizations to trans can be viewed as one issue stemming from a meta-issue from childhood, not as a justification to start hacking and slashing with a knife.

      I may be wrong about all of this, but there’s one thing I know for SURE, and that’s censoring articles like this under the guise of acceptance and political correctness can only hurt the trans community.

    • Dean Esmay

      “(and you should probably think twice about acting like men have it bad, at all)”

      What the fuck kind of aggressively ignorant tool says this?

      Men have it bad all over the place, moron. If widespread cultural misandry wasn’t something you were bright enough to perceive and did not impact your decision to transition, fine, but you have no right to tell other people about their experiences. Fuck you, lady.

      • danah

        I’ll agree that men share certain institutionalized prejudice and disadvantage although you and I probably disagree on the reasons and the solutions.

        That said, if anyone ever personally told me that I transitioned to enjoy some societal benefit like you’re implying I’d laugh right in their face. In fact, people who seek transition for some societal benefit are *actively screened out* because, as any mental health professional who works with trans people knows – the societal disadvantages to being trans far outweigh any perceived social advantage they may gain, so the endeavor would be self defeating.

        I think it’s silly and arrogant that you, the author, and nearly everyone here are discussing this topic, particularly those, like the author who are doing so with an air of authority, while *none* of you have the first clue what you’re on about.

        If it weren’t so ridiculous it would be offensive.

    • Spoonwood

      So you might have had a point or reasonable position, but then you totally dismissed the possibility that men, *any man at all* might have it bad. That is misandry or at least indicative of a lack of caring for needs and interests of men, because even if we are not those men, there are men who have it really, really, awful as you can get bad.

      Men make up the majority of victims of violence.

      Men often get very hard prison sentences and then end up raped in prison (and the rape is NOT part of their prison sentence).

      Men live shorter lives than women on average.

      Men still die and get injured in wars.

      Men make up something like 96% of deaths at work, and a significant majority of injuries at work also.

      And men make up the majority of completed suicides.

  • danah

    > transsexualism has been and remains a poorly-understood condition

    Speak for yourself

    I think it’s cute that so many people here, particularly the author, are talking about me and people like me, like we’re not in the room.

    This article is nonsense. I’m not even going to give it the legitimacy of fisking it.

    *points and laughs*

  • Tom Golden

    I wanted to thank those who have added important information about the biological factors involved in transmen and transwomen on this thread. It has been helpful and interesting. These factors are so important for us all. We have lived in a world that has been dominated by those addicted to the tabula rasa mentality and who will shriek and attack any sorts of information that differs from their addiction.

    I do think that there are many here and many in the MHRA who understand the importance our biology plays and also see the misandry in those who try to suppress this data. There has been a great deal of acrimony on this thread but really I think most of us are on the same side. The side that wants to come to a beginning understanding of how our biology and our socialization work together. Some are just more informed then others.

    MHRA’s can learn a huge amount from those in the trans community. I can at least speak for myself in that respect. It is the trans folks who are on the cutting edge of understanding the impact of hormones on our psychological states. It is information like this that can really help us understand the impact that our hormones have on all young men as they enter puberty. I am firmly convinced that we need to be teaching our young boys about their uniqueness as it relates to higher doses of testosterone. All too often our young men are shamed due to huge misunderstandings about their nature and their hormones. I read a wonderful book titled The Testosterone Files by Max Valerio and this book was a huge help in my understanding not only of the transman experience but also of the impact of testosterone on all boys. I would be very grateful to hear from any other posters for recommendations on books like Valerio’s that might further my understanding. I would also highly recommend David Geary’s Male, Female: The Evolution of Human Sex Differences to get a different perspective from the tabula rasa nonsense.

  • Verywierd

    First let me say I claim no expertise nor have I done any technical research on the subject.

    However, I live in Bankok, Thailand, and I have frequent interactions with M2F transsexuals. Invariably, those that I have spoken to and asked about the subject tell me that they “knew” they were female as soon as they were old enough to understand the difference. Most come from rural families and communities and derive no great benefit from being female rather than male, and many do not even try to “pass” but rather go about as “Ladyboys”, with no more than a ponytail and a bit of lipstick to differentiate them.

    I emphasise that while they meet less hostility than in the West, they really do not benefit. Thai law does not allow legal gender change, and they are still required to register for compulsory military service, which is obviously not an easy thing for an effeminate looking and acting “man”, many of whom are on hormone therapy.

    And yet there are more “Ladyboys” in this country than probably anywhere else in the world, so it seems hard to believe that transsexualism is simply social and cultural, and without a biological basis.

  • amine

    i just want to know one thing, before SRS how did they do? history never recalled people who commited suicide or lived in grief because they felt as “women” i mean yea there was effiminate men , but very very few! now it’s like everyone is a transexual , i agree with the article , before man was a man and woman was woman , now they killed every aspect of that . let’s be wise and try to treat the mind and train it before removing one of the best part you have, some girls would kill for that x).