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How Autogynephilic Are Natal Females?


Blanchard proposed that autogynephilia is a natal male’s paraphilic sexual arousal in response to the thought or fantasy of being a woman. Furthermore, based on evidence collected from natal males with gender dysphoria, Blanchard argued that autogynephilia is the fundamental motivation among nonhomosexual males (i.e., those not exclusively attracted to men) who pursue sex reassignment surgery or live as transgender women. These ideas have been challenged by several writers who have asserted, or offered evidence, that autogynephilia is common among women. However, their evidence was weakened by problematic measures and limited comparison groups. We compared four samples of autogynephilic natal males (N = 1549), four samples of non-autogynephilic natal males (N = 1339), and two samples of natal females (N = 500), using Blanchard’s original measure: the Core Autogynephilia Scale. The autogynephilic samples had much higher mean scores compared with non-autogynephilic natal males and natal females, who were similar. Our findings refute the contention that autogynephilia is common among natal females.

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Availability of Data and Materials

The item-level and total scores for the Core Autogynephilia Scale are provided as a supplementary file, in Excel format.

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Correspondence to J. Michael Bailey.

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Bailey, J.M., Hsu, K.J. How Autogynephilic Are Natal Females?. Arch Sex Behav (2022).

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  • Autogynephilia
  • Females
  • Transgender
  • Paraphilias
  • Sex differences