Autogynephilia: An underappreciated paraphilia

Lawrence AA. Autogynephilia: An underappreciated paraphilia. Adv Psychosom
Med. 2011;31:135-48.

Download article here: Lawrence-2011


Autogynephilia is defined as a male’s propensity to be sexually aroused by the thought of himself as a female. It is the paraphilia that is theorized to underlie transvestism and some forms of male-to-female (MtF) transsexualism. Autogynephilia encompasses sexual arousal with cross-dressing and cross-gender expression that does not involve women’s clothing per se. The concept of autogynephilia defines a typology of MtF transsexualism and offers a theory of motivation for one type of MtF transsexualism. Autogynephilia resembles a sexual orientation in that it involves elements of idealization and attachment as well as erotic desire. Nearly 3% of men in Western countries may experience autogynephilia; its most severe manifestation, MtF transsexualism, is rare but increasing in prevalence. Some theorists and clinicians reject the transsexual typology and theory of motivation derived from autogynephilia; their objections suggest a need for additional research. The concept of autogynephilia can assist clinicians in understanding some otherwise puzzling manifestations of nonhomosexual MtF transsexualism. Autogynephilia exemplifies an unusual paraphilic category called ‘erotic target identity inversions’, in which men desire to impersonate or turn their bodies into facsimiles of the persons or things to which they are sexually attracted.


6 thoughts on “Autogynephilia: An underappreciated paraphilia

  1. Autogynephilia is a term that has two parts to it. Part 1 is an observed phenomenon that is absolutely true. Part 2 is a hypothesis about what Part 1 means that is unproven.

    Most transexuals dismiss the theory out of hand because Part 2 is so outrageous. The dissonance people feel about just accepting that it’s outrageous is that it still leaves open the question of “What does Part 1 mean?” You will never convince anyone on the far right that it means anything but you are a sick pervert regardless of the science dismissing the hypothesis.

    It’s uncomfortable to talk about, but the transgender community really needs a better response to why 90% of late transitioning MtF transexuals are sexually aroused by the dressing in women’s clothing or imagining themselves as female. I don’t think it’s a pathology. It’s not a sexual orientation. It needs more discussion and research. It can’t be ignored. It’s there.

    My opinion is that it is some kind of sexual desire that is normal compared to what other people fantasize about. I know some men who are really turned on by red nails. They are not diagnosed with rednailephila and their sexual orientation isn’t “red nails” it’s women.

    Is this the complete answer? I don’t know. But this really needs to be explored further so we can dismiss this term “autogynephilia” completely.

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    1. Would you prefer the term “transvestite” instead? “Autogynephilia” is basically a fancy term for transvestite. Because that is what the overwhelming majority of the trans are. It is a sexual kink, and people are being asked to accept people with kinks as a protected class, women and girls be damned.


  2. No I don’t think that the term “autogynephilia” should be dismissed and you need to start listening to the full range of research instead of dismissing it as “far right”. Science tells us that men are men and can’t be changed into women or vice versa.
    A man can’t say he fells like a woman because he soesn’t know what it actually is to be a woman and feel like a woman, Only a real woman can know that, and painting your fingernailsdoesn’t make you a woman,.
    Sexual perversion and sickness should not be denied or idealised for any mistaken “kind” intentions or stubborn unrealistic ideology. They are sick and perverted, They do harm. Those who suffer from them maim, kill and rape.
    A lot of people inside the LGB movement don’t want to be saddled with the T. It’s an embarrassment.
    They’re keen to legalise paedophilia though because people with one paraphilia also tend to suffer from others.


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