Eli5 please explain what autogynephilia is and what criticism it receives?

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Eli5 please explain what autogynephilia is and what criticism it receives?

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Anonymous 0 Comments

autogynephilia is when you are sexually attracted to your own body, specifically when thinking about it as the other gender. It happens with heterossexual men and a lot of the early trans sexual research in the 60s and 70s was centered around this phenom, doctors were trying to find the “women within” inside the men who tried to change sex, a term made in the 1930 by a researcher looking into the travestied community.

As the research into the trans community progressed scientists noticed how more and more of the people trying to change sex didn’t fit into this concept, with a lot of men and women that had little to no sexual attraction when thinking about their own body turning into another gender, so the field expanded and mostly stopped dealing with trans sexuals as having autogynephilia.

Today there is kind of a taboo about it, you hardly see the term in papers, at least in my experience, with part of the most erudite anti-trans movement using the phenom to discredit any trans person as sexual freaks, but even in the early days the scientists noticed a lot of people wanting to change sex that had nothing to do with it. The fact that a lot of trans research are centered around children now also explain how the term has fallen out of fashion given how inherently sexual it is.

Anonymous 0 Comments

autogynephilia is when you are sexually attracted to your own body, specifically when thinking about it as the other gender. It happens with heterossexual men and a lot of the early trans sexual research in the 60s and 70s was centered around this phenom, doctors were trying to find the “women within” inside the men who tried to change sex, a term made in the 1930 by a researcher looking into the travestied community.

As the research into the trans community progressed scientists noticed how more and more of the people trying to change sex didn’t fit into this concept, with a lot of men and women that had little to no sexual attraction when thinking about their own body turning into another gender, so the field expanded and mostly stopped dealing with trans sexuals as having autogynephilia.

Today there is kind of a taboo about it, you hardly see the term in papers, at least in my experience, with part of the most erudite anti-trans movement using the phenom to discredit any trans person as sexual freaks, but even in the early days the scientists noticed a lot of people wanting to change sex that had nothing to do with it. The fact that a lot of trans research are centered around children now also explain how the term has fallen out of fashion given how inherently sexual it is.

Anonymous 0 Comments

There used to be a widespread view, among both psychologists and the general public, that any and all LGBTQ+ identities are just a form of sexual perversion (well, many psychologists used to view basically *everything* as sexual perversion). Since trans women have tended to be more visible than trans men or nonbinary people, the theory that gained popularity to explain trans people was that some men redirected their sexual interest in women towards their own body, and wanted their own body to be feminine so they could be into themselves. As has often happened in the history of psychology, completely normal thoughts and behaviour were pathologised and got roped in to support the theory. For example, if a trans woman said she liked feeling sexy or liked wearing sexy clothes, that wasn’t seen as a completely normal human experience, it was seen as evidence of autogynephilia. Psychologists were aware of trans people who didn’t identify as women and/or weren’t into women, and came up with slightly different theories to explain them, making a lot of silly “this is the exception that proves the rule”-style arguments. They even found ways to argue that people who weren’t sexual *enough*, like asexual people, were sexually perverted.

While these views have mostly been abandoned by psychologists, in any scientific field you can always find some cranks who cling to rejected theories, and anti-LGBT activists obviously like to amplify those people’s voices, so it still hangs around.

Anonymous 0 Comments

There used to be a widespread view, among both psychologists and the general public, that any and all LGBTQ+ identities are just a form of sexual perversion (well, many psychologists used to view basically *everything* as sexual perversion). Since trans women have tended to be more visible than trans men or nonbinary people, the theory that gained popularity to explain trans people was that some men redirected their sexual interest in women towards their own body, and wanted their own body to be feminine so they could be into themselves. As has often happened in the history of psychology, completely normal thoughts and behaviour were pathologised and got roped in to support the theory. For example, if a trans woman said she liked feeling sexy or liked wearing sexy clothes, that wasn’t seen as a completely normal human experience, it was seen as evidence of autogynephilia. Psychologists were aware of trans people who didn’t identify as women and/or weren’t into women, and came up with slightly different theories to explain them, making a lot of silly “this is the exception that proves the rule”-style arguments. They even found ways to argue that people who weren’t sexual *enough*, like asexual people, were sexually perverted.

While these views have mostly been abandoned by psychologists, in any scientific field you can always find some cranks who cling to rejected theories, and anti-LGBT activists obviously like to amplify those people’s voices, so it still hangs around.

Anonymous 0 Comments

First of all, be aware that autogynephilia is a hugely controversial term and extremely offensive to a large number of people, so please be very careful in how it’s invoked or discussed.

Autogynephilia is a term coined by Ray Blanchard in the 80s to refer to men who derive sexual pleasure from the thought of themselves as a woman, and brought to public attention via a book published in 2003. The controversial and offensive part is the claim that a “true” trans woman must be exclusively attracted to men, and that anyone claiming to be a transwoman who is attracted to women (exclusively or otherwise) in fact is motivated only by a sexual fetish.

Blanchard’s studies regarding this were nowhere near strong enough to support that kind of conclusion. Most of them revolved around comparing transwomen with cismen with cross-dressing fetishes. In one case, for example, he played pre-op or non-op transwomen erotic audio descriptions describing cis male cross-dressing while measuring blood flow to their penises. He found that the transwomen who were attracted to women were more likely to increase blood flow in response to those descriptions, which he interpreted as indicating overlap with the fetish. But this has been challenged in multiple places, and it’s been noted that at no point did he attempt any similar study with ciswomen, who may also feel arousal at wearing certain outfits.

You’d think that’d be it, but it was very quickly adopted by those ciswomen who believe, or more commonly fear, that a proportion of transwomen are paying lip service to being transgender in order to gain access to women’s spaces for sexual arousal. It’s often thrown around in that context.

But there’s a more complex case. In 1993, Blanchard came up with a new term: *erotic target location error* (ELTE). This, he claimed, was a hidden driver of autogynephilia, and also of auto*andro*philia (the equivalent for transmen, which he previously claimed would never exist). ELTE occurs when a person has, perhaps subconsciously, a sexual attraction or a desire to have sexual attraction to themselves.

Why could this happen? There a couple of suggested reasons:

* A heterosexual person feels that they are unattractive, and associates being attractive with being a member of the opposite sex because that is the attraction they experience – “I want her, so I want to be her because I know men want her because I do. Yes, it’s men she’s attractive to, but if I was her that’s what I’d want.”
* A heterosexual person has difficulty trusting others in general or in particular with their sexual desires, and wants to have control over both sides of their own sexual satisfaction – “I have a thing for being teased by women, but I’d want to be the woman too because that way I never have to admit that to an actual woman, and that way I can control when the teasing stops.”
* The increase in usage of pornography, online interaction and erotic role-play, and the claim that orgasm releases hormones that encourage relationship bonding, meaning that frequent masturbation can end up with an individual relationship bonded with their computer, a fictional character or themselves.

This is easily dismissed as just another set of excuses for gatekeeping trans people, except for one thing: unlike the previous version, *people relate to these.* In fact, there are *self-identified autogynephiles,* who associate with these and do not wish to complete gender transition because it would not work for them. Unfortunately, the general belief is that ELTE desires cannot be satisfied, and could only be either learned out or chemically disabled – but of course any suggestion of “correcting” an attitude to gender brings up hideous images of conversion camps and other nightmarish attempts at doing this.

Anonymous 0 Comments

First of all, be aware that autogynephilia is a hugely controversial term and extremely offensive to a large number of people, so please be very careful in how it’s invoked or discussed.

Autogynephilia is a term coined by Ray Blanchard in the 80s to refer to men who derive sexual pleasure from the thought of themselves as a woman, and brought to public attention via a book published in 2003. The controversial and offensive part is the claim that a “true” trans woman must be exclusively attracted to men, and that anyone claiming to be a transwoman who is attracted to women (exclusively or otherwise) in fact is motivated only by a sexual fetish.

Blanchard’s studies regarding this were nowhere near strong enough to support that kind of conclusion. Most of them revolved around comparing transwomen with cismen with cross-dressing fetishes. In one case, for example, he played pre-op or non-op transwomen erotic audio descriptions describing cis male cross-dressing while measuring blood flow to their penises. He found that the transwomen who were attracted to women were more likely to increase blood flow in response to those descriptions, which he interpreted as indicating overlap with the fetish. But this has been challenged in multiple places, and it’s been noted that at no point did he attempt any similar study with ciswomen, who may also feel arousal at wearing certain outfits.

You’d think that’d be it, but it was very quickly adopted by those ciswomen who believe, or more commonly fear, that a proportion of transwomen are paying lip service to being transgender in order to gain access to women’s spaces for sexual arousal. It’s often thrown around in that context.

But there’s a more complex case. In 1993, Blanchard came up with a new term: *erotic target location error* (ELTE). This, he claimed, was a hidden driver of autogynephilia, and also of auto*andro*philia (the equivalent for transmen, which he previously claimed would never exist). ELTE occurs when a person has, perhaps subconsciously, a sexual attraction or a desire to have sexual attraction to themselves.

Why could this happen? There a couple of suggested reasons:

* A heterosexual person feels that they are unattractive, and associates being attractive with being a member of the opposite sex because that is the attraction they experience – “I want her, so I want to be her because I know men want her because I do. Yes, it’s men she’s attractive to, but if I was her that’s what I’d want.”
* A heterosexual person has difficulty trusting others in general or in particular with their sexual desires, and wants to have control over both sides of their own sexual satisfaction – “I have a thing for being teased by women, but I’d want to be the woman too because that way I never have to admit that to an actual woman, and that way I can control when the teasing stops.”
* The increase in usage of pornography, online interaction and erotic role-play, and the claim that orgasm releases hormones that encourage relationship bonding, meaning that frequent masturbation can end up with an individual relationship bonded with their computer, a fictional character or themselves.

This is easily dismissed as just another set of excuses for gatekeeping trans people, except for one thing: unlike the previous version, *people relate to these.* In fact, there are *self-identified autogynephiles,* who associate with these and do not wish to complete gender transition because it would not work for them. Unfortunately, the general belief is that ELTE desires cannot be satisfied, and could only be either learned out or chemically disabled – but of course any suggestion of “correcting” an attitude to gender brings up hideous images of conversion camps and other nightmarish attempts at doing this.

Anonymous 0 Comments

First of all, be aware that autogynephilia is a hugely controversial term and extremely offensive to a large number of people, so please be very careful in how it’s invoked or discussed.

Autogynephilia is a term coined by Ray Blanchard in the 80s to refer to men who derive sexual pleasure from the thought of themselves as a woman, and brought to public attention via a book published in 2003. The controversial and offensive part is the claim that a “true” trans woman must be exclusively attracted to men, and that anyone claiming to be a transwoman who is attracted to women (exclusively or otherwise) in fact is motivated only by a sexual fetish.

Blanchard’s studies regarding this were nowhere near strong enough to support that kind of conclusion. Most of them revolved around comparing transwomen with cismen with cross-dressing fetishes. In one case, for example, he played pre-op or non-op transwomen erotic audio descriptions describing cis male cross-dressing while measuring blood flow to their penises. He found that the transwomen who were attracted to women were more likely to increase blood flow in response to those descriptions, which he interpreted as indicating overlap with the fetish. But this has been challenged in multiple places, and it’s been noted that at no point did he attempt any similar study with ciswomen, who may also feel arousal at wearing certain outfits.

You’d think that’d be it, but it was very quickly adopted by those ciswomen who believe, or more commonly fear, that a proportion of transwomen are paying lip service to being transgender in order to gain access to women’s spaces for sexual arousal. It’s often thrown around in that context.

But there’s a more complex case. In 1993, Blanchard came up with a new term: *erotic target location error* (ELTE). This, he claimed, was a hidden driver of autogynephilia, and also of auto*andro*philia (the equivalent for transmen, which he previously claimed would never exist). ELTE occurs when a person has, perhaps subconsciously, a sexual attraction or a desire to have sexual attraction to themselves.

Why could this happen? There a couple of suggested reasons:

* A heterosexual person feels that they are unattractive, and associates being attractive with being a member of the opposite sex because that is the attraction they experience – “I want her, so I want to be her because I know men want her because I do. Yes, it’s men she’s attractive to, but if I was her that’s what I’d want.”
* A heterosexual person has difficulty trusting others in general or in particular with their sexual desires, and wants to have control over both sides of their own sexual satisfaction – “I have a thing for being teased by women, but I’d want to be the woman too because that way I never have to admit that to an actual woman, and that way I can control when the teasing stops.”
* The increase in usage of pornography, online interaction and erotic role-play, and the claim that orgasm releases hormones that encourage relationship bonding, meaning that frequent masturbation can end up with an individual relationship bonded with their computer, a fictional character or themselves.

This is easily dismissed as just another set of excuses for gatekeeping trans people, except for one thing: unlike the previous version, *people relate to these.* In fact, there are *self-identified autogynephiles,* who associate with these and do not wish to complete gender transition because it would not work for them. Unfortunately, the general belief is that ELTE desires cannot be satisfied, and could only be either learned out or chemically disabled – but of course any suggestion of “correcting” an attitude to gender brings up hideous images of conversion camps and other nightmarish attempts at doing this.