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Crossdreamer Sidebars is a support blog for Crossdreamers.com, a blog devoted to crossdreamer and transgender issues.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The SAGE Encyclopedia of LGBTQ Studies on Autogynephilia

This is what the SAGE Encyclopedia of LGBTQ Studies has to say about autogynephilia:

'The term autogynephilia was first used in 1989 by Ray Blanchard, a sexologist, to describe a purported class of transgender women.  Classifications of transgender women prior to this time tended to divide this group into those who were sexually and romantically interested in men as “homosexual transsexuals” and those who were sexually and romantically interested in women were classified as “heterosexual fetishistic transvestites.”   
Critiques of these classifications noted that the “homosexual” and “heterosexual labels were applied incorrectly, failing to recognize the gender identities of trans women themselves.   
These classifications also reflected mainstream stigma around transgender identity as they resigned many transgender women to little more than sexual fetishists.  The autogynephilia label only intensified this view of some transgender women as sexual fetishists.   
The theory of autogynephilia asserted that many of the trans women classified into the “heterosexual fetishistic transvestites” category were primarily attracted not to women but to the idea of themselves as women.  In this way, autogynephilia was proposed as a type of primary sexual-identity category for transgender women.   
Subsequent research has found little empirical basis for such a classification, and many researchers have criticized the classification as transphobic.  
One particular critique of this classification system concerns its failure to recognize the way in which all sexual attraction depends on one’s own gender identity.  For example, a critical component of both homosexual and heterosexual attraction among many cisgender men involves an erotic charge around one’s own manliness or manhood.   
To assume that such attachments to (and sexual desire motivated through) one’s own gender identity and expression, in relation to another’s, exists only among transgender women, is misguided.   
Despite a relative lack of empirical support for the diagnoses of autogynephilia among transgender women, some segments of the radical feminist community endorse this diagnostic category in their own writing as well. ( … )  
The most outspoken critiques of the theory of autogynephilia have emerged from self-identified transfeminist academics (e.g. Julia Serano and Talia Mae Bettcher), who have highlighted not only the lack of empirical support for these theories but also the underlying biases and assumption revealed in the very foundations of the theory itself.'

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