Autogynephilia , ???? — "love of oneself as a woman") is a paraphilia proposed in 1989 by Ray Blanchard, who defined it as "a man's paraphilic tendency to be sexually aroused by the thought or image of himself as a woman."
It is part of a controversial behavioral model for transsexual sexuality informally labeled the Blanchard, Bailey, and Lawrence theory. The model is an attempt to explain transwomen (male-to-female transsexual and transgender persons) who are not exclusively attracted to males, including lesbian (or "gynephilic"), bisexual and asexual transwomen. The model claims that transwomen (called "gender dysphoric males" by Blanchard) who are not sexually oriented toward men are instead sexually oriented toward the thought or image of themselves as women. Most of the attention paid to Blanchard's work on gender dysphoria focuses on what he calls "nonhomosexual transsexuals" or "autogynephilic transsexuals." He calls those transwomen who are exclusively attracted to males "androphilic" or "homosexual transsexuals."
It has been reported widely in clinical and lay literature that some people have sexual fantasies about being the other sex. These people may or may not also be transgendered. When viewed as a psychosexual pathology, these fantasies are considered a type of paraphilia.
Blanchard classified four subtypes:
The "BBL Controversy" also known as the "Autogynephilia Controversy" is an ongoing and heated line of discussion in the transgendered community. The concept had not received much attention outside of sexology until sexologist Anne Lawrence, who self-identifies as an autogynephile, published a series of web articles about the concept in the late 1990s. Lynn Conway and Andrea James responded to Lawrence's essay. Conway started an investigation into the publication of Bailey's book by the United States National Academy of Sciences. Accusations of misconduct by Bailey were leveled. Northwestern University investigated Bailey, but did not reveal the findings of that investigation and did not comment on whether or not Bailey had been punished. According to intersex activist and bioethics specialist, Prof. Alice Dreger, Ph.D., who is now one of Bailey's supporters, two of the four transwomen who accused Bailey of misusing their stories were not mentioned anywhere in the book, and Bailey's critics' publication of obscenely titled photographs of his minor children constituted an unconscionable harassment campaign.
Some scientific concerns have been raised. A transgendered psychologist writing under the pen name of Madeline Wyndzen identified four possible scientific concerns with Blanchard's model:
Some of these concerns are common to any new idea (independent replication takes time), and others can not be tested in any practical or ethical fashion (causing people to be transsexual to prove causality).
Wyndzen is concerned that Blanchard's research promotes the politically and socially dangerous idea that transsexual people are mentally defective: "Rather than asking the scientifically neutral question, "What is transgenderism?" Blanchard (1991) asks, "What kind of defect in a male's capacity for sexual learning could produce ... autogynephilia, transvestitism ...?" (p. 246).""
Furthermore, critics claim that the distributions of sexual orientation among transsexuals do not reveal two categorically distinct groups, however researcher Yolanda Smith found in a follow up study conducted in the Netherlands:
Study of this theory is ongoing and it is not either accepted or rejected by a majority of psychologists.
Ray Blanchard has also hypothesized that autogynephilia is a motivation for some men who have sex with men who identify themselves as heterosexual.
He is quoted in an article by Dan Savage as saying:
"There is a class of heterosexual men called autogynephiles, who are sexually aroused by the thought or image of themselves as women," [...] "They may act out this fantasy in various ways. One common way is to dress up as women and seek sex with men. It is not rare that they employ pornographic movie theaters for this purpose, although that strategy usually limits them to wearing brassieres or panties beneath their male clothes."
"The exciting aspect of the men they have sex with is the symbolic value of the male partner, which enhances their fantasies of being women," [...] "Autogynephiles are not interested in men's bodies, they rarely or never have sex with men when they are not crossdressed, and they are being truthful when they state that they are not gay. In their normal lives, they are unremarkably masculine and they often have wives or girlfriends."
This article is based on "Autogynephilia" from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org). It is licensed under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation Licencse. In the Wikipedia you can find a list of the authors by visiting the following address: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Autogynephilia&action=history