Ray Blanchard is a Canadian sexologist who is head of the Clinical Sexology Services at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, Canada.
Blanchard has conducted research into the biological origins of sexual orientation, discovering the fraternal birth order effect. The more older brothers a man has, the greater the probability is that he will have a homosexual sexual orientation. The fraternal birth order effect is the strongest known predictor of sexual orientation, each older brother increases a man's chances of being gay by about 33% (Blanchard, 2001).
Blanchard coined the term autogynephilia to describe men with an erotic desire to be women and proposed a theory that all transsexual women could be usefully classified as either autogynephiles or extremely effeminate gay men who needed to become female to express their sexuality. He termed the latter group homosexual transsexuals.
Within the transsexual community, there has been much controversy surrounding Blanchard's ideas. One group of transwomen find these categories useful and accurate; another group believes Blanchard's observation of an erotic or sexual aspect to transitions is demeaning and trivializing.
Blanchard is on record as supporting sex reassignment surgery as an appropriate treatment for both subtypes of transsexual people. For example, in 1998, the Ontario Health Insurance Plan ceased funding all sex reassignment surgeries in the province under the guise of cutting costs. Blanchard strongly supported Michelle Josef's lawsuit to get funding restored as being medically necessary.
Until the late 1990s, Blanchard's theory was practically unknown outside of the sexology field, when Anne Lawrence, a physician and sexologist who identifies herself as an autogynephilic transsexual, began publishing materials in support of Blanchard's theory and advanced knowledge of the theory within the transsexual community. A non-technical book about male femininity by J. Michael Bailey outlines this theory in one of its chapters, and a concerted public campaign against the author was intitiated by three prominent transwomen.
This article is based on "Ray Blanchard" 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=Ray+Blanchard&action=history