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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Gender Issues » Transexuality on the same spectrum as homosexuality?

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Author Topic: Transexuality on the same spectrum as homosexuality?
Confused boy
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http://chronicle.com/free/v49/i41/41a00801.htm

Controversial studies by one J. Michael Bailey suggest that many transexuals are homosexuals with an extreme interest in gender change that could almost be described as a fetish. This runs against the accepted idea that transgendered come about through a dissonance between the mind's preferred gender and the body.

This has lead to Bailey, himself a heterosexual, to be decried as transphobic. Others say he may be controversial but at least he is encouraging debate.

His book "The Man Who Would Be Queen: The Science of Gender-Bending and Transsexualism" sets out his claims but he himself makes no attempt to provide scientific data on this particular subject, though he has done much related research.

Any thoughts?


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logic_grrl
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I don't think that reiterating tired old stereotypes without any supporting data counts as "encouraging debate".

quote:
Gay men have more feminine traits than straight men, he writes, including their interests in fashion and show tunes and their choice of occupations, including florist, waiter, and hair stylist. If a man is feminine, says Mr. Bailey, it is a key sign that he is gay.

Good grief.


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Heather
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It's occurred to me that I'd give my weight in salt to have say, just one week, when the "news" items we receive on gender, orientation and sexuality and alternative sexuality were positive things -- rather than yet more reports, quasi-studies or accounts about the evils of sex from folks who aren't having any good sex, accounts of scary alternative sex from the most vanilla folks on the planet, or crackpot, stereotypical tripe about any gender or orientation which is NOT heterosexual and stringently traditional male/feamle, and bloody always from someone who is both of those things, rather than queer in any way themselves.

Of course Bailey is a heterosexual. That may sound blithe, but watching this kind of thing contunue to keep being published over my lifetime, it is always penned by someone who is not a member of the group they're fumbling to dissect and invalidate.

And of course, we'll likely never see an end to this sort of thing being snapped up by publishers gladly, because it, like say, Ann Coulter's bumbling and factually inept verbage, has even more appeal in a culture where trash TV is entertainment and worse still, for some folks, their primary sociological education.

Earnestly, I'm inclined to ask if folks are okay with me closing this, simply because I am so tired of this sort of thing, I could spit. And I have yet to hear of anyone with any creds in the sexology or sexuality professional community give [i]Queen[/o] any sort of nod as to "encouraging debate," or any such thing. I'd agree with Clare: how is putting forth the usual syrface sterotype encourging debate, when it's the prevailing opinion? It'd be presenting visible counterviewpoints that would do such.

(Anecdotally, I should add that nearly ALL of the male lovers I have had in my life, numbering a sum that is around the average life expectancy of a human these days, have been femme men, and gods bless'em all. And only a few were even BIsexual. None identified as gay, and given they were sleeping with me, it's fairly safe to assume that likely none of them were, either, unless I have some sort of Judy Garland syndrome going on.

And I have met more straight men and women in the theatrical arts who know the words to every song from Showboat than I ever have gay men. And there's something grossly insulting to me as a woman to classify show-tune-loving as feminine.)

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Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

My epitaph should read: "She worked herself into this ground."
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Confused boy
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Very well. If this thread does not develop in a useful direction, then there is no need to keep it open.

Though one thing that did interest me in the article was how supposedly there is a strong force against research that might go against traditionally held views of transexuals in this closely knit sociological field. Science should not cater for anecdotal research like this but nor should it be curtailed by people who feel personally attached to certain ideas in the field.

It reminds me somewhat of a friend of mine who, for a time at least, more or less worshipped Freud as a god and would refuse to indulge any arguments against his analysis of the human mind. Any arguments against were only valid to people attempting to cover up aspects of there own psyche, supposedly.


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logic_grrl
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quote:
supposedly there is a strong force against research that might go against traditionally held views of transexuals in this closely knit sociological field.

But in fact, it's the other way round. For years, it was views like Bailey's - that MTF women were really men who had sexual fantasies or fetishes about being women - which were traditional and unchallenged in the field.

It took a huge amount of research to change that, and to establish that generally trans people are as sane and balanced as anyone else, they cannot be "cured" by therapy aimed at removing emotional disturbance, and that the best "treatment" is to accept them as the gender they feel themselves to be.

So in fact it's Bailey who seems to be determined to turn back the clock and ignore all the research that doesn't fit his views.


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