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towards a more complex model

If Ray Blanchard were correct in that all gynephilic transitions are driven by target location error and arousal to one’s own image as a female why don’t all crossdressers want to transition? I think it’s a fair question.

Why do some people progress to transition and others are happy to stay at the level they are at?

We know that during puberty gynephilics experience a great deal of turmoil when faced with the contradiction of identifying with a perceived female core coupled with a burgeoning sexual attraction to females. This turbulence more often than not leads to suppression until things boil over at a later date. Just go to YouTube for the documented evidence of the transitions of married men besides what resides on the web.

But if gender dysphoria can be measured on a continuum then this might explain why some progress and others don’t. It would also relegate the sexual component to being part of the overall complexity of dysphoria rather than as the principal player.

Two important aspects which stay in my mind when it comes to gynephilic transitions are:

• The initiative to carry forward remains unaffected in spite of a removal of the male libido through hormonal treatments

• The early life phase resembles the later life phase (ie. the sexual component comes and goes but the basic identification stays intact).

The good news is that if dysphoria is biologically sourced and variable then the response of the transgender person only needs to be proportionately aligned with its severity. In other words, it need not be a 'one is a woman or one is not' proposition.

When we understood less about dysphoria we thought in terms of either transvestites or transsexuals and nothing in between but this turned out to be entirely false. Harry Benjamin found this out through treating his numerous patients.

In fact the graded model of dysphoria goes a long way towards explaining what we see out there in the real world since we see a myriad of variations in the way people deal with their gender issues. We have people living as the other gender, some take hormones and some don’t and some have surgery and some don’t.

Then add the variable of female to male transsexualism which was highly ignored perhaps because women behaving atypically with respect to gender were not seen to be as objectionable.

Today we now have a more complete picture of gender dysphoria which makes Blanchard’s attempt at an explanation seem almost simplistically idiotic which to me comes as no surprise.

As an example I attach what an anonymous commenter posted on Jack Molay's Crossdreamers back in 2010:

"The idea that there is only two types of transexual is absurd and as real as saying there are only two types of sexuality - straight and gay.

I have elements of both types of transsexualism (and others).

When I first cross dressed at 12 I became arduously aroused but only to the addition of imagining some boy from school on top of me.

By sixteen I wanted to be a girl and would cross dress without arousal. For the rest of my life I was straight acting homosexual but always aware that a 'magic' pill that could change me to female would be my dream come true. I did not consider surgery as I did not think I would 'pass'.

I would occasionally cross dress, including sleeping in a night dress, without erotic arousal but would wake up and masturbate to a fantansy of being penetrated in my (imaginary) vagina.

All my sex life imaging being so penetrated was my preferred sexual act.

I have now got to the stage where what other people think is less important than my having a body that is closer to what I have always wanted.

As I have a poor finger ratio and born with only a partly formed penis (and therefore had surgery as a baby) , I beleive my desire to be female is genetic but may well include some 'fetish' for women's clothing. But what's the percentage and does it matter?"

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