Measures Of Transgender Behavior

Using factor analysis, we sought to identify the components of transgenderism. Subjects were 455 transvestites and 61 male-to-female transsexuals, all biological males. A 70-item questionnaire was used, along with other structured questions concerning preferred and usual sex partners. Five factors were identified and interpreted: Transgender Identity, Role, Sexual Arousal, Androallure, and Pleasure. These factors represent the most salient dimensions of transgenderism. All five-factor Means for transvestites and transsexuals differ. An examination of overlap of group distributions for each factor showed such overlap to range from only 6% for Identity to 46% for both Androallure and Pleasure. Factor intercorrelations for the obliquely rotated factors ranged from −.37 to .27. While transvestites and transsexuals have different lifestyles, their transgender cognition and behavior seem constructed upon different combinations of the same variables. A second-order analysis of these five factors yielded two factors: Sexual Arousal loaded highest on the first factor (.91), and for the second the highest loading variable was Androallure (.57). Each of these highlights the primary importance of sexual arousal in transgender cognition and behavior. Studying possible age effects, we found that the younger versus older transvestite groups had significantly different scale Means for Androallure and Pleasure; there were no age differences between older and younger transsexuals on any of the five scales. Six percent of transvestites reported a male as their usual sex partner; 25% of the transsexuals reported a female as their usual sex partner. For each group, one-third indicated their usual sex practice was without any partner, while only 5% said they preferred this practice. We propose that the five variables identified offer a comprehensive approach to the description of individual differences in transgender experience and expression.