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Mildred Brown's observations on transsexual motivations
Many people who have experienced transsexualism consider True Selves to be one of the finest and most readable overviews on the topic for those who are unfamiliar with the issues. The authors, Dr. Mildred Brown and Chloe Rounsley, make some interesting observations on transsexual motivation which are worth sharing in the context of the Bailey assertion that there are two "types" of transsexuals.
Traditionally recognized transsexual motivation
As we learned in Causes of transsexualism: current findings, twenty experts in the field state the prevailing view about gender dysphoria:
Other possibilities besides the traditionally recognized transsexual motivation:
As the experts note, transsexualism is the most extreme form of gender dysphoria, but it is clearly not the only reason someone might seek feminization or masculinization.
Dr. Brown has observed in her clinical experience several other motivations.
In addition to the traditionally recognized reason for seeking feminization
and living as women (to bring mind and body into congruence), Brown notes at
least 10 other potential motivations. Pages 106-107 of her book list some alternate
motivations that may occur:
Those with non-traditional motivations often desire to be seen as "transsexual" as well.
Some people who seek feminization or masculinization for one of the 10 alternative reasons above are deeply invested in getting grouped with those who do it for the traditionally recognized reason. They self-identify as transsexuals and describe themselves as "real transsexuals," even though their motivations and behavior seem to fall outside what is traditionally considered "transsexual" by medical experts.
For many years, those seeking feminization who were not traditionally-recognized transsexuals were denied medical services. For this reason, people with non-traditional motivations have considerable interest in claiming that anyone seeking feminization is "transsexual." It's more socially acceptable than to say you have a paraphilia or other reason for seeking feminization.
One strategy some people like Anne Lawrence have used for gaining more social acceptance has been to expand the term "transsexual" to include the motivations listed above, and to lump these motivations using a made-up term they believe covers almost anyone seeking feminization: "autogynephilia."
As time goes on, I will explain how this concept comes in conflict with traditionally recognized transsexual motivation. I'll also explain why many experts and transsexual women consider this term, and what it supposedly describes, to be vague and inaccurate.
Other resources on True Selves
WEB LINK: True Selves, with customer reviews (on Amazon website)
WEB LINK: True Selves, with reader comments (on IFGE website)
WEB LINK: Book Review: True Selves (on Press For Change website)