Monday 22 January 2007

Statistics and Sex Changing

Transition is not about changing Sex : it's about changing the body to match the Gender. But part of Gender is Sex. Not the most important part, but neither can it be ignored.

Sexual AttractionSexual Experience
Before SRSAfter SRSBefore SRSAfter SRS
Neither males nor females27 (12%)21 (9%)12 (5%)54 (24%)
Females exclusively59 (26%)21 (9%)103 (46%)44 (19%)
Females primarily
Males incidentally
64 (28%)36 (16%)58 (26%)16 (7%)
Females mostly, but
also Males
32 (14%)16 (7%)23 (10%)7 (3%)
Females and Males
about equally
17 (7%)26 (11%)4 (2%)12 (5%)
Males mostly, but
also Females
7 (3%)30 (13%)7 (3%)6 (3%)
Males primarily,
Females incidentally
10 (4%)41 (18%)9 (4%)14 (6%)
Males exclusively11 (5%)36 (16%)10 (4%)73 (32%)

From Sexuality before and after Male-to-Female Sex Reassignment Surgery (PDF) by Anne Lawrence.

Now Dr Lawrence has some ideas I don't agree with, but as a scientist she's quite reliable, her data is trustworthy even if her theories aren't.

As always when dealing with TS issues, the sample size is small (n=232).
Survey participants were MtF transsexuals who had undergone SRS between May 1994 and March 2000 with Toby Meltzer, M.D., a surgeon practicing in Portland, Oregon. All participants had undergone SRS using a consistent surgical technique, consisting of penile-inversion vaginoplasty and clitoroplasty using a portion of the glans penis on a dorsal neurovascular pedicle.
Thereby shackling some very important variables. Same Surgeon and Same Technique might not lead to Same Surgical Outcome, but it comes as close as we can get.

What conclusions can be drawn from this data?

The figures scotch the common misconception "Transsexuals are just Gays who want sex with Men". Only 1 in 10 are attracted to guys beforehand. 7 in 10 have sexual relations exclusively or nearly so with other women, though only just over half are attracted to other women exclusively or nearly so. The pressure of societal expectation makes itself known.

After SRS... 4 in 10 end up in normal, heterosexual relations, though only 1 in 3 are exclusively attracted to men - societal expectations again. About 1 in 4 continue to be Lesbian, often with their previous partner, though many find guys sorta interesting now.

But there's one sadness. Before surgery, only 1 in 20 didn't have some form of Love Life. But afterwards, that becomes 1 in 4. To Transition is very often to condemn oneself to a life of loneliness. Tragically, the proportion of asexuals decreases : just at a time when they look for love rather than doing what society expects, that's the time their newly awakened desires are thwarted by grim Reality.


Anonymous said...

figures scotch the common misconception "Transsexuals are just Gays who want sex with Men".

The figures for this surgeon's patients. Since we don't know what his selection criteria are, we don't know how many times (if any) he's saying "you're not TS, you're just gay, and I'm not taking you as a patient."
(I'm not arguing that your conclusion is wrong--just that the data as described are not sufficient to support it).

Zoe Brain said...

Dr Mewlzer follows the WPATH standards of care, as do all other surgeons in the US and Europe. He doesn't make a decision who to treat, anyone who can successfully jump through the hoops over several years of psychological evaluation (by at least 2 psychiatrists) qualifies.
Besides which, my point was to show a counterexample. Many religious groups insist that all transsexual women are actually gay men being mutilated. This data - assuming the test subjects weren't lying - indicates otherwise, and n fact most TS women are lesbian before transition.

Anonymous said...

"all other surgeons" is a bit more optimistic than I'd care to bet on, but the "follows the standard criteria" is the bit that was missing from your summary.

Of course, one counterexample that we all know and love is... you.