While living as a woman, he was attracted almost exclusively to women. But when he started taking testosterone at age 22, that began to change. Several studies suggest that changes in sexual orientation among trans people are quite common. In another study of U. Almost identical results were found in a study of U.
Research Shows Many Trans Folks' Sexual Attractions Change After Transition
Most of these changes include shifts from exclusive attraction to one gender pre-transition toward some level of bisexuality post-transition, as was the case with Toby, who declined to share his last name. But some people claim almost complete reversal of their sexual orientation. Why these changes happen is less clear, and like many things in psychology, this may be a question with several correct answers.
Although we tend to think of sexual orientation as something fixed at birth determined by our genes and prenatal hormone exposure and usually unchangeable thereafter, it is undoubtedly fluid to some extent, so shifts in attraction could be no different from those that happen to many cisgender folks as well.
But these general population numbers are much lower than those found in trans populations, suggesting there are likely other factors at play among trans folks. Perhaps the most obvious candidate is the hormonal changes that trans people undergo as part of their transition. While the exact ways androgens and estrogens influence sexual orientation are not yet understood, most scholars agree that hormones — at least as far as prenatal exposure goes — play an important role.
And many trans folks themselves directly link these changes in attractions to the hormones they are taking or suppressing.
Another possibility is that the changes in sexual attractions are precipitated by the physical changes that trans people experience after hormonal or surgical treatments. So even if you did have attractions for men, you might not engage with men or even indulge in fantasies about men until you can be witnessed as and interacted with in your affirmed gender.
Men, in particular, can also be more physically dangerous than women, something that Toby, as a relatively small person, was always acutely aware of. It wasn't until college that Alison realized that she identified as a woman.
A few months into her transition, she realized she was attracted to women as well. Alison isn't entirely sure why her sexual orientation changed after she began living according to her true gender identity. Because she didn't identify as male anymore, she suggested, she could "conceive of women as possible romantic or sexual interests" without having to stomach her "disgust at male heterosexuality" or having to view herself as complicit in it. She also noted that having sex with men before her transition made her feel more feminine: Seriously, I used to be a rake-thin, femme, fag bottom, and now I'm a curvy, andro dyke, mostly top.
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What the fuck? In addition, Alison believes that transitioning had a profound effect on her sex drive—she mentioned feeling a noticeable mental and emotional shift after starting hormone replacement therapy HRT. HRT for trans women generally includes two medications.
One is a testosterone-blocker, which effectively nullifies testosterone in the body. The other is estrogen, which replaces the testosterone and begins the process of a second puberty.
On HRT, trans women experience many of the pubertal changes that cisgender women do, such as breast development. Alison says that, once she got testosterone out of her system, she no longer felt like she absolutely had to have sex—or, as she puts it, that "cloud of incessant horniness dissipated.
Walter Bockting, a professor of medical psychology at Columbia University who specializes in LGBT health, says there isn't a clear consensus on whether hormones influence sexual orientation.fcam.my.to/22711-vn-vr-commodore.php
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However, "the role of hormones in the development of gender identity or sexual orientation is less clear and remains unknown. One hypothesis Dr.
Bockting mentioned posits that, with the suppression of testosterone and the administration of estrogen, "transgender women's sexual orientation becomes somewhat less fixed—as research indicates that it is more fixed among men than among women," as he put it. The role of hormones in the development of gender identity or sexual orientation is less clear and remains unknown. But there could be a cultural or psychological explanation as well, Dr.
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Bockting was quick to note. Research on the topic remains spotty at best; there's little sense of how common shifts in sexual orientation are among trans people, though among trans communities anecdotal evidence suggests such shifts aren't uncommon. A study , which surveyed trans people who visited the endocrine outpatient clinic at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich, found that "self-reported change in sexual orientation is quite common" in both male-to-female and female-to-male trans people.
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Of the 70 trans women in the study group, The study clarifies that such changes don't "solely occur in the context of particular transition events. Like Alison, Ann feels that testosterone—and, later, estrogen—may have played a role in her sexual shift, but she recognizes that it probably occurred in conjunction with the social and psychological changes that occurred once she was able to live as a woman. Ann's story, as she tells it, is less about strict changes in sexual attraction and more about the loosening of sexual preferences that once seemed fixed and inalterable.
She still finds men attractive, and is even dating a man right now, but she no longer holds herself to fixed ideas about what her sexuality is or how it should be defined. In fact, Ann feels that after transitioning, it became easier for her to "open up" romantically and "to love.