Transgendering, Migrating and Love of Oneself as a Woman: A Contribution to a Sociology of Autogynephilia

Richard Ekins, Dave King

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15 Citations (Scopus)


This paper considers Ray Blanchard’s taxonomic, typological and diagnostic approach to his concept of ‘autogynephilia’ (‘love of oneself as a woman’) in male-to-female transsexuals, in the context of Anne Lawrence’s appropriation of the concept in the service of her personal transgendering identity formation and transgendering identity politics. A striking contemporary example of the umbilical cord that exists between the formulations of science and those of sections of the transgendered community is provided by the interrelations between Blanchard’s and Lawrence’s work on autogynephilia. The concept of autogynephilia is considered from the standpoint of the sociology of transgendering put forward in Ekins (1997) and Ekins and King (1999, 2001a, 2001b). In particular, the interrelations between transgendering, ‘migrating’ and the role of autogynephilia are examined with reference to selected material from life history work with three male-to-female transsexual informants. While it is not difficult to find autogynephilic components in transgendering trajectories, the interesting questions relate to the status of those components over diverse trajectories, including the constituting and consolidating (Ekins, 1993, 1997) of autogynephilic identities. The sociological approach presented in this paper provides the conceptual wherewithal to unpack a number of controversial issues surrounding the concept of autogynephilia and its reception.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe International Journal of Transgenderism
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - Sept 2001


  • transgendering, transsexual, autogynephilia, erotic femaling, identity.


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