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Being Transgender: Effects of Behaviour, Arousal and Wellbeing

Raines, Jamie (2021) Being Transgender: Effects of Behaviour, Arousal and Wellbeing. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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Abstract

The present thesis investigated the sex atypicality, physiological arousal, and wellbeing of transgender men (female to male) in order to better understand the behaviours and feelings of this under-researched group and to investigate the influences that one’s gender identity and birth sex may have on various processes. Chapter 1 gives an overview of the literature. Chapter 2 focuses on sex atypicality (e.g., masculinity in birth sex females) from childhood onward, which predicts a same-gender attraction among cisgender groups in adulthood. However, transgender people have rarely been studied in this context. This was researched using observer ratings of childhood and adulthood participant photographs to avoid the limitations of self-report measures. Another component in which cisgender people differ is in their sexual arousal patterns, yet again, this has rarely been investigated in transgender people. Chapter 3 therefore examined the genital sexual arousal of transgender men and how it compares to cisgender men and women. Finally, the wellbeing of same- gender attracted cisgender groups, and transgender people generally can be negatively affected. Chapter 4 investigated the differences between cisgender and transgender people, including the influence of sexual attraction, as well as discrimination and transitioning, as potential factors in wellbeing discrepancies. Findings showed that transgender men were rated as more masculine (sex atypical) than cisgender women from childhood onwards, and they displayed more male-typical patterns of sexual arousal than cisgender women. These results indicate behavioral and physiological differences between transgender men and cisgender women, and similarities to cisgender men. Finally, transgender men had lower wellbeing than cisgender women, with transition stage appearing to be of importance in this difference: Transgender men who had taken more transitioned steps had increased wellbeing compared to those who had taken no transition steps.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Jamie Raines
Date Deposited: 19 Jan 2021 15:59
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2021 01:00
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/29565

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