Blanchard, Bailey, and Lawrence theory controversy

Blanchard, Bailey, and Lawrence theory controversy

The "BBL Controversy" also known as the "Autogynephilia Controversy" is an ongoing and heated line of discussion in the transgendered community. The subject, Blanchard, Bailey, and Lawrence theory, is a theory of transsexual taxonomy developed by Ray Blanchard, [Blanchard, R. (1989). The concept of autogynephilia and the typology of male gender dysphoria. "Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease, 177," 616–623.] which classifies male-to-female transsexuals according to whether they have an autogynephilic or "homosexual transsexual" motivation.Blanchard, Ray (2004). [ The Origins of the Concept of Autogynephilia] . [ The Autogynephilia Resource] . Retrieved 9 January 2005]

The theory had not received much attention outside of sexology until sexologist Anne Lawrence, who self-identifies as an autogynephile, published a series of web articles about the hypothesis in the late 1990s.Lawrence AA (1998). [ "Men Trapped in Men's Bodies:"An Introduction to the Concept of Autogynephilia.] originally published at, October 1998. Retrieved August 21, 2006)] Lawrence has since published and lectured about the hypothesis. [Lawrence, A. A. (2007). Becoming what we love: Autogynephilic transsexualism conceptualized as an expression of romantic love. "Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, 50," 506–520.] [Lawrence, A. A. (2005). Sexuality before and after male-to-female sex reassignment surgery. "Archives of Sexual Behavior, 34," 147–166.] Ekins R, King D (2001). [ Transgendering, Migrating and Love of Oneself as a Woman: A Contribution to a Sociology of Autogynephilia.] "International Journal of Transgenderism" Volume 5, Number 3]

The hypothesis received wider attention with the 2003 publication of Bailey's popular psychology book "The Man Who Would Be Queen". The book is written for a public audience; [Cantor, J. M. (2003, Summer). Review of the book "The Man Who Would Be Queen" by J. Michael Bailey. "Newsletter of Division 44 of the American Psychological Association, 19"(2), 6.] instead of citing sources, figures, or statistics to support the assertions made, Bailey uses anecdotal evidence to illustrate the hypothesis. The book contains his casual observations as well as quotations from casual conversations.

Lynn Conway and Andrea James responded to Lawrence's essay. Then Conway started an investigation into the publication of Bailey's book by the United States National Academy of Sciences. Accusations of misconduct on the part of Bailey were leveled. Eventually, Bailey resigned from his position as head of psychology at Northwestern University.

cientific arguments regarding Blanchard, Bailey and Lawrence theory.

Criticism of the Homosexual transsexual hypothesis

In his 1966 classic "The Transsexual Phenomenon", Harry Benjamin writes:

quote|The term "homosexuality" has never impressed me as very fortunate. It indicates an exclusiveness and a finality that exists in only a relatively small group of men, those who are entirely homosexual. According to Kinsey, Pomeroy, and Martin, this group (the 6 on their rating scale) applies to not more than 4% of the total male population.

... If we allow ourselves the use of the term "bisexuality" in this 46%, it is evident that the term homosexuality is applied much too often. The reason is that even one homosexual contact in a man's life, if it becomes known, all too often stamps him forever as a homosexual which, of course, he is not.

Furthermore, homosexual orientation may be a symptom, as are transvestism and transsexualism, with a variety of possible causes and inceptions. These causes and inceptions may be anchored in an inherited or congenital (constitutional) predisposition or they may be an acquired condition.|Benjamin H (1966). " [ The Transsexual Phenomenon.] " The Julian Press ASIN: B0007HXA76]

Leavitt and Berger noted:

Criticism of the notion of Autogynephilia

This portion of the theory has also been questioned on the grounds that it does not properly account for the behavior and self-identification of a great many transsexual and transgender women. Proponents of the hypothesis have asserted that "autogynephiles," persons who are assumed to fit this model, are willfully deceiving others in claiming to exhibit behavior that does not fit within it.Blanchard R, Clemmensen LH, Steiner BW (1985). Social desirability response set and systematic distortion in the self-report of adult male gender patients. "Archives of Sexual Behavior", 1985 Dec;14(6):505-16.] J. Michael Bailey, a notable proponent, quotes Clarke Institute employee Maxine Petersen as saying "most gender patients lie" and he himself claims that "the most common way that autogynephiles mislead others is by denying the erotic components of their gender bending" (pp. 172–173).cite book
last =Bailey
first =J. Michael
authorlink =
coauthors =
title =The Man Who Would Be Queen: The Science of Gender-Bending and Transsexualism.
publisher =Joseph Henry Press
year =2003
location =Washington, D.C.
pages =233
url =
doi =
id = 10530
isbn =0-309-08418-0
] In addition, he has claimed that "Blanchard has shown in a couple of clever studies that non-homosexual transgender patients who deny autogynephilia still show evidence for it."Rodkin D (December 12 2003). [ Sex and Transsexuals] . "The Chicago Reader". Retrieved August 27 2006] On the one hand, the assertion that any transperson who claims not to fit into this framework must be "lying" has been widely criticized as making this model unscientific because it becomes unfalsifiable. On the other hand, there are clear examples of transwomen who vehemently deny autogynephilic motivation but show clear evidence for it. One famous example (Anjelica Kieltyka, whose pseudonym was "Cher" in Bailey's book and who subsequently attacked Bailey's interpretation of her behavior) became transsexual after a long history of fetishistic cross dressing and wearing of fake vaginas and breasts.Bailey JM ( 2003). [] . Retrieved May 16 2007] Deirdre McCloskey,another well-known transsexual wrote a biography describing her long history of fetishistic cross dressing and interest in transsexual pornography.Citation
last =McCloskey
first =Deirdre N.
author-link =
last2 =
first2 =
author2-link =
title =Crossing A Memoir
place=The University of Chicago Press, Chicago 60637
publisher = The University of Chicago
year =1999
location =The University of Chicago Press, ltd., London
volume =
edition =
url =
doi =
id = 080706050403020100345
isbn = 0-226-55669-7, 0-226-5566-9
] Critics and proponents of autogynephilia theory seem to differ in how much they credit the narratives of transwomen as accurate.Doctor RF, Fleming JS. Measures of Transgender Behavior. "Archives of Sexual Behavior" Volume 30, Number 3 / June, 2001]

Another criticism of Blanchard Bailey and Lawrence Theory is that it defines gender dysphoria as a strictly sexual phenomenon. That is, it assumes that transwomen feminize their bodies in order to fulfill a sexual desire for the attention of heterosexual men or for their own fetishistic pleasure.Sexual Deviance: Theory, Assessment, and Treatment Laws DR, O'Donohue WT (1997). Guilford Press ISBN 978-1572302410] This appears to be contradicted by the fact that the effects of testosterone-blocking medications (and later, removal of the testicles) reduce libido in many transwomen.Cohen-Kettenis PT, Gooren LJG. The Influence of Hormone Treatment on Psychological Functioning of Transsexuals. "Journal of Psychology & Human Sexuality". Volume: 5 Issue: 4 ISSN: 0890-7064 Pub Date: 5/28/1993 ]


Transmen, that is female-to-male transgender persons, are only briefly mentioned by Blanchard. According to data from his clinic, "most" transmen are of the "homosexual" type, that is attracted to women.Chivers ML, Bailey JM. Sexual Orientation of Female-to-Male Transsexuals: A Comparison of Homosexual and Non-homosexual Types. "Archives of Sexual Behavior" Volume 29, Number 3 / June, 2000] He thinks it is unlikely that an analogue to autogynephilia exists among natal women since, according to proponents of the theory, "all paraphilias occur exclusively (or nearly exclusively) in men". The omission of transmen from Blanchard Bailey and Lawrence theory represents a limitation in its applicability. (Compare to Newtons laws#Importance and range of validity for what happens when a theory is applied outside its data domain) Which means it is not a truly fundamental theory of transsexual etiology.

cientific study sparked by the controversy

Many of these concerns were addressed in a peer reviewed scientific study conducted in the Netherlands by Yolanda Smith et al. which could have supported or refuted Blanchards theory, as well as Bailey, and Lawrences observations in support of that theory. Smith et al. found...cite journal
last = Smith
first = Yolanda L.S.
authorlink =
coauthors = Stephanie Van Goozen, Aj Kupier, Peggy T. Cohen-Kettenis
title = Transsexual subtypes: Clinical and theoretical significance
journal = Psychiatry Research
volume = 137
issue = 3
pages = 151–160
date = 2005-12-15
publisher = Elsevier
url =
format = PDF
doi = 10.1016/j.psychres.2005.01.008
accessdate = 2007-06-26

The inclusion of the terms "homosexual transsexual" and "Autogynephilic transsexual" in DSM-IV by a subcommittee on gender identity disorders (GID)Bradley SJ, Blanchard R, Coates S, Green R, Levine SB, Meyer-Bahlburg HFL, Pauly IB, Zucker KJ. Interim report of the DSM-IV Subcommittee on Gender Identity Disorders. "Archives of Sexual Behavior"] Pauly IB. Terminology and Classification of Gender Identity Disorders. Journal of Psychology & Human Sexuality Volume: 5 Issue: 4 ISSN: 0890-7064 Pub Date: 5/28/1993] will be debated as part of attempts at GID reform in the DSM-V.Istar Lev A. Disordering Gender Identity Gender Identity Disorder in the DSM-IV-TR. "Journal of Psychology & Human Sexuality", Volume 17, Numbers 3-4, 3 February 2006, pp. 35-69(35)]

"The Man Who Would Be Queen"

The book elicited both strongly positive and strongly negative responses. Kirkus Reviews concluded: "Despite its provocative title, a scientific yet superbly compassionate exposition." [ The Man Who Would Be Queen] via National Academies Press. Retrieved 6 September 2008.] The book received praise from gay sexual behavior scientists James CantorDreger, A. D. (2008). The controversy surrounding "The man who would be queen:" A case history of the politics of science, identity, and sex in the Internet age. "Archives of Sexual Behavior, 37," 366-421.] and Simon LeVay, from sex-differences expert David Buss, and from research psychologist Steven Pinker, who wrote: "With a mixture of science, humanity, and fine writing, J. Michael Bailey illuminates the mysteries of sexual orientation and identity in the best book yet written on the subject. The Man Who Would Be Queen may upset the guardians of political correctness on both the left and the right, but it will be welcomed by intellectually curious people of all sexes and sexual orientations. A truly fascinating book."Pinker, Steven (June 28, 2003). [ Pages for pleasure.] "The Guardian"] It also received praise from journalists John Derbyshire,Derbyshire, John (June 30, 2003). [ Lost in the Male.] "National Review"] Steve Sailer, Daniel Seligman,Seligman, Dan (October 13, 2003). [ Transsexuals And the Law.] "Forbes"] and Mark Henderson.Henderson, Mark (December 6, 2003). [ Who’s got the brains in this relationship?] "The Times"]

Some reviews in the LGBT press were positive, such as from writers Ethan Boatner for "Lavender Magazine" and Duncan Osborne for "Out".Osborne, Duncan (March 2003). 'The Man Who Would Be Queen' (review). "Out", March 2003, Vol. 11 Issue 9, pp. 54-54.] Those in the transgender community who agreed with Blanchard's taxonomy also reviewed the book positively. Anne Lawrence, a physician and sexologist whose work on autogynephilia is featured in the book, wrote "This is a wonderful book on an important subject," and autogynephilia support group founder Willow Arune wrote, "Blanchard, Bailey, Lawrence and [Blanchard colleague Maxine] Petersen have done more to help transsexuals over years of service than perhaps any other four people in the world."Arune, Willow (2004). [ I *AM* Arune!] "Transgender Tapestry" 1(85):65–68.]

The public response of the transgender community was almost entirely negative. Among other things, they opposed the book's endorsement of Blanchard's taxonomy of male-to-female transsexualism,Klein, Julie M. (May 2004). [ Ethical minefields: The sex that would be science.] "Seed Magazine", May/June 2004] its publication by the National Academies Press, by whom it was "advertised as science"Krasny, Michael (Aug 22, 2007). [ Transgender Theories.] Forum with Michael Krasny, KQED] and marketed as "scientifically accurate," which they argued was untrue. They also claimed the book exploited children with gender dysphoria.Carey, Benedict. (2007-08-21.) [ "Criticism of a Gender Theory, and a Scientist Under Siege."] "New York Times" via Retrieved on 2007-09-19.] Among those criticizing the book were computer scientist Lynn Conway,Marcus, Jon (August 1, 2003). Transsexuals Protest. "Times Higher Education", p. 13] biologists Joan RoughgardenRoughgarden, Joan (June 4, 2004). [ Twist In The Tale Of Two Genders.] "Times Higher Education" No.1643; Pg. 20] and Ben Barres,Holden, Constance (July 18, 2003). [ Transsexuality Treatise Triggers Furor.] ScienceNOW/Science (AAAS)] physician Rebecca Allison,Staff report (June 25, 2003). [ Trans Group Attacks New Book on 'Queens.'] "Windy City Times"] economist Deirdre McCloskey,McCloskey, Deirdre (November 2003). [ Queer Science: A data-bending psychologist confirms what he already knew about gays and transsexuals.] "Reason", November 2003] psychologist Madeline Wyndzen,James, Andrea (Fall 2006). [ A Defining Moment in Our History.] "Transgender Tapestry", Fall 2006, Issue 110, pp. 18-23.] writers Dallas Denny,Denny, Dallas (December 13, 2004). [ Viewpoint: Why the Bailey Controversy Is Important.] "Transgender Tapestry" #104, Winter 2004] Pauline Park,Park, Pauline (May 30, 2003). [ Sympathy, But Finding Pathology.] "Gay City News"] Jamison Green Green J (2003). [ Bailey’s wick.] "PlanetOut"] Gwen Smith,Smith, Gwen (June 13, 2003). [ Not a man.] "Southern Voice"] and Andrea James,Surkan, K (2007). Transsexuals Protest Academic Exploitation. In Lillian Faderman, Yolanda Retter, Horacio Roque Ramírez, eds. "Great Events From History: Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Events, 1848-2006." pages 111-114. Salem Press ISBN 978-1-58765-263-9] as well as Christine Burns of Press for Change, Karen Gurney of the Australian W-O-M-A-N Network, and Executive Director Monica Casper of the Intersex Society of North America.The Ups and Downs of J. Michael Bailey. "Transgender Tapestry" #104, Winter 2004, pp. 53-54.]

Negative responses came from outside the transgender community as well. Liza Mundy in the "Washington Post" wrote, "I got so bored that I began recreationally underlining passages to decide which was the dullest."Mundy, Liza (March 23, 2003). Codes of Behavior. "Washington Post"] Psychologist Eli Coleman referred to the book as "an unfortunate setback in feelings of trust between the transgender community and sex researchers," and his colleague, Walter Bockting, wrote that it was "yet another blow to the delicate relationship between clinicians, scholars, and the transgender community."Bockting, Walter O. (2005). Biological reductionism meets gender diversity in human sexuality. [Review of the book The Man Who Would Be Queen.] "Journal of Sex Research", 42, 267-270.] Kinsey Institute Director John Bancroft referred to the book as "not science," later clarifying that "it promoted a very derogatory explanation of transgender identity which most TG people would find extremely hurtful and humiliating….Whether based on science or not we have a responsibility to present scientific ideas, particularly in the public arena, in ways which are not blatantly hurtful. But in addition to that, [Bailey] did not support his analysis in a scientific manner—hence my comment." Psychologist Randi Ettner said of Bailey, "He's set back the field 100 years, as far as I'm concerned."Klein, Julia (May 2004). [ Ethical Minefields: The Sex That Would Be Science.] "Seed"] Psychiatrist Vernon Rosario wrote, "The problem with Bailey is his simplistic approach to forcing people into his classification system. This is nowhere more evident than in his repeated dismissal of people’s experiences that do not conform to his model… Whenever a subject reports something different, Bailey just says, 'I doubt that.'"Rosario, Vernon (November 2003). [ New gene theory rests on bad science.] "The Gay & Lesbian Review"] Ph.D. student Riki Lane summarized the transgender portion of the conflict: "Bailey's supporters see themselves as defending unpopular scientific 'truth' against people who won't face a reality that is politically unpalatable and destructive to their self image. Bailey's opponents see themselves as defending their community from sensationalist pseudoscience that sexualizes them as sex starved gay men or neurotic straight men with a sexual obsession."Lane R (2008). Truth, Lies, and Trans Science. "Archives of Sexual Behavior" Vol.37, No.3, June 2008.] Philosophy professor Talia Mae Bettcher wrote, “Because Bailey believes transsexual women tend to lie or misrepresent, nothing a transwoman can say contests this theory.”Bettcher TM (2008). [http:// Pretenders to the Throne.] Archives of Sexual Behavior, Vol.37, No.3, June 2008, p.430-433. ]

Following complaints from trans women described in the book, Northwestern University opened a full investigation into Bailey’s research activities in November 2003.Becker, Robert (November 18, 2003). NU investigates charges over book. "Chicago Tribune"] The Southern Poverty Law Center printed a report that key figures involved in promoting the book (including Bailey, Blanchard, Buss, Derbyshire, Pinker, Sailer, and Seligman) “belong to a private cyber-discussion group of a neo-eugenics outfit, the Human Biodiversity Institute (HBI).” Beirich, Heidi and Bob Moser (Winter 2003). [ Queer Science: An 'elite' cadre of scientists and journalists tries to turn back the clock on sex, gender and race.] "Intelligence Report"] Psychologist and sex therapist Margaret Nichols wrote, “Bailey’s connection to HBI belies his politics and has important bearing on his research in the areas of sex and gender diversity. In my opinion, the HBI connection alone makes Bailey an enemy of queer people.”Nichols 2008]

The Lambda Literary Foundation nominated the book as a finalist in the transgender award category for 2003.Marks, Jim (13 February 2004). A letter from the publisher about the Lambda Literary Awards. ‘’Lambda Book Report’’] Nangeroni N, MackKenzie GO (March 15, 2004). [ Interview with Jim Marks.] ‘’GenderTalk’’ Program # 452] The Foundation then reconsidered the nomination but decided to keep it on the list.Grubb, R.J. (March 4, 2004). Lambda keeps controversial book as finalist for award. ‘’Bay Windows’’] After protest of the nomination intensified via an internet petition, a second reconsideration led to the book's removal from its award finalists.Grubb, R.J. (March 4, 2004). On second thought... ‘’Bay Windows’’] According to Executive Director Jim Marks, removal was due to the belated decision that the book was transphobic. [cite web | last = Letellier | first = Patrick | title = Group rescinds honor for disputed book | publisher = | date = 2004-03-16 | url = | accessdate = 2007-03-16] After Marks resigned, his successor Charles Flowers stated, “ [T] he Bailey incident revealed flaws in our awards nomination process… With the help of the transgender community, we have improved the integrity of our awards, by making them more inclusive and our methods more transparent.” Flowers, Charles (Sept 20, 2007) [ Letter to New York Times.] Lambda Literary Foundation]

Besides criticizing the book, some critics alleged that Bailey had breached professional ethics.McCain RS (November 24, 2003). University investigates ethics of sex researcher. "Washington Times"] These included the accusations that Bailey had conducted scientific research without institutional review board permission, that he had sex with a research subject (a transsexual sex worker called "Juanita" in the book), and that he had practiced psychology without a license.Associated Press (July 25, 2003). Transsexuals accuse professor of research misconduct.] Northwestern University conducted a formal investigation of the charge that he had conducted research without proper oversight; there is no evidence the other charges were investigated. Although the findings of that investigation were not released,>Wilson, R. (2004, Dec. 10). " [ Northwestern U. Will Not Reveal Results of Investigation Into Sex Researcher] ." "The Chronicle of Higher Education," p. 10.] Northwestern's Vice President for Research, C. Bradley Moore, said, "The allegations of scientific misconduct made against Professor J. Michael Bailey do not fall under the federal definition of scientific misconduct." Physician Charles Moser wrote, "the allegations were basically true; they just did not constitute any formal misconduct."Moser C (2008). A Different Perspective. "Archives of Sexual Behavior" Vol.37, No.3, June 2008, p.472-475.]

Some critics attacked Bailey in more personal ways. Some gay academics made "sarcastic comments about Bailey's own masculinity and sartorial style." Andrea James constructed a page of "satire" by taking pictures of Bailey's children and placing sexually offensive captions beside them, one of which was a quotation from Bailey's book. [ [] ] James has said that she was echoing the disrespect that Bailey's work shows for vulnerable people, including children. James also constructed webpages attacking or mocking Bailey's supporters, colleagues, and friends (including an ex-girlfriend), questioned Bailey's sexuality, asserted that he had "abandoned" his family, and sent a message to his colleagues that he suffered from "alcohol abuse and dependence."

In 2006 Northwestern University professor Alice Dreger unsuccessfully attempted to suppress a speech given at Northwestern by James: Lane wrote, "her actions to 'no-platform' James are similar to the tactics she ascribes to Bailey's opponents in their attempts to shut down discussion of Blanchard’s theories." In response, Dreger released her account of the controversy in 2007, a year before it was published in the "Archives of Sexual Behavior". "New York Times" reporter Benedict Carey reported that Dreger found Bailey "essentially blameless." Carey, Benedict. (2007-08-21.) [ "Criticism of a Gender Theory, and a Scientist Under Siege."] "New York Times" via Retrieved on 2007-09-19.] Addressing the specific accusations against Bailey, she argued that he did not conduct scientific research without required supervision, that he probably did not have sex with "Juanita" (and even if he had, there is nothing wrong with it), that he did not illegally practice clinical psychology without a license, and that his membership in the "Human Biodiversity Institute" merely constituted being a member of an email listserv that included some conservative members. Dreger described the controversy as suppression of academic freedom and concluded: "the historical evidence indicates that Conway, James, and [Deirdre] McCloskey tried to destroy Bailey's book and his reputation through these truly extraordinary measures because they didn’t like what he had to say." [Dreger, A. (2008). Response to the commentaries on Dreger (2008). "Archives of Sexual Behavior, 37" 503-510.]

Dreger's paper also elicited both strongly positive and strongly negative responses when it was published in 2008 with 23 commentaries in the same issue of the "Archives of Sexual Behavior". Commenters included John Bancroft,Bancroft J (2008). Lust or Identity? "Archives of Sexual Behavior" Vol.37, No.3, June 2008, p.426-428.] Ben Barres,Barres B (2008). A Response to Dreger's Defense of the Bailey Book. "Archives of Sexual Behavior" Vol.37, No.3, June 2008, p.429.] Ray Blanchard,Blanchard R (2008). Deconstructing the Feminine Essence Narrative. "Archives of Sexual Behavior" Vol.37, No.3, June 2008] John Gagnon,Gagnon J (2008). Is This a Work of Science? "Archives of Sexual Behavior" Vol.37, No.3, June 2008, p.444-447.] Richard Green,Green R (2008). Lighten Up, Ladies. "Archives of Sexual Behavior" Vol.37, No.3, June 2008, p.451-452.] Deirdre McCloskey,McCloskey D (2008). [ Politics in Scholarly Drag: Dreger's Assault on the Critics of Bailey.] "Archives of Sexual Behavior" Vol.37, No.3, June 2008, p.451-452.] Charles Moser, Seth Roberts,Roberts S (2008). McCloskey and Me: A Back-and-Forth. "Archives of Sexual Behavior" Vol.37, No.3, June 2008, p.472-475.] Julia Serano,Serano J (2008). [ A Matter of Perspective: A Transsexual Woman-Centric Critique of Dreger’s ‘‘Scholarly History’’ of the Bailey Controversy.] "Archives of Sexual Behavior" Vol.37, No.3, June 2008, p.491-494.] and Ken Zucker.Zucker K (2008). Introduction to Dreger (2008) and Peer Commentaries. "Archives of Sexual Behavior" Vol.37, No.3, June 2008, p.365.] Green said her "meticulously detailed and documented essay is on remarkably even terrain," and told Bailey's critics to "lighten up." Psychologist Antonia Caretto called it a "thorough review."Caretto A (2008). Dreger’s Adventures. "Archives of Sexual Behavior" Vol.37, No.3, June 2008] Lawrence said Dreger's paper gives evidence that the backlash was "a manifestation of narcissistic rage."Lawrence AA (2008). [ Shame and Narcissistic Rage in Autogynephilic Transsexualism.] "Archives of Sexual Behavior" Vol.37, No.3, June 2008] Dreger received a Guggenheim Fellowship to expand the article into a book. Several critics wrote that Dreger's paper lacked balance, objectivity, and context. Anthropologist Robin Mathy wrote that the trans community response "had nothing to do with Conway, James, or any other high-profile transwomen. They had everything to do with TMWWBQ and Bailey."Mathy RM (2008). Cowboys, Sheepherders, and The Man Who Would‘‘I Know’’ vs. First-Order Lived Experience. "Archives of Sexual Behavior" Vol.37, No.3, June 2008] Sociologist Elroi Windsor wrote, "Dreger faults these critics for targeting the messenger and not his messages, yet the imbalance within her article suggests that she does the same. This imbalance colors Dreger's conclusions regarding Bailey's infractions."Windsor E (2008). Accounting for Power and Academic Responsibility. "Archives of Sexual Behavior" Vol.37, No.3, June 2008] Gender studies scholar Nicholas Clarkson wrote, "By focusing on the complaints of Conway, McCloskey, and James as representative of critiques of Bailey’s book, interspersed far too infrequently by more measured critiques (e.g., from Jamison Green), Dreger represents trans people as a lunatic fringe and marginalizes legitimate trans critiques of Bailey’s book. Indeed, she buries these critiques in short paragraphs, most of which come at the end of her article, thus effectively silencing those legitimate trans challenges."Clarkson NL (2008). Trans Victims, Trans Zealots: A Critique of Dreger’s History of the Bailey Controversy. "Archives of Sexual Behavior" Vol.37, No.3, June 2008.] Biologist Julia Serano wrote: "Dreger seems to attribute this [backlash] to a calculated attempt by three trans activists, Conway, James, and McCloskey (CJM), to personally "ruin" Bailey. In Dreger’s article, CJM are portrayed as singlehandedly initiating and orchestrating the entire backlash against the book via personal attacks on Bailey. I would argue that this is a rather myopic view, as it both overstates these activists’ influence within the community and underplays the broad consensus of trans activists, allies, and advocates who found the book to be unapologetically arrogant, crass, stigmatizing, sensationalizing, and a distortion of both trans people’s lives and the scientific literature on the subject. If CJM did not become involved, and if no personal attacks were carried out against Bailey, the backlash still would have occurred and it would likely have been just as contentious. The month Dreger's paper was published, an academic panel on trans perspectives about "the Bailey brouhaha" convened despite Dreger's attempt to suppress it by attacking the graduate student who proposed it.Anderson-Minshall, Jacob (October 25, 2007). [ A TransAmazon Takes on 'The Man'.] "GayWired"] Hendrick E (2008). [ Quiet Down There! The Discourse of Academic Freedom as Defence of Hierarchy in the Aftermath of J. Michael Bailey's "The Man Who Would Be Queen".] NWSA panel, June 21, 2008.] James A (2008). [ Fair comment, foul play: Populist responses to J. Michael Bailey's exploitative "controversies."] NWSA panel, June 21, 2008.] "The Man Who Would Be Queen" went out of print in 2008 but remained available for sale as a PDF on the National Academies website.

ummary of Ad hominem arguments.

According to the wiktionary Ad hominem is a shortened form of a phrase that literally means "argument at the man". An ad hominem is an attempt to discredit an argument based on the flaws of the person who made the argument. This controversy is rife with arguments that are by definition ad hominem. This is a non-comprehensive summary of the ad hominem arguments that have been posed. Listed in alphabetical order as determined by last name or alias. The fact that an argument is an ad hominem does not imply that it must be false. It does imply that it is a personal attack not truly connected to the issue at hand.


This blanket statement was used by Diedre McCloskey to discredit Bailey by the number of people he spoke to.

quote|Bailey portrays himself according to Rodkin as an "impartial social scientist," who looks at "aggregates," "lots of similar cases." According to Rodkin, Professor Bailey "has the goal of finding commonalities among groups of individuals.

You bet. Professor Bailey's "lots of similar cases" were a half dozen Hispanic drag queens and prostitutes he met in bars in Chicago.|cite web
last =McCloskey
first =Deirdre
authorlink =
coauthors =
title =The Bailey Controversy: Complaint against J. Michael Bailey
work =
publisher =
date =2003-07-29
url =
format =
doi =
accessdate =2007-08-18

This statement by Kelly Novak, on a page owned by Andrea James intimates that "Alma" is racially slurring Hispanics.

quote|Another fine example of Pseudoscience can be seen on page 183:

"Alma has also noticed, as I have, the large number of Latina transsexuals. In Chicago, there are several bars that cater to Latina transsexuals. About 60% of the homosexual transsexuals and drag queens we studied were Latina or black."

Really, the reason why there was a high number of Latinas in the study is that Latina bars were used for the recruiting. Non-transsexual Hispanic people should take this as a racial slur.|cite web
last =Novak
first =Kelly
authorlink =
coauthors =
title =Why Bailey's Book is Offensive
work =
publisher =Andrea James
month =June | year =2003
url =
format =
doi =
accessdate =

Bailey, J. Michael

Lynn Conway, Anjelica Kieltyka, and "Maria" accused Bailey of having had sexual relations with "Maria".cite web|url=| ] In a 46 page report Dr Conway made many accusations of misconduct. Summarized in her own words "In summary, the new complaint contains hard evidence implicating Mr. Bailey in, among other things, (i) deliberate failures to examine counter-evidence to the theory he was studying, (ii) open defamation of those who put forward counter-evidence to that theory, (iii) the making of “remote clinical diagnoses” of mental illnesses in persons he has not ever even met, (iv) libel, (v) flagrant abuses of the power of his office and (vi) the deliberate suppression of complaints by colleagues about such conduct."cite web|url=,%202004%20Complaint.htm|title= The "May 10 Complaint" A new, confidential formal complaint of research misconductis filed against J. Michael Bailey at Northwestern University]


One notable ad hominem swept up Blanchard, Lawrence, and Bailey. It appeared on Lynn Conway's website.cite web|url=|title=With the theory of autogynephilia in disarray, Blanchard and Lawrence propose a theory that transsexualism is an "amputation fetish", by "lumping" GID, BIID and apotemnophilia.] This was offered to "debunk" an idea of Anne Lawrences.

quote|What inner demons drive Lawrence (and Blanchard) to continue doing such things to the trans community?

Andrea James may have the answer:

Andrea notes that "Lawrence has significant bias based on personal erotic interest. The incident involving examining an unconscious Ethiopian patient for signs of genital amputation led to Lawrence’s resignation as a medical doctor, so it seems pretty obvious to most people that Lawrence’s “theory” is in fact an attempt to make unusual sexual interests like Lawrence’s an indicator that Lawrence is a “real transsexual,” as Lawrence has defensively claimed to be."

"Like Bailey, Lawrence’s “science” is really an exercise in identity politics, an attempt to expand a traditional definition in order to match their self-identities. Thus Bailey continually represents himself as a “single heterosexual male” instead of a divorced closet case, and Lawrence is a “real transsexual” instead of a surgical fetishist with a kink for ritualized genital modification."

Need we say more?|cite web|url=| ]

Conway, Lynn

Like many other people involved with this controversy, Conway has been the subject of "ad hominem" attacks that center on her emotional reaction to "The Man Who Would Be Queen". In a paraphrase of Bailey, Dreger implies that critics of Bailey's are "autogynephilic transsexuals":Dreger, A. D. (2008). The controversy surrounding "The Man Who Would Be Queen:" A case history of the politics of science, identity, and sex in the Internet age. "Archives of Sexual Behavior, 37," 366-421.]

Dreger, Alice

James has written

She has also written about Dreger:

quote|Hack journalists want to be in their stories, and hack historians long to make themselves part of history. Alice Dreger craves the fame and attention that have largely eluded her, and her preferred methods and dealings include complaining, rumor-mongering, and trolling. Dreger fixated on me after she was unsuccessful in suppressing a 2006 speech I made at Northwestern. I believe the record shows that she instigated a personal feud with me in hopes of positioning herself as somewhat relevant again in academia, part of her attempt to recast herself as a bioethicist.Normally, I don’t bother dealing with kooks and academic nobodies like Dreger. I’ve learned they’re just not worth the effort. I did not issue a public response to Dreger's antics until August 2007, about 18 months after she began fixating on me.|

James, Andrea

The following was written by Kira Triea a commentary on an interaction, or several interactions on an online forum(s). In her commentary she intimates that James is an Autogynephile which would be perceived as an insult by James. These are two reactions to opening posted on BBS which is run by Andrea James.

quote|Andrea James continues to threaten and intimidate transkids.usAndrea James has posted on the web forums she runs, calpernia and genderpeace and called for picyures and information about the authors of and made a stupid page of incorrect information about myself and Kiira, since we are the only people she can know any information about since Kiira was a publicly out activist for over 10 years and we are known to be friends. Over a year ago a transsexual found Inoue's private web pages and posted her picture to a creepy chaser site, which hurt her badly. James encouraged more destructive behavior this time again. The attitudes in this thread are typical toward us and the lesbian women who have been bothered by transsexuals at mwmf and toward intersex people, like the aissg group who had to make a web page explaining that transsexuals and girls with ais were not the same, as Australian transsexuals were explaining for their political purposes, but which harmed ais people.|cite web|url=| ]

She has been accused of "intimidation" in the context of arguing against her point of view by Alice Dreger as well.cite web|url=|title=The blog I write in fear.] An example of the type of things Dreger has written can be found in " [ The Blog I write in fear.] ," where she writes about James alleged intimidation of others and goes on to write:

Kieltyka, Anjelica

On many occasions Kieltyka (known as "Cher" in The Man Who Would Be Queen) has been said to be a prime example of Autogynepilia. Notably by Bailey on page 156 of The Man Who Would Be Queen.

She has reportedly been accused of stalking by Conway.

Lawrence, Anne

Anne Lawrence has been involved in this controversy longer than most people. So she has had many many ad hominem arguments directed at her. In particular this one which also takes swipes at two other people.

quote|What inner demons drive Lawrence (and Blanchard) to continue doing such things to the trans community?

Andrea James may have the answer:

Andrea notes that "Lawrence has significant bias based on personal erotic interest. The incident involving examining an unconscious Ethiopian patient for signs of genital amputation led to Lawrence’s resignation as a medical doctor, so it seems pretty obvious to most people that Lawrence’s “theory” is in fact an attempt to make unusual sexual interests like Lawrence’s an indicator that Lawrence is a “real transsexual,” as Lawrence has defensively claimed to be."

"Like Bailey, Lawrence’s “science” is really an exercise in identity politics, an attempt to expand a traditional definition in order to match their self-identities. Thus Bailey continually represents himself as a “single heterosexual male” instead of a divorced closet case, and Lawrence is a “real transsexual” instead of a surgical fetishist with a kink for ritualized genital modification."

Need we say more?|cite web|url=| ]

McCloskey, Deirdre

Deirdre McCloskey has been the subject of many ad hominem arguments related to this subject. The most common one being based on her biography. For example Bailey in page 217

This has been cited and used to defame McCloskey by many people.


This blanket statement was used by Deirdre McCloskey to discredit a number of the people Bailey spoke to.

"Bailey portrays himself according to Rodkin as an "impartial social scientist," who looks at "aggregates," "lots of similar cases." According to Rodkin, Professor Bailey "has the goal of finding commonalities among groups of individuals."

You bet. Professor Bailey's "lots of similar cases" were a half dozen Hispanic drag queens and prostitutes he met in bars in Chicago. "cite web|url=| ]

Triea, Kiira and ""

In a long document "Kiira Triea (Denise Tree) and the "transkids" hoax" James catalogs various points in the life of Triea, such as her various gender and sexual identities, her youthful attempt at a musical career, her use of Linux.cite web
last =James
first =Andrea
authorlink =
coauthors =
title =Kiira Triea (Denise Tree) and the "transkids" hoax
work =
publisher =
date =
url =
format =
doi =
accessdate =2007-08-20
] One statement that really stands out is "I am not the first to point out that Triea's adamant claims of not being transsexual are especially interesting in light of which "type" she is if she is in fact transsexual. Triea displays many hallmarks of others who claim to have "autogynephilia""

Collectively the "transkids" have been the subject of an alleged ad hominem attack, in the form of the denial of their very existence. In particular, there is "Stephanie Alejandra Velázquez".cite web
last =James
first =Andrea
authorlink =
coauthors =
title =Stephanie Alejandra Velasquez on "autogynephilia".
work =
publisher =
date =2007-05-19
url =
format =html
doi =
accessdate =

quote|Velasquez claims she was an "extreme" transkid. She seeks to cast herself as the outermost or ultimate type of gender-variant person, as a strategy to rob others of their subject position in what she likes to call the "Transsexual Discourse."

She and I would certainly agree that assimilated women who are not public about their transitions are grossly under-represented, and most of them would like to keep it that way at this time.

Velasquez seems to like the "autogynephilia" group because they affirm her belief that she is "more transsexual" than they are (or the "other pole" of this constructed "extreme").

Velasquez is kind of like those people who claim they are an extreme homosexual because they had sex a few years earlier than anyone else they know, and who claim they are more gay than people who came out later in life.|

The point of all of this is in James's words "Now that computer forensics on the fakery got that site shut down in late 2006, the next major fake site "to vector and expose is". Similar investigations in the past have led to the demise of Changez Le Monde and other bogus sites by people claiming to represent young transsexual women."


Similar arguments have been used throughout the transgendered community, as sides were chosen over this issue.

Critics argue that those who embrace this model as an identity are participating in their own pathologization.cite web|url=|title=Towards a Transpositive Therapeutic Model: Developing Clinical Sensitivity and Cultural Competence in the Effective Support of Transsexual and Transgendered Clients.] "International Journal of Transgenderism", Volume 6, Number 2, 2002|last=R|first=Raj] The pathologization of socially unaccepted erotic interests has a long history, and recent clinical diagnoses such as "egodystonic homosexuality" and "nymphomania" have fallen into disrepute. Other transsexual and transgender people who describe erotic elements to their feelings take issue with Blanchard's terminology because it diagnoses a psychosexual pathology.cite web|url=|title=Queer Science.] "Reason Magazine", November 2003|last=D|first=McCloskey]


ee also

*List of transgender-related topics
*homosexual transsexual
*Blanchard, Bailey, and Lawrence theory

External links

*Anderson L (2003). [ The Autogynephilia Resource]
*Fenton JF (2004). [ "The Lemonade Stand of Desire"] , from [] A sociological analysis of the debates around autogynephilia
* Lawrence AA (2000). [ Sexuality and Transsexuality: A New Introduction to Autogynephilia] , from [ Transsexual Women's Resources]
* Bland J (2003). [ The 'Science' Behind Autogynephilia]
* Conway L (2004). [ An investigation into the publication of J. Michael Bailey's "The Man Who Would Be Queen"]
* James AJ (2004). [ "Autogynephilia": A disputed diagnosis] , from [ Transsexual Road Map]
* Orens B (2004). [ Autogynephilia: A Mistaken Model]
* Wilson KK (2000). [ Autogynephilia: New Medical Thinking or Old Stereotype?] from []
* Wyndzen MH (2004). [ Everything You Never Wanted to Know About Autogynephilia (But Were Afraid You Had To Ask)] , from [ Psychology of Gender Identity Transgenderism]

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