Transvestism: a survey of 1032 cross-dressers.

Transvestism: a survey of 1032 cross-dressers.

Docter RF, Prince V.
Department of Psychology, California State University, Northridge 91330-8255, USA.
Abstract [Full Text] [PDF]



One thousand and thirty-two male periodic cross-dressers (transvestites) responded to an anonymous survey patterned after Prince and Bentler’s (1972) report. With few exceptions, the findings are closely related to the 1972 survey results.

Eighty-seven percent described themselves as heterosexual.

All except 17% had married and 60% were married at the time of this survey.

Topics surveyed included demographic, childhood, and family variables, sexual orientation and sexual behaviour, cross-gender identity, cross-gender role behaviour, future plans to live entirely as a woman, and utilization of counselling or mental health services.

Of the present sample, 45% reported seeking counselling compared to 24% of the 1972 survey, and those reporting strong transsexual inclinations were up by 5%.

Today’s transvestites strongly prefer both their masculine and feminine selves equally. A second research objective was to identify variables discriminating between so-called Nuclear (stable, periodic cross-dressers) and Marginal transvestites (more transgendered or transsexually inclined); 10 strongly discriminating parameters were found. The most important are (i) cross-gender identity, (ii) commitment to live entirely as a woman, (iii) taking steps toward body feminization, (iv) low sexual arousal to cross-dressing. Neither age nor experience as a cross-dresser were found to be correlates of cross-gender identity. Although the present generation of transvestites describe themselves much as did similar subjects 20 years ago, the percentage migrating toward full-time living as a woman is greater.

Citation: Arch Sex Behav. 1997 Dec;26(6):589-605.