Explaining stable partnerships among FTMs and MTFs: a significant difference?
AbstractResearch on male to female (MTFs) and female to male (FTMs) transsexuals has pointed to a number of important differences between these categories, namely their different propensity towards cross dressing and relative levels of mental stability. Recent research demonstrates that these assumed differences are not supported by evidence. One difference remains unchallenged – the greater capacity of FTMs to attain and maintain stable partnerships. Extensive interviewing amongst both categories of transsexual reveals that the capacity to maintain stable partnerships is linked to gender socialization. Being socialized as a girl then as a woman elevates the importance of affective ties in partnerships, such as bonding and caring. By contrast, being socialized as a boy then as a man places more importance on the role of physical characteristics of the man and his partner in attaining and maintaining partnerships.