The Transitioning Couple: Sexual Relationship and Sexual Orientation Experiences of Transgender Men and their Cisgender Female Partners
Pugliese, Meghan E.
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Sex is a biologically based classification, determining whether an individual is male or female. Comparatively, gender is a socially designed construct, which varies between cultures and prescribes what it means to be a man or a woman. Western culture suggests all individuals fall neatly into one of these two groups. Females are expected to display feminine characteristics such as being nurturers, while males are expected to display masculine characteristics such as being providers. There exists, however, a population of individuals who identify themselves as "transgender," meaning, they feel inconsistency between their internal sense of gender identity and their birth-assigned biological sex and/or assigned gender role. These individuals wish to separate from their birth-assigned gender role and express through physical modification their true gender identity. In the context of romantic relationships, it was once thought that disclosure of one partner's transgender identity meant inevitable demise of the relationship. Clinical guidelines offered advice to the transgender partner, suggesting they abandon their family, change their identity, and begin a new life elsewhere (Lev, 2004). More recently, however, clinical experiences suggest the possibility that many transgender people can maintain healthy and sustainable relationships. This study sought to understand the impact of gender transition on the sexual relationship and sexual orientation of female-to-male (FTM) transgender individuals and their cisgender female partners.
- Masters Theses