TRANSVESTISM (or) TRANSVESTI- TISM

A sexual deviation in which the individual dresses in the clothes of the opposite sex, usually for the purpose of achieving greater sexual gratification.The male transvestite not only wears women’s clothing but usually uses a wig, make-up, nail polish, adopts a feminine gait and mannerisms, and takes great delight in his choice of colors and jewelry. The female transvestite dresses as a man, cuts her hair, lowers her voice, and behaves in a generally masculine manner.Transvestism has been recorded among both men and women throughout human history. Investigations of this deviation have been largely confined to males. In one intensive study (Hirschfeld, 1944) 35 per cent were found to be homosexual, 35 per cent heterosexual, 15 per cent bisexual, and 15 per cent either autoerotic or asexual. Feminine transvestites show a similar diversity.This diversity is probably due to the fact that transvestism serves a variety of purposes. First, in a homosexual or bisexual individual it may be adopted to attract other members of the same sex and to increase sexual excitement and gratification. Also, these individuals may be so strongly identified with the opposite sex that they feel happier and more comfortable wearing the appropriate clothes. It is a mistake, however, to think that the majority of homosexuals are transvestites. Recent studies show that most homosexuals dress and look like members of their own sex.Second, transvestism may be a form of fetishism in a predominantly heterosexual individual, particularly when there is some latent homosexuality. The clothes symbolize the opposite sex and arouse sexual feeling. Here is a case in point:A young civil engineer, a man of athletic build and mild appearance, astonishes and horrifies his wife by bringing home lacy lingerie, silk nightgowns, and satin negligees—and wearing them about his home in the evening. He is distressed by his wife’s attitude, but undeterred. He says he loves women’s clothes and has always wanted to wear dainty undergarments.” (Menninger, 1945).Third, transvestism may express a conscious desire to change anatomically from one sex to the other, a condition that is known as trans-sexualisra (See this topic). Most of these individuals are homosexuals; a few are paranoid psychotics afflicted with the delusion that they are basically members of the opposite sex. In some of the homosexual cases the deviant behavior pattern can be traced to early upbringing. Here is an illustration:"

Cite this page: Nugent, Pam M.S., "TRANSVESTISM (or) TRANSVESTI- TISM," in PsychologyDictionary.org, November 28, 2018, https://psychologydictionary.org/transvestism-or-transvesti-tism/ (accessed January 20, 2019).
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