Gender: A Wider Lens
Gender: A Wider Lens
61 - Pioneers Series: Autogynephilia: Myth and Meaning with Ray Blanchard

61 - Pioneers Series: Autogynephilia: Myth and Meaning with Ray Blanchard

Ray Blanchard was the psychologist in the Adult Gender Identity Clinic at the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry 1980–1995. Much of his research in those 15 years concerned transsexualism and milder forms of gender identity disorders. In 1995, he was appointed Head of the newly created Clinical Sexology Services at the CAMH. This unit comprised the Adult Gender Identity Clinic and the Kurt Freund Laboratory, the latter being the oldest laboratory in North America for the psychophysiological assessment of erotic interests in sexual offenders and other men with problematic sexual behavior. Blanchard retired from the CAMH in 2010. Since his retirement, he has continued to be active in research on human sexuality, often in collaboration with former students, colleagues, and their students.

Today, Ray tells us how he got into the field, as he was primarily interested in conducting sex research. And then he found himself in a gender identity clinic. He got interested in boiling down the cumbersome and sprawling categorizations of gender dysphoria and deemphasizing women’s clothing. He wanted to uncover the wider framework that explains a variety of behaviors for dysphoric males. The term autogynephilia was born. Ray describes common misunderstandings about the term and addresses some myths about AGP, clusters of behavior, and what he calls “erotic mislearnings.”


Dr. Blanchard’s Publications

Men Trapped in Men’s Bodies: Narratives of Autogynephilic Transsexualism, by Anne Lawrence

The Man Who Would Be Queen: The Science of Gender-Bending and Transsexualism, by J. Michael Bailey

Extended Notes

  • A little bit about Ray and why he decided to work in sexology.

  • What kind of classifications were there at the time for “transsexualism”?

  • From 1980 to 1995, the females who wanted to transition in Ray’s clinic, all of them were attracted to other females.

  • Ray talks about his observations with his patients that had autogynephilia and some common themes he saw within this group.

  • Ray suggests listeners watch the difference in manners between Blaire White and Caitlyn Jenner.

  • Ray shares his experiences in this field and how it’s changed throughout the years.

  • Did Ray ever receive backlash for his work?

  • Ray doesn’t believe there’s a connection between sexual abuse and gender dysphoria.

  • Are male-to-female transexuals more likely to be pedophiles? Ray says no.

  • Can autogynephilia be passed down to children? Is this genetic?

  • Sasha wonders if it was easier to get the truth out of the patient back then vs. now; a time where people have an agenda to prove they’re trans.

  • Having one erotic paraphilia tends to predispose you to other paraphilia. It’s not just an “autogynephilia” thing.

  • Ray shares his thoughts on why pedophiles become pedophiles.

  • What are some of the misconceptions of autogynephilia?

  • Out of Ray’s clinical practice, only two women stood out as different from a gynophile.

  • How come so many males transitioned in their late 40s?

  • Ray shares his thoughts on trans widows and how they must be feeling when their partner comes out as trans.

This podcast is sponsored by ReIME and Genspect. Visit and to learn more.

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Gender: A Wider Lens
Gender: A Wider Lens
In this podcast, now in its fourth year, therapists Stella O'Malley and Sasha Ayad take a deep dive into the psychological and cultural forces impacting the social changes around "gender." Through interviews with researchers, doctors, therapists, parents, detransitioners, and others, Sasha and Stella's podcast is a "must listen" for anyone trying to navigate the current gender landscape. With their sharp analytical minds and deep compassionate hearts, Stella and Sasha have also become known throughout many parent networks as lighthouses in the midst of some very stormy seas. Previous guests include Helen Joyce, Jesse Singal, Leor Sapir, Kathleen Stock, Jamie Reed, Peter Boghossian and more.