Sociology Index


The term transvestitism was coined by Magnus Hirschfeld. Transvestitism is the desire to wear the clothes of the opposite sex, especially, as a sexual stimulus. Transvestitism means in Latin trans across, and vestitus dressed, to refer to the sexual interest in cross-dressing. Magnus Hirschfeld used the term transvestitism to describe persons who habitually and voluntarily wore clothes of the opposite sex. Magnus Hirschfeld's group of transvestites consisted of both males and females, with heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, and asexual orientations. Transvestitism is also called transvestic fetishism, is when heterosexual males dress in female clothes to achieve arousal.

Transvestitism doesn't involve a real partner but includes the fantasy that the individual is the female partner as well. Transvestitism in Latin trans (across), and vestitus (dressed). In some cultures, transvestism is practiced for religious, traditional, or ceremonial reasons. It is related to, but not synonymous with, cross-dressing.

In India, some male devotees of the Hindu god Krishna, particularly in Mathura, dress in female attire to pose as his consort, the goddess Radha, as an act of devotion. In Italy, the Neapolitan feminine males wear wedding dresses, called the marriage of the femminielli, a procession takes place through the streets, a tradition that has pagan origins.

The term Berdache or two spirits, which has traditional roots, has been preferred instead of transvestitism. This status was found in several North American First Nation's cultures and is interpreted as a way of integrating deviant members into cohesive, small societies. The terms berdache or two spirits and amazon are important parts of the anthropology of gender and sexuality and reveal the cultural and social construction of gender.

Berdache is generally a male who takes on the roles of women and who may also dress as a woman and engage in sexual intimacy with men. Berdache also refers to a transvestite or a person given to transvestitism. Transsexuality is also termed 'Gender Dysphoria,' is the condition of being in a state of conflict between gender and physical sex.

Health Survey of Two-Spirited Native Americans - WALTERS, KARINA L.
Abstract: American Indian and Alaskan Native lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and two-spirited individuals are a drastically understudied and underserved group, at risk for multiple health and mental health problems. There are no national, quantitative, representative studies of this population on any topic. The aim is to test the, feasibility of an innovative non-probability sampling methodology that combines targeted, partial network, and respondent-driven sampling procedures in order to approximate a representative national sample of two spirits. Our results will contribute toward the refinement of a sample strategy useful in studying other hidden and stigmatized populations.

Lesbianism, Transvestitism, and the Nazi State: A Microhistory of a Gestapo Investigation, 1939–1943
Laurie Marhoefer.
Abstract: Did the Nazis persecute lesbians? In recent decades, their murderous campaign against gay men has drawn growing public attention. But historians are still at odds over the question of whether lesbians were persecuted as well.

This article argues that historians ought not to limit themselves to the notion of “persecution” and rather ought to consider risk, that is, how lesbians, “transvestites,” and gender-nonconforming people ran pronounced, particular risks in a society that stigmatized same-sex sexuality, transgender, and gender-nonconformity.

A close reading of a single Gestapo investigation reveals the important role that witnesses played in producing risk as well as the ways in which the category “lesbian” can be complicated. This article thus puts forward new ways to think about the history of lesbianism, some kinds of gender nonconformity, and trans history, as well as a new idea about how the Gestapo worked.

Transsexualism and Transvestitism
J. R. R. Ball. Abstract: A comparative study of 30 transsexualist, 30 homosexual, and 30 exhibitionist cases, together with 94 neurotics, has been carried out and reported in the previous issue. It emphasises the apparent importance of parental relationships for normal sexual identification and eventual choice of sexual object. Pathological development is seen in its most severe form amongst the transsexualists. It would seem that further prospective studies of male children who have paternal deprivation, and especially of children with transsexualist fathers, would be of value.

Transvestitism and Trans-sexualism. John B. Randell.

Transvestitism and Cross-dressing. BREWSTER P G. (Italian) Pamphlet – January 1, 1960.