Disclaimer: The purpose of this site is simply to document. This site does not encourage or condone discrimination against trans men and women. It is in no way intended to demonize trans men and trans women any more than reporting on any other types of violence demonize women or men. Presentation of research data is simply that, presentation of research data.
“Men of all ages and in all parts of the world are more violent than women. For this reason, the language in this book is mostly gender-specific to men. When it comes to violence, women can proudly relinquish recognition in the language, because here at least, politically correct would be statistically incorrect.”
The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker
Violence by sex according to the FBI:
Statistically, as shown above, violence is the domain of males. Violent men exist in all categories of males, including trans women. In a world of male violence, women are often hypervigilant around men and those perceived as men. Women cannot know who is a violent predator and who is a trans woman by first glance alone.
The American Psychological Association reports that cross dressers “comprise the most numerous transgender group” and that the vast majority of cross dressers are “biological males, most of whom are sexually attracted to women.” Cross dressers who identify as women may or may not desire transition, however, by the umbrella definition of transgender, these persons are included and may be protected by gender identity anti-discrimination laws. To complicate things further, both cross dressing and invasion of women’s spaces are common practices for male sexual offenders. As of now, such individuals may use gender identity laws for improper purposes and in doing so, abuse women and children, and misrepresent the transgender community.
As recent surveys of trans people show, the vast majority of trans women protected by these anti-discrimination laws will not have undergone sex reassignment surgery. Gender critical feminists acknowledge their right to choose, however, this poses specific problems for women. Despite the fact that one in five women will be victims of sexual assault in their lifetime, transgender activists advocate for the legal right of males to use women’s facilities and participate in women’s spaces and ignore the thoughts, feelings, health and concerns of dissenting women. Gender critical feminists believe that females have a right to be free of males and male bodied people in their spaces. Gender critical feminists often propose third option spaces in order to protect the safety and health of women and trans women.
Gender critical feminists acknowledge that like women, trans women are at increased risk of male violence and that women’s spaces are refuges from men, misogyny and violence. However, several of these spaces include where women are at their most vulnerable, e.g. locker rooms, bathrooms, shelters, prison. If trans women are to use women’s spaces, allowing anyone who claims to be a woman or identifies as a woman into women’s spaces endangers both trans women and born females. Prison transition, improper purpose (abuse of laws) and erasure of criminal records are a few of the common concerns of gender critical feminists. It has been documented that one in six sexual offenders will change their name to escape registration and discovery. It makes sense that sexual offenders would have an interest in changing legal sex too. In addition, peeping toms, perverted and/or violent men will do what is necessary to gain access to women and girls. The solution is not to enact laws that make this easier and legal.
Gender critical feminists call for better definition of gender identity anti-discrimination laws and stricter guidelines for legal name change, sex change and sex reassignment surgery in violent criminals.
The following information details characteristics of trans women and abuses of transgender status (male-to-female). These statistics in no way invalidate the concerns of trans men and women to live free from violence. However, they demonstrate the very real concerns for women.
The prevalence of trans women
Prevalence data for transgender persons is difficult to establish due to varying definitions. The most commonly cited data comes from a gender clinic in the Netherlands. In 2000, the American Psychiatric Association estimated the prevalence of MTFs in the United States.
Netherlands: 1 in 11,000 (.009%) MTF and 1 in 30,400 (0.0029%) FTM
United States: 1 in 30,000 (.0077%) MTF and 1 in 100,000 (0.001%) FTM
In the vast majority of countries, MTFs are at least three times more frequent than FTMs.
Some estimates range as high as 2-5% for all transgender persons. The Williams Institute reports that there are around 700,000 trans people in the US or 0.3% of the population.
Age of transition
As reported by the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, trans women are much more likely to transition later in life.
Rates of sex reassignment surgery (all transgender persons)
GLAAD notes that “many transgender people are prescribed hormones by their doctors to change their bodies. Some undergo surgeries as well. But not all transgender people can or will take those steps, and it’s important to know that being transgender is not dependent upon medical procedures.”
According to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, only 33% of transgender people report undergoing some form of gender-confirming surgery. In fact, the vast majority of trans people do not undergo surgery. In New York, it is estimated that 80% of trans women will not have had sex reassignment surgery before changing legal sex markers (birth certificate, etc.). In addition, many trans women who undergo surgery opt only for orchiectomy, or the removal of the testicles.
Trans women’s propensity for violence
A long-term study of MTFs receiving treatment with cross-sex hormones showed that compared to females, trans women committed nearly seven times the rate of any crime and EIGHTEEN times the rate of violent crime. Trans women did not differ from male controls.
A large body of evidence suggest that some MTFs exhibit detrimental paraphilias.
From Psychology Today: “A paraphilia is a condition in which a person’s sexual arousal and gratification depend on fantasizing about and engaging in sexual behavior that is atypical and extreme.” Paraphilias include cross dressing, voyeurism, exhibitionism, pedophilia, fetishism, etc. and are much more common in men than women. Cross dressing by itself is not considered a detrimental paraphilia, however, it may be associated with other paraphilias. Again, cross dressers may or may not be trans and are included under many gender identity anti-discrimination laws.
One study found the average numbers of paraphilias in cross dressers to be 3.8. More than 90% were diagnosed with more than one paraphilia. In the same study, about 52% of transsexuals had only one paraphilia diagnosis.
There exists particular controversy around transgender women and autogynephilia, or “a male’s propensity to be attracted to the thought or image of himself as a woman.” Many trans activists deny the role of autogynephilia in some MTF transition and have even verbally attacked and harassed researchers who study and publish information about this paraphilia. One such study found that of 455 male cross dressers and 61 MTFs, 85% of cross dressers and 25% of transsexuals described themselves as experiencing sexual arousal associated with cross dressing.
Trans women in prison
A report investing demographics of 315 transgender women in prison revealed that one fifth were registered sex offenders.
The authors note that “transgender inmates are distinguishable from the larger population of inmates in prisons for adult men in terms of sex offender status, with transgender inmates more frequently classified as sex offenders.
Transgender inmates and the larger population of inmates in prisons for men are roughly equivalent on only one dimension reported in Table 1, the amount serving life sentences.”
Another study found that “almost two thirds (65%) of MTF participants reported a history of incarceration and 31% had been jailed in the past 12 months. In contrast, past incarceration was reported by 29% of FTM individuals and 5% had been jailed in the last year.”
The increase in male-to-female prison transition (and subsequent placement in women’s facilities)
The British Association of Gender Identity Specialists numbers over a hundred members and comprises the overwhelming majority of all clinicians working in every Gender Identity Clinic in the British Isles.
In the Association’s August 20, 2015 testimony to Parliament, concerns were raised over the “ever-increasing tide of referrals of patients in prison serving long or indeterminate sentences for serious sexual offences. These vastly outnumber the number of prisoners incarcerated for more ordinary, non-sexual, offences. It has been rather naïvely suggested that nobody would seek to pretend transsexual status in prison if this were not actually the case. There are, to those of us who actually interview the prisoners, in fact very many reasons why people might pretend this. These vary from
- the opportunity to have trips out of prison
- a desire for a transfer to the female estate
- the idea that a parole board will perceive somebody who is female as being less dangerous
- a [false] belief that hormone treatment will actually render one less dangerous
- wanting a special or protected status within the prison system
- a desire to make subsequent sexual offending much easier, females being generally perceived as low risk in this regard.”
The case of Richard “Sherry” Masbruch:
Richard Masbruch was convicted in 1993 of torturing and brutally raping a woman.Masbruch began to identify as a woman, castrated himself, changed his name to Sherry and transitioned. Re-classified as a woman, he was then sent to a woman’s prison. Inmate complaints filed against Masbruch indicate that he is a danger to female prisoners.LOST IN THE GENDER MAZE: PLACEMENT OF TRANSGENDER INMATES IN THE PRISON SYSTEM by Benish A. Shah
The issue of documentation
The British Association of Gender Identity Specialists also note issues with documentation.
“Another persistent source of difficulty is that NHS rules require patient files too be kept for at least thirty years whilst the GRA (Gender Recognition Act of 2010) requires us to destroy any records which link the patient’s old identity with the new identity. It isn’t clear which legislation takes precedence.”
In the case of sexual offenders and violent men, this may create further incentive to claim gender identity protections and change sex.
Gene G. Abel, Judith V. Becker, Jerry Cunningham-Rathner, Mary Mittelman and Joanne-L. Rouleau. Multiple Paraphilic Diagnoses among Sex Offenders. Bull Am Acad Psychiatry Law, Vol. 16, No. 2, 1988. at http://www.jaapl.org/content/16/2/153.full.pdf
Cecilia Dhejne, et al. Long-Term Follow-Up of Transsexual Persons Undergoing Sex Reassignment Surgery: Cohort Study in Sweden. PLoS ONE, February 2011 | Volume 6 | Issue 2 | e16885. at http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0016885
Bailey JM, Triea K. What many transgender activists don’t want you to know: and why you should know it anyway. Perspect Biol Med. 2007 Autumn;50(4):521-34. at https://transgendersurvivor.wordpress.com/2013/09/02/what-transgender-activists-dont-want-you-to-know-and-why-you-should-know-it-anyway/
Richard F. Docter and James S. Fleming. Measures of Transgender Behavior. Archives of Sexual Behavior, Vol. 30, No. 3, 2001 at http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.490.3570&rep=rep1&type=pdf
Lori Sexton, Valerie Jenness, and Jennifer Sumner. WHERE THE MARGINS MEET: A DEMOGRAPHIC ASSESSMENT OF TRANSGENDER INMATES IN MEN’S PRISONS. University of California, Irvine. June 10, 2009. at http://hivlawandpolicy.org/sites/www.hivlawandpolicy.org/files/A-Demographic-Assessment-of-Transgender-Inmates-in-Mens-Prisons.pdf
Written evidence submitted by British Association of Gender Identity Specialists to the Transgender Equality Inquiry at http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/women-and-equalities-committee/transgender-equality/written/19532.pdf
UPDATE – For more information, see posts on:
Trans women and violence: https://thepoliticsofgender.wordpress.com/2015/11/19/trans-male-violence/
Sex reassignment surgery and women’s prisons: https://thepoliticsofgender.wordpress.com/2015/11/19/sex-reassignment-surgery-and-womens-prisons/
Cross dressers and violence: https://thepoliticsofgender.wordpress.com/2015/11/19/problems-with-cross-dressers/