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On The Science of Changing Sex: A Layman’s Guide to Transsexuality and Transgenderism (Understanding Transsexuality) Paperback – November 29, 2020
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- ASIN : B08P3SFF88
- Publisher : Independently published (November 29, 2020)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 130 pages
- ISBN-13 : 979-8574029015
- Item Weight : 6.6 ounces
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #387,939 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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I’m learned in this area, but I found the perspective of this book to be unexpected and imprecise, sophomoric.
I found sex and gender to be sometimes used with discernment, sometimes conflated, gender identity used but sex identity not, gender dysphoric used but sex dysphoric not, the term transgender largely discarded in favor of types of transsexual that may will not even include sex reassignment surgery. Transgenderism is a very popularly accepted phenomenon, which I think is real, distinct from transsexualism, but that was lost in discussion of homosexual vs. autogynephilic transsexuals, adding in andropholia, etc., unduly intellectualized for a topic best kept clear and simple, if meant for the uninformed to learn.
Sometimes the book would get bogged down in studious details yet seem to miss the larger picture, while at other times it was fine.
I confess I did not read it all. I read the first half, found it unhelpful in relating real world transsexualism, and then I skimmed the latter half.
Its interest in such as J MIchael Bailey, PhD, etc., is good. Bailey is a good, underrated researcher who did not deserve the treatment he got from the radical transgender movement. Language in the book reflects a lot of Blanchard and Bailey, et al, which I have done some of, too, but doesn’t really address transgenderism in a way that seemed helpful. For example, the author seems to take the position of it as a form of transsexualism even without desiring to be genitally of the other sex, which I’d deem a requirement if the desire is to actually be of the other sex.
This is where distinctions between gender and sex become helpful for discussion and understanding. Virginia Prince, PhD, who the author also cited, did also note that there needs to be some terminology that refers to these distinctions.
Autogynephilia is real, I agree with that.
If you are not trans but aspire to be a good ally this, along with Alice Dreger's _Galileo's Middle Finger_, will give you some vital perspective you might otherwise never see.
Although not a sex researcher or doctor herself, she is obviously well versed in the science, and the book does clearly deliver on its title “on the science of” as it goes over in detail the science of all things transgender and transsexual. This may actually be a bonus for the reader like myself who is not well versed in these areas, as her style is much more informal and accessible to the lay reader than some other more scientific tomes.
The authenticity of her having actually lived the life rings out throughout the book. Of particular note is the chapter on the difference between trangender and transsexualism, where she discusses the many complications and permutations of transgender and the fact that only 5% of transgender individuals actually transition physically. It was helpful in clarifying the politics going on around transgender at the moment, with a look inside the LGBTQ community.
The chapter on autogynephilia is excellent, one of the best and most thorough explanations of this phenomena I have read, and is worth buying the book for this alone. It is quite a complicated subject and she is able to clearly and concisely give the reader the information without belaboring too long into too much detail where the thread can get lost. It becomes clear that there are two types of transgender male to female types, one of which is the autogynephile, and Brown gives a clear explanation of the difference including the developmental stages through a life time.
All in all it is an excellent introductory text on the whole subject, surprisingly short at 110 pages yet packed with basic information with good scientific back up on all the points given. I would suggest this as a first reader for those becoming interested in the subject, as well as for those like myself who have gotten bogged down in the swamp of massive details regarding transgender issues that one finds in longer books written by scientists.