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What is straight men’s obsession with transwomen about?

A new study examines straight men and their sexual attraction to transgender women, and the findings might surprise you. The study was based on an analysis of online Reddit conversations and also revealed a paradox: Surprise! The same men devalue both trans and cisgender women.  

Some straight men said they sexually desire transgender women because of the women’s supposed hyper-feminine traits.

Brandon Andrew Robinson, an associate professor with UC Riverside’s Gender and Sexuality Department analyzed over 200 online Reddit discussion posts during a three-month period that revealed the complexities surrounding relationships: love, sexuality, attraction, and gender norms. Results were published in the journal Men & Masculinities.

Robinson also found a common theme among the men on Reddit who are attracted to transgender women: misogyny.

Robinson found that Reddit commenters continuously asserted their masculinity and their desire to sexually dominate both trans women and cis women. Robinson generated over 100 codes in their data analysis that included posts, threads, and posts called subreddits. Several of the subreddits had no comments, others had over 10,000 comments.

“As I weed through all these terms, what I’m trying to show here is that misogyny is an action that is about controlling the behavior of women,” Robinson said.

Robinson chose to analyze Reddit discussion boards because Reddit is a free digital platform, open to the public, and is also one of the top 10 most-used social networks in the United States. Robinson examined conversations from April through June 2021 and completed the analysis in 2022. Some threads were from 2021, others from five years prior.

Read the full article here.

In the conversations, Robinson found that the men partly expanded ideas around sexual identity to include desiring a woman’s feminine expressions.

Robinson noted one Reddit poster commented: “I like women and still do but in recent years I started finding trans women attractive as well. Thought I was turning gay for liking a girl with a penis… I think it’s just the feminine form that does it for me. Penis or no penis.”

However, the men also continuously asserted their masculinity through listing comparisons. For instance, men wrote things such as “trans women are more submissive than cis women,” and that connecting with a trans woman means having a relationship “without all the female courtship rituals and complications.”

About UC Riverside

The University of California, Riverside is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California’s diverse culture, UCR’s enrollment is more than 26,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual impact of more than $2.7 billion on the U.S. economy. To learn more, visit www.ucr.edu.

Queer Forty Staff

Queer Forty writing staff work hard to bring you all the latest articles to help inspire and inform.

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One thought on “What is straight men’s obsession with transwomen about?

  • This is completely bunk. These are idiots who are nowhere near being in proximity to trans women. I manage multiple groups of men who are dating or married to transgender women and none of this ignorance surfaces in either group. The fact that this got published says a lot about academia and how lost it truly is in finding the truth. This is legit the same as polling a group of Andrew Tate followers and saying this is why all men are attracted to women. I get it though, everyone wants easy and quick answers on why men like transgender women.

    Reply

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