Autogynephilia in Women

Moser, C. (in press).   Autogynephilia in Women.  Journal of Homosexuality.

Charles Moser, PhD, MD

Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality

Charles Moser, PhD, MD, is Professor and Chair, Department of Sexual Medicine, Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality, San Francisco, CA 94114.

Correspondence may be addressed:  Charles Moser, PhD, MD, 45 Castro Street, #125, San Francisco, CA 94114.  (E-mail:

The author would like to thank Peggy J. Kleinplatz, PhD, for her very helpful editorial assistance and Walter Bockting, PhD for his comments on an earlier version of the manuscript.


Autogynephilia, an erotic interest in the thought or image of oneself as a woman, has been described as a sexual interest of some male-to-female transsexuals (MTFs); the term has not been applied to natal women.  To test the possibility that natal women also experience autogynephilia, an Autogynephilia Scale for Women (ASW) was created from items used to categorize MTFs as autogynephilic in other studies.  A questionnaire which included the ASW was distributed to a sample of 51 professional women employed at an urban hospital, 29 completed questionnaires were returned for analysis.  By the common definition of ever having erotic arousal to the thought or image of oneself as a woman, 93% of the respondents would be classified as autogynephilic.  Using a more rigorous definition of “frequent” arousal to multiple items, 28% would be classified as autogynephilic.  The implications of these findings are discussed concerning the sexuality of women and the meaning of autogynephilia for MTFs.

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