Sexuality before and after male-to-female sex reassignment surgery

Arch Sex Behav. 2005 Apr;34(2):147-66. doi: 10.1007/s10508-005-1793-y.


The sexual behaviors and attitudes of male-to-female (MtF) transsexuals have not been investigated systematically. This study presents information about sexuality before and after sex reassignment surgery (SRS), as reported by 232 MtF patients of one surgeon. Data were collected using self-administered questionnaires. The mean age of participants at time of SRS was 44 years (range, 18-70 years). Before SRS, 54% of participants had been predominantly attracted to women and 9% had been predominantly attracted to men. After SRS, these figures were 25% and 34%, respectively.Participants' median numbers of sexual partners before SRS and in the last 12 months after SRS were 6 and 1, respectively. Participants' reported number of sexual partners before SRS was similar to the number of partners reported by male participants in the National Health and Social Life Survey (NHSLS). After SRS, 32% of participants reported no sexual partners in the last 12 months, higher than reported by male or female participants in the NHSLS. Bisexual participants reported more partners before and after SRS than did other participants. 49% of participants reported hundreds of episodes or more of sexual arousal to cross-dressing or cross-gender fantasy (autogynephilia) before SRS; after SRS, only 3% so reported. More frequent autogynephilic arousal after SRS was correlated with more frequent masturbation, a larger number of sexual partners, and more frequent partnered sexual activity. 85% of participants experienced orgasm at least occasionally after SRS and 55% ejaculated with orgasm.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bisexuality / psychology*
  • Coitus / psychology*
  • Female
  • Gender Identity*
  • Genitalia, Male* / surgery
  • Humans
  • Libido*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sexual Partners / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Transsexualism / psychology*
  • Transsexualism / surgery
  • United States