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Assuming that you are right, my question is, how can we help young women experiencing this? Because at the moment, the only option they are being offered is transition. And that is not good for your health.

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We help them the same way we help the boys who are vulnerable for the same reason: by explaining to them what is driving them. In the past they were told their masculine identity meant they were lesbians (even if they weren't sexually attracted to women). Today they're told it means they're trans. Both are cultural narratives and neither are objectively true. The newer one is just much more dangerous of course.

That's why I keep following the cord of gender dysphoria, so we can tell people who experience it what is at the root, educate mental health professionals accordingly, and hopefully spare vulnerable young people needless medicalization. I suspect CBT could be used to relieve gender dysphoria caused by A*P. Now, if only the mental health profession understood A*P. Even gender critical therapists seem reluctant to look at the evidence for it, preferring to parrot the feminist created caricature of "porn fueled fetish".

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I am not sure whether explaining works. It's like explaining to an anorexic that what is driving them is some inner death wish or a desire not to grow up. These are things that people have to discover themselves. In my experience, there is push back if we impose a narrative on a bolshy teenager who is sure that she knows best. Perhaps best discussed in a private chat.

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Apr 20Liked by Aaron Terrell

Revisiting your piece. It's so clarifying and brings in the depth of personal experience. I think you really hit on the deeper driving force for females. I wonder why the professional psych take on it is denying this possibility?

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Maybe because they never bothered to understand the females, and now, decades later, it feels too late to re-evaluate.

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Apr 23·edited Apr 23

How friggin disturbing and yet who can deny that reality when we see it in all levels of society. On an upnote, perhaps this is going to force the issue to be truly explored from a female perspective, but knowing the hysteria that gets applied to so many female complaints, maybe I'm being far too optimistic.

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Apr 19·edited Apr 23

Interesting take and complex possibilities..The question arises as to why are they having dysphoria with their femaleness esp if they did not identify with, were attracted to, nor enjoy male behaviors or relationships all along?

My observation and experience is that many women have body dysmorphia at staggering numbers due to the massive increase of imagery consumed throughout their lifetimes. Some who choose trans as a solution,( perhaps unconsciously so), have had intensely competetive relationships with other more masculine women, and perhaps didn't want the pressure or misrepresentation of being "femme" as a dynamic in their character. Considering being femme may be seen as a narrow or subordinate role against other more butch women. I believe the dynamic has changed for the youth on some level as many below 30 don't even acknowledge they are gay. Others have witnessed intense male on female abuse, or parental, familial, societal disrespect of male over female, others may have had direct experience of horrific assaults, pre 25. Perhaps it's tied into the feeling of being gay or androgenous which some young people find unacceptable considering society is clearly still at odds over any kind of variation on the hetero relationship, and female kids especially at the middle and high school levels are still mocked and called out by certain groups of people clearly intolerant of variability.

Society has grown ever more hyper feminine as more young women subscribe to cartoon character displays of being women than ever before and I wonder if that pressure alone has caused many young women to reject the effort to maintain simply on the unappealing nature of filling that role in their private relationships and out in public.. Either way, it's sad how far our young women have to go (surgically or hormonally) to be ok with themselves in a rancid, cantankerous society unwilling to allow for a spectrum of behaviors and personas.

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I agree with your hunch that since female sexuality tends to be more relational than male sexuality (which tends to be more object-oriented), meta-attraction will tend to be more influential in cases of female autosexuality. I don't think these sex differences in sexuality necessarily mean that different phenomena underlie AGP and AAP, however. Both can be internalized forms of sexuality which lead to erotic target identity inversion.

For example, you suggested the following about female autosexuality:

>It is primarily experienced as an internal sense of ‘maleness’ and intense aversion to one’s female anatomy.

This neatly falls within the general structure of thought that typically accompanies ETII (cross-identity, dysphoria, desire to be the other type of thing). Having an aversion to one's natal sex characteristics and an internal sense of being (or being like) the other sex is the expected outcome if female AAP is an internalized form of heterosexuality which creates a gendered form of ETII. There are also females with body integrity dysphoria, transage identity, or transspecies identity, so I think that ETII theory also applies to females and they can have paraphilias.

the tl;dr is that I broadly agree with the object/relational sex differences you pointed out and find that distinction insightful, but I don't think this affects whether AAP counts as a paraphilia or is a fundamentally different phenomenon than that experienced by AGP males.

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Interesting piece. Gives me plenty to ponder.

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