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The Man Who Would Be Queen (2003)
“…fascinating revelations… In a personable and straightforward manner, [Bailey] describes his research techniques and reproduces the questionnaires given to his subjects. … Despite its provocative title, a scientific yet superbly compassionate exposition.” — KIRKUS REVIEWS, January 2003
Stephen Mautner also cited it in his open letter:
“Kirkus Reviews called the book ‘a scientific yet superbly compassionate exposition’ (January 2003).”
Below is the full text with excerpts from above in blue.
January 15, 2003
LENGTH: 355 words
ISBN NUMBER: 0-309-08418-0
AUTHOR: Bailey, J. Michael
TITLE: THE MAN WHO WOULD BE QUEEN: The Psychology of Gender-Bending and
PUBLISHER: Joseph Henry Press (256 pp.) $24.95 Mar. 25, 2003
A researcher into the genetics of homosexuality presents fascinating revelations about feminine boys, gay men, and transsexuals, combining the most recent scholarship on sexual behaviors and preferences with up-close and personal profiles. Bailey (Psychology/Northwestern Univ.) makes some controversial findings in his exploration of stereotypes about femininity and homosexuality. Among the traits he has studied are speech and body language, interest in casual sex, and the importance placed on youth and physical attractiveness in a partner. In a personable and straightforward manner, he describes his research techniques and reproduces the questionnaires given to his subjects. He concludes that gay men have a mixture of male-typical and female-typical characteristics, suggesting that the reason may very well be that their brains are mosaics of male and female parts. Feminine boys, he further asserts, usually do grow up to become gay men, and a small minority of them even become transsexuals. The first section opens with a sympathetic profile of a boy whose mother came to Bailey with questions about raising her very feminine son that lead smoothly into a discussion of the research that has been done on such boys. Next, Bailey focuses on the scientific research on gay men; cross-cultural studies and accounts of homosexual practices in ancient Greece and renaissance Florence are particularly eye-opening. As yet unanswered, Bailey notes, are questions about the existence of homosexual genes and the reason for the persistence of homosexuality in human evolution. Finally, the author explores transsexualism, defined simply as “the desire to become a member of the opposite sex.” Nonjudgmental profiles illustrate what Bailey distinguishes as the two basic types of male transsexuals: extremely feminine gay men, and autogynephiles, “men erotically obsessed with the image of themselves as a woman.” The concluding chapter details the process and costs of medical transitioning from male to female. Despite its provocative title, a scientific yet superbly compassionate exposition.
LOAD-DATE: January 15, 2003
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