Kevin J. Hsu is an American psychologist and anti-transgender activist.
Hsu published pathologizing research on “shemales” while working with dissertation advisor J. Michael Bailey at Northwestern University. Hsu is a “gender critical” millennial associated with sexology’s conservative fringe.
Hsu was born in ~1990, grew up in Texas, and attended Northwestern, earning a bachelor’s degree in 2012 and a doctorate in 2019. Hsu did a psychology internship in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
His research has focused broadly on understanding sexual orientation using a variety of methods. His clinical work has focused primarily on the assessment and treatment of adults with various psychiatric problems, including anxiety, depression, and substance abuse.
Hsu’s dissertation was titled “Erotic Target Identity Inversions in Male Furries, Adult Baby/Diaper Lovers, and Eunuchs.”
Hsu diagnoses the common attraction to trans women as a made-up disease called “gynandromorphophilia” (GAMP), which Hsu and colleagues describe as “sexual interest in gynandromorphs (GAMs; colloquially, shemales).” Hsu and conservative colleagues are the only people who publish medicalized and pornographic neologisms rather than using scientific and value-neutral terms used by ethical sexologists.
Hsu also diagnoses furries as “autozoophiles,” ageplay enthusiasts as “autopedophiles,” and many trans women as “autogynephiles.” Hsu has published on sex and gender minorities with David I. Miller and Allen Rosenthal. Hsu is one of the few “autogynephilia” activists under age 50.
- J. Michael Bailey
- Ray Blanchard
- Alice Dreger
- Allen M. Rosenthal
- Debra W. Soh
- Ian V. McPhail
- Henry H. Jang
- David I. Miller
FurFest ban and unauthorized intrusion
Hsu was barred from recruiting participants at Midwest FurFest in December 2013 by the organizers, but attended anyway and tried to talk to several furries about their sexuality.
Violative online survey
A complaint to Northwestern’s Institutional Review Board resulted in Hsu taking down an online survey. Matt Healy attempted to reason with Hsu before contacting Northwestern about a survey that the furry community and ethical furry researchers like Kathleen Gerbasi found concerning. Below is an excerpt from Healy’s complaint:
Kevin’s survey uses several trans slurs
Kevin’s survey uses very poor language. Furry has a large proportion of transgender people and genderqueer people – around one in four based on the data I have seen – people who are vulnerable and sensitive to poorly-chosen language.
Kevin’s survey most egregiously uses the offensive term “shemale”, and also uses terms like “transsexual” in ways that would be considered passe or problematic by people active in the area of queer politics. There are many of such people within furry.
When pressed, Kevin countered that “shemale” is acceptable because it is “used in professional literature.” He cited me two examples: one from [Ray Blanchard and Peter Collins in] 1993, the other from 2011. I reviewed the 2011 (Escoffier) paper, in which “shemale” is only used as a descriptor for a mainstream pornography category. Kevin’s use of this paper as a rationalization strikes me as either disingenuous or willfully misleading. His willingness to defend offensive terminology on specious grounds is consistent based on my conversations with him.
I advised him to use the GLAAD media guidelines as reference for appropriate use of language. Kevin replied: “The GLAAD guidelines are merely guidelines, and they are catered to the media, which we are not. They don’t dictate the discourse in academia, research, or really anything.”Healy (2015)
Unethical “sissy” survey
Hsu often presents cherry-picked data in an attempt to prove pet ideologies like “autogynephilia.” In 2021, Hsu began promoting a sex survey on non-representative gender diverse forums primarily associated with the sissy community and with “autogynephilia” activists:
Broadly speaking, we are hoping to better understand how gender, sexuality, mental health, personality, attitudes, and relationships intersect with one another in cross-dresser, transfeminine, and other communities (e.g., sissy), and how they might change over time.
When questioned about the obvious bias in the sampling methodology, Hsu said:
Thank you for raising these concerns. We agree that recruiting from only those subreddits that you mentioned would not capture the wide range of experiences within cross-dressing and transfeminine communities. We do plan to recruit not only from more cross-dresser communities online, but also transfeminine communities as well. We hope to recruit as much of a representative sample of cross-dresser and transfeminine people as possible; if we fall short of that for whatever reason, we can assure that we will be transparent about the limitations of the sample and generalizing of the results.
When questioned another time, Hsu claimed:
We fully intend to post advertisements on and recruit from many other subreddits, forums, and communities to ensure a wide range of participants are included in the study. We have just not had the chance to do that yet
That has not happened as of 2023. The subreddits Hsu contacted are:
The project’s consent for research states at item 9: “Funds from the Conru Foundation will be used to support this research.”
Andrew Conru is the founder of AdultFriendFinder. Conru’s limited social media presence includes primarily interacting with people associated with the intellectual dark web and with signers of the Harper’s letter, including Dave Rubin, Eric Weinstein, James Lindsay, Tim Pool, and Katie Herzog (quoting Benjamin Boyce).
Healy M (May 4, 2015). Concerns over conduct of Northwestern sexology researcher. Flayrah. http://www.flayrah.com/6069/concerns-over-conduct-northwestern-sexology-researcher
Hsu KJ, Rosenthal AM, Miller DI, Bailey JM (2015). Who are gynandromorphophilic men? Characterizing men with sexual interest in transgender women. Psychological Medicine. 2016 Mar;46(4):819-27. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0033291715002317 Epub 2015 Oct 26.
Hsu KJ, Rosenthal AM, Bailey JM (2015). The psychometric structure of items assessing autogynephilia. Archives of Sexual Behavior 44, 1301-1312 https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-014-0397-9
Hsu KJ, Rosenthal AM, Miller DI, Bailey JM (2015). Sexual Arousal Patterns of Autogynephilic Male Cross-Dressers. Archives of Sexual Behavior https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-016-0826-z
Rosenthal AM, Hsu KJ, Bailey JM (2017). Who are gynandromorphophilic men? An internet survey of men with sexual interest in transgender women. Archives of Sexual Behavior [17 Nov 2016, 46(1):255-264] 10.1007/s10508-016-0872-6
UIC College of Medicine (2019). Grand Rounds. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: Theory and Clinical Applications. https://www.psych.uic.edu/event/psychdept-acceptance-and-commitment-therapy-theory-and-clinical-applications
Bailey JM (2019). How to Ruin Sex Research. Archives of Sexual Behavior May 2019, Volume 48, Issue 4, pp 1007–1011 https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-019-1420-y
Hsu KJ, Bailey JM (2019). The “Furry” Phenomenon: Characterizing Sexual Orientation, Sexual Motivation, and Erotic Target Identity Inversions in Male Furries. Archives of Sexual Behavior 48, 1349–1369 https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-018-1303-7
Bailey JM, Hsu KJ (2022). How Autogynephilic Are Natal Females? Archives of Sexual Behavior Oct;51(7):3311-3318 10.1007/s10508-022-02359-8
Bailey JM, Hsu KJ, Jang HH (2023). Elaborating and Testing Erotic Target Identity Inversion Theory in Three Paraphilic Samples. Archives of Sexual Behavior https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-023-02647-x
Penn State Abington (abington.psu.edu)
- Kevin J. Hsu