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Sexual Self-Concept Discrepancies Mediate the Relation between Gender Dysphoria Sexual Esteem and Sexual Attitudes in Binary Transgender Individuals.

Authors
  • Kennis, Mathilde1, 2, 3
  • Duecker, Felix2, 3
  • T'Sjoen, Guy4, 5
  • Sack, Alexander T2, 3, 6, 7
  • Dewitte, Marieke1
  • 1 Department of Clinical Psychological Science, Maastricht University.
  • 2 Department of Cognitive Neuroscience, Maastricht University.
  • 3 Maastricht Brain Imaging Center, Maastricht University.
  • 4 Department of Endocrinology, Ghent University Hospital.
  • 5 Center for Sexology and Gender, Ghent University Hospital.
  • 6 Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, Maastricht University.
  • 7 Center for Integrative Neuroscience, Maastricht University.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of sex research
Publication Date
May 01, 2022
Volume
59
Issue
4
Pages
524–536
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1080/00224499.2021.1951643
PMID: 34279141
Source
Medline
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Sexual responding in transgender people has typically been investigated from a medical and functional perspective. Aligning with the biopsychosocial model, it is however equally important to consider psychological aspects of sexuality in this population. We propose that the Sexual Self-Concept (SSC) theory offers a valuable framework to understand (sexual) wellbeing in transgender people, while Self-Concept Discrepancy (SCD) theory could offer an explanation of the mechanisms underlying negative SSCs related to gender dysphoria. We investigated differences in SSC (consisting of sexual esteem, sexual attitudes, and sexual self-efficacy) in 197 binary transgender and 205 cisgender individuals using an online survey and explored the mediating role of actual/ideal self-discrepancies in explaining the relation between gender dysphoria and SSC. Transgender and cisgender individuals differed significantly in seven out of eight components related to sexual esteem and sexual attitudes. Actual/ideal self-discrepancies mediated the relationship between gender dysphoria and the SSC in transgender individuals for the sexual esteem components related to body perception, conduct, and attractiveness, as well as for sexual anxiety. We found no relation between gender dysphoria and the other SSC components in this group. We conclude that SSC discrepancies could be a valuable treatment target to improve transgender individuals' sexual esteem and sexual attitudes.

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