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ACADEMIC RESEARCH

CLINICAL DEFINITION OF CROSS DRESSING

[All works are cited on the RESOURCES page.]

DSM-IV-TR Case Studies: A Clinical Guide to Differential Diagnosis
The Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is the official resource of
the latest research and system for diagnosis used by mental health professionals.

DSM-IV-TR diagnostic criteria for 302.3 Transvestic Fetishism:

   A. Over a period of at least 6 months, in a heterosexual male, recurrent,
       intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors involving
       cross dressing.

   B. The fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors cause clinically significant
       distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas
       of functioning.

Furthermore, the DSM-IV-TR recognizes lingerie as "non-human objects" allowing the cross dresser to achieve his highest sexual satisfaction. It also describes a sexual deviation or perversion as "Paraphilia." Cross dressing is one of eight Paraphilia, which include "disorders that involve unusual sexual preferences that cause clinically significant distress or impairment" (p. 226).

In one case study, the cross dresser revealed his pressure to cross dress fetishistically as "overpowering" and "preoccupying." He stated that he began cross dressing by wearing his mother's undergarments at age 7. The need to cross dress increased dramatically as a teenager. Sexual excitement and masturbation was an intregal part of his cross dressing (p.235).


[All works are cited on the RESOURCES page.]

Webster's II New College Dictionary, 2001 (p. 269)

cross dress: to dress in clothing characteristic of the opposite sex.

DSM-IV-TR Guidebook, 2004 (p.308-309)

302.3 Transvestic Fetishism: Transvestic Fetishism involves cross dressing. Usually the male with Transvestic Fetishism keeps a collection of female clothes that he intermittently uses to cross dress. While cross dressed, he usually masterbates imagining himself to be both the male subject and the female object of his sexual fantasy. This disorder has been described only in heterosexual males.


closeted: confining one's gender-variance to a secretive state.

come out: revealing one's gender-variance.

cross dresser (CD): a person who wears clothing considered to be only for
                             the opposite gender. In the case of lingerie, sexual
                             stimultaion is often derived.

en femme: French meaning, "feminine mode."

FtM or F2M: "female-to-male," a transgendered male.

gender dysphoria: an emotional state of discomfort or extreme distress
                            based on a difference between one's "mental" and
                            "physical" gender.

gender identity disorder: believing that one's identity as a person is the
                                     opposite of one's physical sex.

gender-variant: anyone living outside of societal/cultural gender norms.

natal female: a person born as a woman.

natal male: a person born as a man.

non-op: a person (transsexual), who chooses not to or can not have
            sex-change operation.

out: revealling the truth of one's gender variance.

purge: to eliminate all items associated with one's gender variance.

transgender (TG): anyone living outside of societal/cultural gender norms.

transsexual (TS): a person whose mental and physical indentity are of
                          opposite genders.

transvestite: a person who adopts the dress, and often the manners or
                    behavior, of the opposite sex.

underdress: to secretly wear undergarments of the opposite sex while
                  wearing outergarments of the same sex.


8.5 million (approx) cross dressers in the United States alone.

30% (approx) of wives knew about the cross dressing before the marriage.

50% of wives found out during the first years of the marriage.

71% of wives were told by their husband that he was a transvestite.

10% (approx) of wives found out about their husband when he dressed up for them as a surprise.

16% of wives discovered their husbands female clothing.

5% (approx) of cross dressers gave their wives literature before revealing the truth.

90% (approx) of wives knew nothing about cross dressing.

Studies show wives were more accepting of cross dressing in direct relation to how soon in (or prior to) the marriage they found out about the condition.

The greatest sense of betrayal was felt by wives who found out after 10 or more years of marriage.

There are currently no statistics available indicating whether or not wives were told the truth that their spouse began cross dressing in early childhood.

Cross dressers start wearing female clothes in early childhood and their condtion is
life-long.