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The man who would be queen : the science of…
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The man who would be queen : the science of gender-bending and… (edition 2003)

by J. Michael Bailey

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552304,720 (2.43)None
Member:noonaut
Title:The man who would be queen : the science of gender-bending and transsexualism
Authors:J. Michael Bailey
Info:Washington, D.C. : Joseph Henry, c2003.
Collections:Read, To read (inactive), Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:gender, transgender, read2017, read

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The Man Who Would Be Queen: The Science of Gender-Bending and Transsexualism by J. Michael Bailey

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At the start of this book, Dr. Bailey introduces us to a man named Edwin, who is very feminine. Bailey claims to know what Edwin was like as a child (played with dolls, didn't like sports, etc.), that he's attracted to men, and furthermore that Edwin will probably undergo a gender transition in the future. The thing is, Bailey didn't actually ask Edwin about any of these things – he just *knows*, because he's does so much research on gay men that he can just come to these conclusions based on a brief observation.

This first anecdote sets the tone for the rest of the work – speculation presented as fact, with some very poor research presented as justification. He makes a whole lot of sweeping conclusions about the populations he's researching (all gay men are feminine, trans women come in only two "types", etc.) based on very small and non-representative sample sizes. Even worse, anything that contradicts his conclusions is dismissed as a lie – he frequently reminds the reader that people who come to gender clinics lie *all* the time and are in denial about the reality of their condition.

To put it bluntly, this is a terrible book. The worst part is that Bailey continually claims that he's helping gay and trans people, when in fact he's only giving credence to existing stereotypes with his shoddy research. ( )
  MercuryChaos | Aug 18, 2012 |
This book is a travesty for both evolutionary psychology as a discpline but more so for psychology as a whole. Bailey purports to work from science (you know, the stuff where you have empirically tested data and don't make assumptions unless you can back them up with facts?) yet at no stage whatsoever does he provide anything but damaging anecdotes. He does not cite any empirical data, makes broad claims with nothing but 'my lab found' to back it up and shows no respect for the men involved at all - all couched in a subtle but superior tone.
Perhaps the worst thing is that it pigeonholes transgender people in the most damaging way: it claims to be backed up by science. There's nothing most people want than simple answers to complex human issues backed up by science.
That Bailey was the head of a psychology department is a travesty in itself: that a book like this was allowed to be published under the guise of 'scientific proof' is just as egregious.

If you're after information on transgender people - in a hope to understand their lives and their identity, as I am - do not read this. It implies a simplistic, unfounded and derogatory view of transgender men. If, however, you really do wish to read it and see for yourself, then finish it off by reading 'The Bailey Affair: Psychology Perverted' by Joan Roughgarden to give you context. ( )
1 vote Aula | May 8, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0309084180, Hardcover)

Gay, straight, or lying, it's as simple and straightforward as black or white, right! Or is there a gray area, where the definitions of sex and gender become blurred or entirely refocused with the deft and practiced use of a surgeon's knife? For some, the concept of gender - the very idea we have of ourselves as either male or female beings - is neither simple nor straightforward. Written by cutting-edge researcher and sex expert J. Michael Bailey, "The Man Who Would Be Queen" is a frankly controversial, intensely poignant, and boldly forthright book about sex and gender. Based on his original research, Bailey's book is grounded firmly in science. But as he demonstrates, science doesn't always deliver predictable or even comfortable answers. Indeed, much of what he has to say will be sure to generate as many questions as it does answers. Are gay men genuinely more feminine than other men? And do they really prefer to be hairdressers rather than lumberjacks? Are all male transsexuals women trapped in men's bodies - or are some of them men who are just plain turned on by the idea of becoming a woman? And how much of a role do biology and genetics play in sexual orientation? But while Bailey's science is provocative, it is the portraits of the boys and men who struggle with these questions - and often with anger, fear, and hurt feelings - that will move you. You will meet Danny, an eight-year old boy whose favorite game is playing house and who yearns to dress up as a princess for Halloween, and Martin, an expert makeup artist who was plagued by inner turmoil as a youth but is now openly homosexual and has had many men as sex partners, and Kim, a strikingly sexy transsexual who still has a penis and works as a dancer and a call girl for men who like she-males while she awaits sex reassignment surgery. These and other stories make it clear that there are men - and men who become women - who want only to understand themselves and the society that makes them feel like outsiders, that there are parents, friends, and families that seek answers to confusing and complicated questions, and that there are researchers who hope one day to grasp the very nature of human sexuality. As the striking cover image - a distinctly muscular and obviously male pair of legs posed in a pair of low-heeled pumps - makes clear, the concept of gender, the very idea we have of ourselves as either male or female beings, is neither simple nor straightforward for some.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:31 -0400)

Gay or straight. It's simple, right? Or is there a gray area, where the definitions of sex and gender become blurred, or entirely refocused with a surgeon's knife? For some, gender--the very idea we have of ourselves as either male or female beings--is neither simple nor straightforward. Based on original research, sex expert Bailey's book is grounded firmly in science--but science doesn't always deliver predictable or even comfortable answers. Are gay men genuinely more feminine than other men? Do they really prefer to be hairdressers rather than lumberjacks? Are all male transsexuals women trapped in men's bodies--or are some of them men who are just plain turned on by the idea of becoming a woman? While Bailey's science is provocative, it is the portraits of the boys and men who struggle with these questions--and often with anger, fear, and hurt feelings--that will move you.--From publisher description.… (more)

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