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Fetishization and Sexualization of Transgender and Nonbinary Individuals

24 March 2021

Publication Date
24 March 2021

Original Abstract

Despite the growing interest in the experiences of transgender individuals, the phenomenon of fetishization of transgender bodies and identities has been overlooked. The present study was aimed at investigating the experiences of fetishization of transgender and nonbinary (TGNB) people. Participants in the current study represent a sample of 142 TGNB volunteers from the community who answered the prompt: “If you feel comfortable, could you describe your experience of being fetishized?” Using thematic analysis, we developed three overarching themes relevant to the experiences of fetishization of TGNB participants: (1) context of fetishization; (2) negative experiences of fetishization; and (3) positive or ambiguous experiences of fetishization. The results demonstrated that, in most cases, fetishization was understood by TGNB people as a negative experience of sexual objectification, although some individuals experienced fetishization as a positive experience, perceiving the sexual desire of the other person or living it as a kink. Consistent with the integrated theory of dehumanization, the results demonstrated that both sexual objectification and minority stress contributed to participants’ understanding of fetishization for TGNB individuals. Implications for clinical work with TGNB individuals are discussed.

Anzani, A., Lindley, L., Tognasso, G., Paz Galupo, M. & Prunas, A. (2021). “Being Talked to Like I Was a Sex Toy, Like Being Transgender Was Simply for the Enjoyment of Someone Else”: Fetishization and Sexualization of Transgender and Nonbinary Individuals. Archives of Sexual Behaviorhttps://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-021-01935-8

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transgender, nonbinary, fetishization, sexualization, gender minority stress


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