(The Gender Centre advise that this article may not be current and as such certain content, including
but not limited to persons, contact details and dates may not apply. Where legal authority or medical related matters are
cited, responsibility lies with the reader to obtain the most current relevant legal authority and/or medical
What became evident right from the beginning however, was that his knowledge was at such a level that I would
have failed him as an undergraduate student.
The Man Who Would Be Queen, by J. Michael Bailey
The Man Who Would Be Queen
by J. Michael Bailey
Published by Joseph Henry Press (March 10, 2003)
Before receiving a review copy of this book I had already received many emails from different
parts of the world from members of the sex and gender diverse community who were outraged by its publication. I did, however, try to
give it a fair chance both from an intellectual and academic stance.
Bailey is a professor of psychology at North-Western University in the
U.S.A. and the promotion of the book is very keenly centered on the premise
that he uses scientific methodology in both his research and his discourses. Being a social scientist myself I was fully open to his
presentations on the origins of homosexuality and transsexualism. What became evident right from the beginning, however was that his
knowledge was at such a level that I would have failed him as an undergraduate student.
His literature search is profoundly out of date and he relies heavily on Richard Green's studies of feminine boys to argue that
feminine boys were more likely to become homosexual or sometimes transsexual. But Green's studies are now some thirty years old. Bailey
also maintained that Blanchard was clever in his interpretation that primary (development at a young age) transsexuals were in fact
homosexual men who wanted to change gender to attract men. He also jumped on Blanchard's and Anne Lawrence's bandwagon of some
transsexuals being deluded heterosexual men who were only able to connect sexually by imposing a female form on their on body images
during sexual fantasy (autogynophelia).
The book focuses on what Bailey calls male-to-female transsexuals with very little respect for those people's female identities.
Sadly his research is so paltry and tragically inadequate that he seems basically to have gleaned nearly all his information from
transsexual prostitutes, both pre-operative and post-operative, whom he evidently saw as sad losers. Any sex researchers worth their
salt would have known that this was the fundamental mistake Kinsey made in compiling his studies of Americans' sexual habits over
sixty years ago. Certainly many transsexuals are forced into the sex industry through the poverty trap of marginalisation but they are
no longer the greater part of the transsexual population in many countries. This kind of research error on Bailey's part is indicative
of his attempting to make generalisations on humankind by studying isolated populations. Many of his subjects were solicited from
America's down market nightclubs.
The majority of Bailey's studies were based around explaining sexual behavior and sex and gender identity as a deviation of the male
and female bi-polar model. It is unfortunate that an academic should put out misleading work such as this and confer authoritative
status on it. I would be terrified to think that one of my young naive students might come across such a poor publication and
completely erase the progress that genuine thinkers of sex, gender diversity and sexual freedom have made in the past thirty years. I
imagine this book will do well in the recycling bins if the sex and gender diverse community are lucky, before it does harm to too
Polare is published in Australia by The Gender Centre
Inc. which is funded by the Department of Community Services under the
S.A.A.P. Program and supported by the
N.S.W. Health Department through the
AIDS and Infectious Diseases Branch. Polare provides a
forum for discussion and debate on gender issues. Advertisers are advised that all advertising is their responsibility under
the Trade Practices Act. Unsolicited contributions are welcome, though no guarantee is made by the Editor that they will be
published, nor any discussion entered into. The editor reserves the right to edit such contributions without notification.
Any submission which appears in Polare may be published on our internet site. Opinions expressed in this publication do not
necessarily reflect those of the Editor, The Gender Centre Inc.I, the
Department of Community Services or the N.S.W. Department of Health.