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Ray Blanchard

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Ray Blanchard
Blanchard2008 (cropped).JPG
Blanchard in 2008
Ray Milton Blanchard

(1945-10-09) October 9, 1945 (age 76)
  • United States
  • Canada
Alma materUniversity of Pennsylvania
University of Illinois
Known for
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Toronto
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto
Academic advisorsKurt Freund

Ray Milton Blanchard (/ˈblænərd/; born October 9, 1945[1]) is an American-Canadian sexologist, best known for his research studies on transsexualism, pedophilia and sexual orientation. He found that men with more older brothers are more likely to be gay than men with fewer older brothers, a phenomenon he attributes to the reaction of the mother's immune system to male fetuses. Blanchard has also published research studies on phallometry and several paraphilias, including autoerotic asphyxia.

Education and career

Blanchard was born in Hammonton, New Jersey. He received his A.B. in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1967 and his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois in 1973. He conducted postdoctoral research at Dalhousie University until 1976, when he accepted a position as a clinical psychologist at the Ontario Correctional Institute in Brampton, Ontario, Canada (a suburb of Toronto). There, Blanchard met Kurt Freund, who became his mentor. Freund was conducting research in chemical castration for sex offenders.[2] In 1980, he joined the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry (now part of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health).[3] In 1995 Blanchard was named Head of Clinical Sexology Services in the Law and Mental Health Programme of the CAMH, where he served until 2010. He is an adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto.[4] He served on the American Psychiatric Association DSM-IV Subcommittee on Gender Identity Disorders[5] and was named to the DSM-5 committee.

According to Google Scholar, Blanchard's works have been cited more than 12,000 times and he has an h-index of 65.[6]

Fraternal birth order effect

Blanchard has conducted research on factors that influence the development of sexual orientation, including biological factors. He has proposed a theory known as a fraternal birth order effect or older brother effect. This theory is that the more older brothers a man has, the greater the probability is that he will have a homosexual sexual orientation. The number of older sisters has no effect, however. The same is not true for lesbians—neither the number of older brothers nor the number of older sisters appears to be related to the sexual orientation of women.[7][8][9] The fraternal birth order effect has been described by one of its proponents as "the most consistent biodemographic correlate of sexual orientation in men",[10] with each older brother increasing a man's odds of being gay by about 33%.[11]

Blanchard hypothesizes that the older brother effect is caused by interactions between a male fetus and the immune system of the mother: because certain proteins (called H-y antigens) are produced by male and not by female fetuses, the mother's immune system reacts only to male fetuses and is more likely to produce a reaction with each successive exposure to a male fetus.[12]

Typology of transsexualism

Blanchard coined the term "autogynephilia" to describe trans women with an erotic desire "to be women," and hypothesized that all gender dysphoria experienced by this group is of two types: "homosexual" gender dysphoria and "non-homosexual" gender dysphoria. Blanchard defined the former as being present in transsexuals attracted to men, while he defined the latter as being present in transsexuals attracted to the idea of themselves as women.[13] Within the transgender community the idea has been criticized.[14] Blanchard's findings and research have been rejected by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), the largest association of medical professionals who provide care for transgender people, as lacking empirical evidence.[15][16]

Blanchard supports public funding of sex reassignment surgery as an appropriate treatment for transsexual people, as he believes the available evidence supports that the surgery helps them live more comfortably and happily, with high satisfaction rates.[17]

Blanchard defined autogynephilic as "a man's paraphilic tendency to be sexually aroused by the thought or image of himself as a woman".[18] He researched this theory by conducting a test on a sample of 119 MtF transsexuals who submitted an anonymous questionnaire to test if they were autogynephilic or homosexual. Blanchard believed that not all transsexuals fit in the category of "homosexual" and that some were instead autogynephilic transsexuals.[18] Survey participants felt that they were neither homosexual nor autogynephilic transsexuals and should not be classified in either group. A majority felt that the sexual attraction to become a woman weakened with age, but others reported that they had noticed a change after physical transition.[18] Blanchard ultimately concluded that transsexuals were either sexually aroused by men, androphilic, or aroused by the thought of being a woman, nonandrophilic.

The number of openly transgender women has rapidly increased over the past several decades. More and more individuals have undergone operations and hormone therapy.[19] They believe that their gender identity, defined as "one's inner sense of being male or female, masculine or feminine",[20] did not match the body they were in. According to Blanchard, "Autogynephilic transsexuals were men who were also sexually attracted to women, but whose paraphilic sexual interest made them want to go farther and permanently change their bodies to become the objects of their attraction".[19]


Blanchard coined teleiophilia to refer to a sexual preference for adults.[21] Unlike the terms referring to sexual interest in other age groups, such as pedophilia (sexual interest in prepubescent children), teleiophilia is not considered a paraphilia. The term was formalized in order to forestall neologisms, such as "adultophilia" or "normophilia", that were occasionally used but had no precise definition. The term is used primarily by professional sexologists in the scientific literature.



Blanchard served on the gender dysphoria sub-working group for the DSM-IV and served as Chair of the paraphilia sub-working group for the DSM-5. Activists protested the latter appointment.[22] The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force issued a statement questioning the APA's decision to appoint Blanchard.[23]


In 2008, Blanchard was the lead author of an influential paper proposing the introduction of hebephilia in the DSM-5.[24] The paper, coauthored mostly with colleagues from CAMH and the University of Toronto, triggered a number of reactions, many of them critical on the basis that it pathologizes reproductively valid behavior in order to uphold current social and legal standards. Critics include Richard Green,[25] DSM-IV editor Michael First,[26] forensic psychologist Karen Franklin,[27] and Charles Allen Moser,[28] while others including William O'Donohue argued that the proposal did not go far enough.[29] Blanchard also wrote the literature review paper for the DSM-5 committee regarding pedophilia, in which he summarized and attempted to address the criticism over the DSM-IV-TR definition of pedophilia.[30] The DSM-5 diagnosis initially proposed a new name ("pedohebophilic disorder") and the rationale for the change cited several of Blanchard's scientific publications.[31] In the end, the pedohebephilic disorder proposal was rejected, but the name was changed from pedophilia to pedophilic disorder, reflecting the DSM-5's general distinction between paraphilia and paraphilic disorder.[32]

Blanchard noted that both Richard Green[33] and William O'Donohue[34] remarked that a so-called "contented pedophile"—an individual who fantasizes about having sex with a child, but does not commit child sexual abuse, but just masturbates fantasizing it, and who does not feel subjectively distressed afterward—does not meet the DSM-IV-TR criteria for pedophilia, because Criterion B is not met. Whereas Green proposed to solve the problem by removing pedophilia from the DSM, and O'Donohue proposed to remove criterion B for pedophilia, Blanchard proposed a general solution applicable to all paraphilias, namely a distinction between paraphilia and paraphilic disorder. The latter term is proposed to identify the diagnosable condition, which meets both Criterion A and B, whereas an individual who does not meet Criterion B, can be ascertained, but not diagnosed, as having a paraphilia. (Blanchard acknowledges Kenneth Zucker and James Cantor for discussions about this distinction[30]). Interviewed by bioethics professor Alice Dreger, Blanchard explained: "We tried to go as far as we could in depathologizing mild and harmless paraphilias, while recognizing that severe paraphilias that distress or impair people or cause them to do harm to others are validly regarded as disorders."[35]


  1. ^ "Ray Blanchard - University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine". Retrieved 2020-03-03.
  2. ^ Freund, K. (1980). "Therapeutic Sex Drive Reduction". Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica. 62: 5–38. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0447.1980.tb10433.x. PMID 7006321. S2CID 21981060.
  3. ^ Laws RD; O'Donohue WT, eds. (1997). Sexual Deviance: Theory, Assessment, and Treatment. Guilford Press. ISBN 978-1-57230-241-9.
  4. ^ "Ray Blanchard, Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry, University of Toronto". 2014. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
  5. ^ Bradley, S. J.; Blanchard, R.; Coates, S.; Green, R.; Levine, S. B.; Meyer-Bahlburg, H. F.; Pauly, I. B.; Zucker, K. J. (1991). "Interim report of the DSM-IV Subcommittee on Gender Identity Disorders". Archives of Sexual Behavior. 20 (4): 333–343. doi:10.1007/BF01542614. PMID 1953325. S2CID 22048269.
  6. ^ "Ray Blanchard - Google Scholar Citations". Retrieved 2020-04-28.
  7. ^ Blanchard, R.; Bogaert, A. F. (1996). "Homosexuality in men and number of older brothers". The American Journal of Psychiatry. 153 (1): 27–31. doi:10.1176/ajp.153.1.27. PMID 8540587.
  8. ^ Blanchard, R.; Bogaert, A. F. (1996). "Biodemographic comparisons of homosexual and heterosexual men in the Kinsey Interview Data". Archives of Sexual Behavior. 25 (6): 551–579. doi:10.1007/BF02437839. PMID 8931880. S2CID 23951518.
  9. ^ Blanchard, R.; Zucker, K. J.; Siegelman, M.; Dickey, R.; Klassen, P. (1998). "The relation of birth order to sexual orientation in men and women". Journal of Biosocial Science. 30 (4): 511–519. doi:10.1017/S0021932098005112. PMID 9818557.
  10. ^ Bogaert, A. F. (2006). "Biological versus nonbiological older brothers and men's sexual orientation". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 103 (28): 10771–10774. doi:10.1073/pnas.0511152103. PMC 1502306. PMID 16807297.
  11. ^ Cantor, J. M.; Blanchard, R.; Paterson, A. D.; Bogaert, A. F. (2002). "How many gay men owe their sexual orientation to fraternal birth order?". Archives of Sexual Behavior. 31 (1): 63–71. doi:10.1023/A:1014031201935. PMID 11910793. S2CID 203129.
  12. ^ Blanchard, R.; Klassen, P. (1997). "H-Y Antigen and Homosexuality in Men". Journal of Theoretical Biology. 185 (3): 373–378. Bibcode:1997JThBi.185..373B. CiteSeerX doi:10.1006/jtbi.1996.0315. PMID 9156085.
  13. ^ Blanchard, R. (1989). "The classification and labeling of nonhomosexual gender dysphorias". Archives of Sexual Behavior. 18 (4): 315–334. doi:10.1007/BF01541951. PMID 2673136. S2CID 43151898.
  14. ^ Dreger, A. D. (2008). "The Controversy Surrounding The Man Who Would Be Queen: A Case History of the Politics of Science, Identity, and Sex in the Internet Age". Archives of Sexual Behavior. 37 (3): 366–421. doi:10.1007/s10508-007-9301-1. PMC 3170124. PMID 18431641.
  15. ^ Gijs, L.; Carroll, R. A. (2011). "Should Transvestic Fetishism Be Classified inDSM 5? Recommendations from the WPATH Consensus Process for Revision of the Diagnosis of Transvestic Fetishism". International Journal of Transgender Health. 12 (4): 189–197. doi:10.1080/15532739.2010.550766.
  16. ^ Knudson, G.; De Cuypere, G.; Bockting, W. (2011). "Second Response of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health to the Proposed Revision of the Diagnosis of Transvestic Disorder forDSM5". International Journal of Transgender Health. 13: 9–12. doi:10.1080/15532739.2011.606195. S2CID 143808776.
  17. ^ Blanchard, R (2000). "Part II: The case for publicly funded transsexual surgery" (PDF). Psychiatry Rounds. 4 (2): 4–6.
  18. ^ a b c Veale, Jamie; Clarke, David; Lomax, Terri (2011). "Male-to-Female Transsexuals' Impressions of Blanchard's Autogynephilia Theory". International Journal of Transgender Health: 136.
  19. ^ a b Lawrence, Anne. A (2007). "Becoming What We Love: autogynephilic transsexualism conceptualized as an expression of romantic love". Perspectives in Biology and Medicine: 507–508.
  20. ^ Lawrence, Anne. A (2004). ". Autogynephilia: A Paraphilic Model of Gender Identity Disorder". Transgender Subjectivities: 76.
  21. ^ Blanchard, R.; Barbaree, H. E.; Bogaert, A. F.; Dickey, R.; Klassen, P.; Kuban, M. E.; et al. (2000). "Fraternal birth order and sexual orientation in pedophiles". Archives of Sexual Behavior. 29 (5): 463–478. doi:10.1023/A:1001943719964. PMID 10983250. S2CID 19755751.
  22. ^ Rau, K (2008-07-07). "Trans activists infuriated by doctors in charge of gender identity definitions". Xtra!. Retrieved 2012-02-10.
  23. ^ "Task Force questions critical appointments to APA's Committee on Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders". National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. 2008-05-28. Archived from the original on 2 March 2011. Retrieved 2012-02-10.
  24. ^ Blanchard, R.; Lykins, A. D.; Wherrett, D.; Kuban, M. E.; Cantor, J. M.; Blak, T.; Dickey, R.; Klassen, P. E. (2009). "Pedophilia, Hebephilia, and the DSM-V". Archives of Sexual Behavior. 38 (3): 335–350. doi:10.1007/s10508-008-9399-9. PMID 18686026. S2CID 14957904.
  25. ^ Green, R. (2010). "Sexual preference for 14-year-olds as a mental disorder: you can't be serious!! (letter to the editor)". Archives of Sexual Behavior. 39 (3): 585–586. doi:10.1007/s10508-010-9602-7. PMID 20204488. S2CID 27870308.
  26. ^ Frieden, J (2009-12-01). "DSM-V Work on Paraphilias Begins in Earnest" (PDF). Clinical Psychiatry News. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-12-21. Retrieved 2013-08-28.
  27. ^ Franklin, K. (2010). "Hebephilia: Quintessence of diagnostic pretextuality". Behavioral Sciences & the Law. 28 (6): 751–768. doi:10.1002/bsl.934. PMID 21110392.
  28. ^ Moser, C. (2009). "When is an Unusual Sexual Interest a Mental Disorder? (letter to the editor)". Archives of Sexual Behavior. 38 (3): 323–325. doi:10.1007/s10508-008-9436-8. PMID 18946730. S2CID 43363957.
  29. ^ O'Donohue, W. (2010). "A Critique of the Proposed DSM-V Diagnosis of Pedophilia (letter to the editor)". Archives of Sexual Behavior. 39 (3): 587–590. doi:10.1007/s10508-010-9604-5. PMID 20204487. S2CID 30900698.
  30. ^ a b Blanchard, R. (2009). "The DSM Diagnostic Criteria for Pedophilia" (PDF). Archives of Sexual Behavior. 39 (2): 304–316. doi:10.1007/s10508-009-9536-0. PMID 19757012. S2CID 20213586.
  31. ^ "U 03 Pedophilic Disorder - Rationale". American Psychiatric Association. Archived from the original on February 15, 2010. Retrieved 2012-02-10.
  32. ^ Blanchard, R. (2013). "A dissenting opinion on DSM-5 pedophilic disorder". Archives of Sexual Behavior. 42 (5): 675–678. doi:10.1007/s10508-013-0117-x. PMID 23677282. S2CID 32858085.
  33. ^ Green, R. (2002). "Is pedophilia a mental disorder?". Archives of Sexual Behavior. 31 (6): 467–471, discussion 471–510. doi:10.1023/A:1020699013309. PMID 12462476. S2CID 7774415.
  34. ^ O'Donohue, W.; Regev, L. G.; Hagstrom, A. (2000). "Problems with the DSM-IV diagnosis of pedophilia". Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment. 12 (2): 95–105. doi:10.1023/A:1009586023326. PMID 10872239. S2CID 195287902.
  35. ^ Dreger, A (2010-02-19). "Of Kinks, Crimes, and Kinds: The Paraphilias Proposal for the DSM-5". Hastings Center. Retrieved 2012-02-10.

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