Occupational Preferences and Recalled Childhood Sex-Atypical Behavior among Istmo Zapotec Men, Women, and Muxes

Human Nature 32 (4):729-747 (2021)
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Abstract

Research has found that both cisgender and transgender androphilic males (i.e., males sexually attracted to and aroused by other adult males) have female-typical occupational preferences when compared with gynephilic males (i.e., males sexually attracted to and aroused by adult females). Moreover, whereas cisgender androphilic males’ occupational preferences tend to be intermediate between those of gynephilic men and androphilic women, transgender androphilic males tend to have occupational preferences that are more similar to androphilic women. No study has directly compared both types of androphilic males within the same culture. The present study investigated occupational preference and its relation to childhood sex-atypical behavior (CSAB), among gynephilic men (_n_ = 208), androphilic women (_n_ = 138), and cisgender (_n_ = 132) and transgender (_n_ = 129) androphilic males from the Istmo region of Oaxaca, Mexico, where androphilic males are recognized as third gender, _muxes_. The study found large sex differences in occupational preferences (_d_ = 2.80). Furthermore, both cisgender _muxe nguiiu_ (_d_ = 2.36) and transgender _muxe gunaa_ (_d_ = 3.44) reported having more sex-atypical occupational preferences compared with men. However, _muxe gunaa_ reported higher female-typical occupational preferences than women (_d_ = 0.59) and _muxe nguiiu_ (_d_ = 0.57), whereas _muxe nguiiu_ and women did not differ (_d_ = 0.08). These findings are consistent with the conclusion that sex-atypical occupational preferences are a cross-culturally universal aspect of male androphilia. Finally, CSAB was associated with sex-atypical occupational preferences among all participants. These findings suggest that a developmental continuity exists between childhood and adulthood sex-atypicality.

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