Hormone Therapy and Trans Sexuality: A Review

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Burns, Jason
Beischel, Will
van Anders, Sari
Transgender , HT , Sexuality , Hormones
Hormone therapy (HT) is one of the most commonly used transition-related medical interventions for trans people. While there is much research on the impacts of HT, the literature related to sexuality is scattered across disciplines, leaving researchers, clinicians, and trans people themselves with little systematic guidance about expected changes to sexuality. In this article, we first delineate the limitations of the extant research on associations between HT and sexuality. We then synthesize this research, focusing on several key aspects of sexuality: physical changes, sexual desire, contributors to sexual satisfaction and sexual distress, experiences of sexual orientation or identity, and sexual behaviors. We find that the most well-established changes associated with HT are initial changes to libido and increased sexual satisfaction, likely through increased body satisfaction. We outline areas for future research and conclude that, though HT is a medical process, to fully understand the impacts of HT, research must incorporate a sociocultural lens.