On the expression of H-Y antigen in transsexuals

Stephen Wachtel, Richard Green, Neal G. Simon, Alison Reichart, Linda Cahill, John Hall, Dean Nakamura, Gwendolyn Wachtel, Walter Futterweit, Stanley H. Biber, Charles Ihlenfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Histocompatibility-Y (H-Y) antigen, the presumptive inducer of the mammalian testis, is present in the cells of normal males and not in the cells of normal females. Recent reports have implied that patients with transsexualism exhibit H-Y antigen phenotypes at variance with those of normal males and females and, thus, that H-Y serology might provide a tool for the diagnosis and study of the transsexual condition. We therefore evaluated blood and testicular cells from 21 male-to-female transsexuals using conventional and monoclonal H-Y antibodies. We found no evidence of abnormal H-Y phenotype. Five of the patients were interviewed postoperatively by two examiners and rated for the diagnosis of transsexualism. Three of the five were rated primary transsexual by one or both examiners, and two were rated secondary transsexual.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-68
Number of pages18
JournalArchives of Sexual Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 1986
Externally publishedYes


  • H-Y antigen
  • psychosexual differentiation
  • sexual identity
  • transsexual

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)


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