Some reasons that people who do not identify as women may wear women's clothing include feeling calmer and more comfortable, getting a sexual thrill or feeling more alive, explains PFLAG of Cape Cod. Other reasons include wanting to express an individual's feminine side, wanting to be one of the girls or simply enjoying the feel of female clothing, notes the Crossdresser Society. Many children cross-dress as a form of role play, Women and Children's Health reports.Continue Reading
Men who wear women's clothing are distinct from transgender women, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation notes. Cross-dressers do not desire to change their sex permanently. They are also distinct from drag queens. Drag queens wear women's clothing to entertain others, while cross-dressers do so as a form of gender expression.
Most men who cross-dress do so to express a feminine aspect of their personalities, and because it feels good to them, the Crossdresser Society explains. They may or may not experience erotic pleasure from it. Many initiate cross-dressing out of curiosity as young children. Some boys cross-dress as an escape from stressful male social conditioning. Others just enjoy the feel of silky feminine clothes. Adults who cross-dressed as children may return to the behavior as a form of stress relief.
Cross-dressing allows children to explore different roles and what it means to be male or female, Women and Children's Health reports. Very young children do not have a rigid concept of gender, although they self-identify as male or female by the age of 3. Boys who frequently cross-dress may feel alienated from males in their life, dislike rough masculine play or feel negative about being male. Some, but not all, children who cross-dress eventually identify as transgender and seek gender reassignment later in life.Learn more about Mental Health