Despite much research into mate selection, non-heterosexual populations are often only included for comparison purposes, while trans people and their partners are overlooked. This study attempts to address this using qualitative methodology to explore the mate selection of the partners of trans people. Six participants were recruited from online communities and interviewed via instant messaging, the results were then analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. The author organised the results into four themes. Theme one: Identities/relationships which defy categorisation, Theme Two: Attractive traits and mate selection, Theme Three: Impact of past romantic relationships, other relationships and life changes and Theme Four: The self as a source of strength. These results challenge the traditional conclusions of mate selection studies, emphasising the need for more qualitative research.


Mate Selection, Evolutionary Psychology, Sexual Identity, Transgender, Relationships, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis


This research was conducted as part fulfilment of requirements for MSc Psychological Studies, University of Glasgow.

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