Gifford's "Female transvestites," 1933

Edward Winslow Gifford's study of "The Cocopa," for the 1933 University of California Publications in American Archaeology and Ethnology, reports on both male and female "transvestites." About the latter Gifford writes:

Female transvestites (war'harneh): Male proclivities indicated by desire to play with boys, make bows and arrows, hunt birds and rabbits. Young man might love such girl, but she cared nothing for him; wished only to become man. Hair dressed like man's, nose pierced. Such females not menstruate or develop large breasts.

Like men in muscular build, but external sexual organs of women. Attempted sexual intercourse with women, married, established households like men. Fought in battle like men.[1]


Jonathan Ned Katz, Gay American History: Lesbians and Gay Men in the U.S.A. (NY: Crowell, 1976) pg.325.

  1. E. W. Gifford, "The Cocopa," University of California Publications in American Archaeology and Ethnology, vol. 31 (1933), p, 294. Also see R. L. Beals, "Ethnography of the Niaenan," University of California Publications in Archaeology and Ethnology, vol. 31, no. 6 (1933), p. 376; Leslie Spier, Yuman Tribes of the Gila River (Chicago: University of Chicago, 1933), p. 4. 6. 1:42-43; Ruth Benedict, Patterns of Culture (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1934), p. 262-65; W. W. Hill, "The Status of the Hermaphrodite and Transvestite in Navaho Culture," American Anthropologist, new ser., vol. 37 (1935), p. 273-79; R. H. Lowie, The Crow Indians (N.Y.: Farrar and Rinehart, 1935), p. viii, 48, 312-13; Ralph Linton, The Study of Man (N.Y.: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1935), p. 480-81; Ruth Underhill, "The Autobiography of a Papago Woman," Memoirs of the American Anthropological Association, no. 43 (Menasha, Wis.: Amer. Anth. Assoc., 1936), p. 43-44; W. W. Hill's brief but important "Note on the Pima Berdache,' American Anthropologist, new ser., vol. 40 (1938), p. 338-40; May Mandelbaum, "The Individual Life Cycle," in "The Sinkaietk or Southern Okanagon of Washington," by Walter Cline and others, ed. Leslie Spier, General Series in Anthropology, no. 6 (Menasha, Wis.: George Banta, 1938), p. 119; Ruth Benedict, "Sex in Primitive Society," American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, vol. 9 (1939), p. 572-73; A. L. Kroeber, "Psychosis or Social Sanction," Character and Personality ... vol. 8 (1939-40), p. 209-10; E. M. Opfer, An Apache Life-Way ... (Chicago: University of Chicago, 1941), p. 79-80, 415-16.