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Interesting topic particularly given how many cd’s describe their first experience at an age when sophisticated decision making has yet to develop.  I spent many years working in the addictions field where early experience seems also to be critical. Many children appear capable of appreciating situations which describe incongruity. They have issues with this but not the capacity to address their concerns with the range of options they will develop as they mature. However, something needs to be done to meet their confusion. Simple solutions are often found and frequently they are effective. They often generate consequences, many of which are unwelcome but the result is all important. The child is often largely unaware of the negatives at a young age although something seems to suggest it would be best to keep their activity to themselves as far as they can. I wonder if the attachment to and use of girl’s clothing can develop as an immature response to a problem such as displacement caused by for example, the birth of a sister, potentially any situation which suggests it would be advantageous to adopt the role of a girl. Pleasure in the feelings associated with the behaviour and simple habit could be common in both dressing and addiction. Is dressing a form of addiction, for some, not necessarily all.
As time passes the behaviour becomes normalised and evokes strong positive memories and an increasing sense of attachment, not unlike and old and reliable friend. Our increasing ability to bring mature sophistication to our problem solving probably encourages us to ‘justify’ our actions in more adult ways perhaps retrospectively encouraging us to attribute dressing to something more complex such as a belief that a gender mistake has been made. We are all drawn to behaviour which has served us well and generates good memories particularly if is something we can still enjoy no matter what it is. Is there any reason crossdressing cannot meet this criteria.
I would not suggest this approach is exclusive or accurate for all cd’s though I wonder if is worthy of consideration when trying to answer the question?

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