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Second Law of Gender-Bending

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"Any character, after being gender bent, will come to enjoy their new gender more than their old gender."

A fictional character that gets his or her gender bent often becomes gradually accustomed to life as a new man or woman. Eventually they likely will experience an epiphany: that they are better off in their new gender than they ever were in their old one. This is the Second Law of Gender Bending, where a gender bent person would, if offered a chance to revert to their former gender, turn it down because they have come to enjoy the benefits of the change.

The epiphany typically takes one of two forms:

  • A reluctant admission, either because they've changed too much to return to the way things were or are loath to admit the enjoyment they get from their new lifestyle.
  • A jovial acceptance, where they quickly discover how much fun life is after the gender flip, and they never want to go back.

A specific variation of I Choose to Stay which often results from The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body. May involve Becoming the Mask or Going Native depending upon surrounding circumstances. Can result in Beneath the Mask when the Gender Bender allows a character to reveal a hidden side of their personality. Contrast You Can't Go Home Again for characters who'd like to return to their former gender but realize they've changed too much to make that possible. See the Third Law of Gender-Bending, which frequently (but not always) precedes or overlaps with this trope.

Since the First Law of Gender Bending ensures that most of these characters are male-to-female, Man, I Feel Like a Woman is frequently a contributing reason for these characters' choice. Though it would take a rather base view of human nature to assume this as someone's primary reason for wanting to keep his/her gender change permanent, many "adult" stories often do make use of the common pornographic cliché that sex is inherently more pleasurable for women even if their authors would rather point to more dignified reasons. Even in those works where the above is not the case, the law likely is as prominent as it is at the behest of the first, as from a Doylist perspective, there are not a lot of other ways of resolving the Gender Bender situation that result in both a Happy Ending and don't violate the First Law of Gender Bending.

Often used as an Ending Trope since following this law typically resolves the gender-bent character's Fish out of Water status, though it may not eliminate all Different for Girls moments.

The one Gender Bender plot that usually averts this law is when it occurs due to a "Freaky Friday" Flip, mostly because these usually have other changes beside gender.

Of the three laws of gender-bending, this one is the most prone to carrying Unfortunate Implications relating to transgender people. With increasing awareness that gender identity is strong and inherent for many people, writers are now expected to acknowledge that if a character prefers living as the other sex, they had some form of gender dysphoria already. In particular, the idea that Man, I Feel Like a Woman could be reason enough for a man to enjoy being female is considered a Discredited Trope. Instead, being subject to a magic sex change may make a character realize they were already transgender, or come out of the closet if they were already aware (in which case the trope can have applicability as Wish-Fulfillment). This has its own issues, as it can lead to erasure of people and characters who are agender, bigender, or otherwise have less personal investment in one specific gender and/or physical sex, and may enjoy various facets of their new body without having ever felt dysphoria about the old one.

See also It's the Journey That Counts. Contrast Gender Bender Angst, though many works have characters experience a mix of both, at different periods or at once.


Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Asuka Hybrid:
    • The titular Asuka dances around this — he does enjoy a lot of the momentary benefits of being turned into a cute girl (especially since he was already quite feminine to begin with), but just as often, this freaks him out as he ultimately really wants to be turned back into a guy, and he doesn't want to be tempted away from this goal.
    • Played straight with Akira. Even though him being turned from female to male was an accident, he's completely comfortable with staying as a guy because it make him more accepted as a martial artist, with his father wholeheartedly supporting his new son and getting him legally recognized as such. Unlike Asuka, who's searching for the sorceress who accidentally genderbent them in order to reverse the change, Akira's searching for her to make him even manlier.
  • Ayakashi Triangle:
    • Matsuri has some very unusual feelings about being turned into a girl. He's fine with day-to-day life as a tomboy, and even acknowledges multiple upsides, but still wants to return to being a boy eventually. His main point of contention is that he loves Suzu, but only wants to be her boyfriend—even apart from her burgeoning attraction to his female form, dating her is the one thing Matsuri refuses to do while he's still a girl.
    • At one point, Reo and Suzu wonder if Matsuri might eventually identify as female, and discuss how that would affect their feelings for him. Reo is completely undisturbed, not basing her attraction to Matsuri at all on gender. Suzu initially agrees, even if she clearly finds Matsuri more attractive a guy. But seeing Matsuri dressed up in a very feminine way—and Soga awestruck at the sight of him—makes Suzu think she has to change Matsuri back before that can happen.
    • Once, Matsuri muses his Gender-Bender Friendship with Lu and Yayo shows he's "better suited" to being a girl. After some prying from Suzu, he admits he's just worried they'll hate him if they know he was ever a guy, which turns out not to be true.
    • At the series' very end, once Shirogane is able to reverse the transformation, Matsuri has decided they're actually more ready to date Suzu as a girl, though they still want to eventually do so as a boy. Following that, they give a lot more consideration to their life as a girl, again bringing up their friendship with Yayo and Lu as a girl "became a big part of who I am". So Matsuri decides to stay a girl for at least their entire time in high school.
  • Mai Natsume of BlazBlue: Remix Heart was originally a boy, but got magically transformed into a girl right before the manga started. Mai was at first uncomfortable with her new gender and tried to find a way to change back, but later on she came to enjoy her life as a girl, especially her female friends, and even fell in love with a male classmate. The manga ends with Mai fully accepting her change in life and seeing herself as a girl.
  • In the end of Cheeky Angel, Megumi finally realizes/admits that she'd been a girl all along. Lacking the power to grant her wish to become male, the trickster spirit had given her Fake Memories of being a boy. Since the delusion had helped her foster the tough, fair, forthright, and assertive (i.e., stereotypically "male") aspects of her personality, Megumi considers her wish granted nonetheless.
    • This is tweaked in the anime where she was legitimately transformed into a girl and comes close to reversing the change in the finale after finding the book containing the spirit responsible. Having fought alongside her fan club to save her best friend Miki, Megumi decides to kiss their leader Genzo as thanks despite often rebuking his advances; the spirit in turn assumes this to be her admitting that she prefers to be female and departs, seemingly for good. Her reaction is a bit mixed in that she clearly wanted to undo her change and is thus disappointed that she's now apparently stuck as a girl forever, but she still seems to enjoy her new circumstances all the same... albeit with the caveat that she still insists that she's a boy all the same.
  • The other transgender Megumi in The Day of Revolution goes the "reluctant admission" route when she's menaced by a boy and realizes that she finally knows how it truly feels to be a girl. Fortunately her new-found sense of femininity also empowers her to free herself with the ultimate female defense against male attackers: a Groin Attack so severe it practically paralyzes him.
  • Kanojo Ni Naru Hi Another uses It's the Journey That Counts to offer an unusual and bittersweet take on this trope. Sagara is ultimately happy about her Gender Bender even though she does miss being a boy because the resulting struggle to forge a new identity broke her out of her self-imposed isolation, opened her eyes to the people who cared about her and taught her the true value of love and friendship. It's not the change itself she accepts so much as the personal growth it triggered. The fact that it made her sexually compatible with the love of her life is just icing on the cake.
  • Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl: Hazumu never expresses any desire to return to her former gender. Of course, the aliens announced from the get-go that she couldn't become a boy again even if she wanted to, but you'd think she'd have missed something about life as a boy, even if it was only the ability to write her name in the snow. However, since the gender change allows her to get together with the girl(s) of her dreams and her parents seem to prefer it she really doesn't have all that much to complain about. (It doesn't hurt that pre-change Hazumu was more girly than every other girl in the series and may even have been transgender without realizing it.)
  • Mao of Maomarimo inverts the usual plot arc associated with this trope by accepting her involuntary Gender Bender straight off as an act of faith in her village deity. The drama comes from the various ways her family, her best friend, and her village deal with her change. Her three older sisters exhibit the full range of reactions from simple acceptance to flat-out denial.
  • Nyotai-ka uses You Can't Go Home Again to offer a very "base view of human nature" take on this trope because Manaka finds sex is so much more pleasurable for women (soft sensitive skin! exquisitely delicate genitalia! multiple orgasms! boobies!) that he cannot accept the pale imitation of sexual pleasure that men experience.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser Tao Nozomu from Nozomu Nozomi accepts that her Gender Bender gives her ready access to the cuteness she craves but still hides her new gender for an entire year (gradually transforming into a Sweet Polly Oliver in the process) largely because she's not sure she won't change back and can't figure out how to break the news to her family and friends. Unlike most examples here Nozomu's Gender Bender occurs in early puberty and he was barely past the point of noticing girls before he became one.
  • Osananajimi wa Onnanoko ni Naare:
    • Iori is generally very unhappy constantly being turned into a girl by Sylphie, but there's rare occasions where "Shiori" is pleased by it. Most obviously, after trying to stay a boy for swim class, Shiori enjoys free swimming with the girls when the boys' swim coach has a much harsher exercised routine planned.
    • Since Sylphie wants Shiori to stay a girl, she'll sometimes invoke this trope to argue Iori should stop resisting. She's astoundingly myopic and unconvincing, especially when she thinks Shiori should hook up with her male friend Shuichi. Seraphie has an even more deranged view: that it's fine to trick or force Shiori into believing she was always a girl because she'll be "happy" with it that way.
    • Iori's classmates likewise think he should be fine living as Shiori—the guys just want another cute girl around, but the girls genuinely feel like advocating for the quality of their own sex. The "upsides" they lists are pretty ridiculous trivial (women-only promotional events, a slight increase in life expentency) or just make Shiori more disturbed (getting gifts from guys, wearing cute clothes).
    • One What If? omake shows if Shuichi became a girl instead of Iori, and the latter is shocked how eager Shuichi looks. Another shows if Iori and Miyu, the girl who has a crush on him, both changed genders; the former seems fine with it because it "balances out".
  • Heavily downplayed in Ranma ½: Even though Ranma can easily make himself male again whenever made female, he still wants to make it so he'll be male full-time. That said, Ranma starts to bring his macho approach to acting girly and cute. Ranma's competitive streak is so hardwired that he even refuses to lose in a contest of femininity, which is a plot point in at least two stories. He also becomes increasingly willing to use his girl form's good looks to his advantage, either to manipulate and trick his enemies, or simply to acquire Favors for the Sexy. The very last chapter of the manga addresses this in a comically mean-spirited fashion: Ranma discovers that he inadvertently flooded the Jusenkyo Springs whilst saving Akane's life from the arc's Big Bad, and makes a noble speech about how he forgot all about changing back into a guy permanently and just wanted to save Akane... with Akane suggesting that he is, essentially, lying through his teeth and trying to sound like a stoic badass when in reality he's very upset. She's proven right in the next and final story, where Ranma essentially abandons her at the altar to get his hands on a cask of the Spring of Drowned Man water that would cure him. Then, when Happosai drinks it, he tries to force him to throw it back up so he can use it, meaning that Ranma would bathe in puke if he legitimately thought it would cure him.
  • Downplayed in Sekirei: Falling in love with Minato causes Homura's body to start becoming female. He initially hates this so much, he's willing to die from Superpower Meltdown after a failed attempt to kill the one responsible. After Minato saves him, Homura accepts his feelings for him and that his body will continue to change, though unlike most examples Homura's gender-identity ultimately remains the same as before.

    Fan Works 
  • Genderbent: A concoction of dust released by Nora causes some of the main RWBY cast to change genders. By the end of the story, Ren, Nora, and Weiss choose to remain in their new bodies, even taking new names. Initially Jaune and Pyrrha decide to stay as a girl and boy respectively, though the final chapter revealed they turned back.
  • Harry Potter and the Mists of Avalon: Harry is turned into a girl by a potion gone wrong. Much later, an antidote to the potion is developed, but by then she has spent so much time as a girl that she chooses not to change back.
  • Irreversible Damage: Following some initial panic attacks, most characters take their transformations very much in stride. In particular, Greg/Greta mainly just cares about how she can use her new situation to gain popularity at school, and eventually decides that she likes being a girl and that she probably wouldn't bother using an antidote even if it existed. Among other characters, "Rowlette" quickly accepts being a girl and promptly starts dating Bryce, Tyson happily starts having sex with the other guys, and Greg's Uncle Gary is elated at the opportunity for advancement at his job as an adult entertainer.
  • Voyages of the Wild Sea Horse:

    Film 
  • Averted in the Star Trek porn parody Charly XXX. The female Body Surfing alien uses her powers to take over Captain Quirk and the starship Intercourse, but quickly discovers a drawback in that men get tired after Boldly Coming. She body-surfs back into a Bridge Bunny so she can have more sex, enabling Quirk to take back his ship.
  • In Le Comiche 2, a male individual accidentally undergoes an undesired breast augmentation first and a sexual reassignment surgery later. She becomes the favourite odalisque in a harem and reveals she is very happy about it.
  • The Hot Chick: Though initially horrified, Clive uses Jessica's body to become a successful crook, and when Jessica tracks him down, Jessica has to trick Clive into getting her body back.
  • Played with in Some Like It Hot. At first, Gerald doesn't like being Daphne. Dresses are too drafty, he can't hit on women, etc. Eventually, though, he enjoys being female immensely, to the point where the Ho Yay with Osgood is so great that Joe makes him say "I'm a boy," over and over. But hey — Nobody's perfect.
  • Played with in Switch (1991) as the protagonist can't decide whether to be a male or female angel while in Heaven.

    Literature 
  • As one might suspect from the title, the entire plot of Justin Lieber's Beyond Rejection revolves around getting an involuntary Gender Bender to this point. Unlike other examples this is treated as a potentially deadly situation requiring intensive medical intervention to prevent dysphoria and death.
  • Played with in A Brother's Price when a male character disguises as a (female) whore. Due to male's Gender Rarity Value, the whores in this world are women who disguise as men. He quite enjoys the ability to walk around without being noticed.
  • Discworld: In Jingo, although he's only crossdressing and not actually a woman, Corporal Nobbs is reluctant to get back into his male uniform/role after he's spent half of the book wandering around Klatch as Beti.
  • Variation 2 shows up in Sean McMullan's Eyes of the Calculor: John Glasken's distress at being reincarnated in the beautiful body of young Valesti Disore initially manifests in a lot of psychopathic behavior (such as amputating the hand of a man who dared to pinch her butt) but in the end she claims she finds being a woman (albeit one with a "baleful and malevolent" reputation) "rather liberating."
  • Vorkosigan Saga: In A Civil Campaign, Lady Donna Vorrutyer goes off-world for gender reassignment surgery so she can contest her vile cousin's ascension to her late brother's Countship. Lord Dono soon admits that while she primarily did it out of a sense of duty, he'd discovered there were some advantages to being a man (especially in Barrayar's highly sexist society) so even if he lost, he would remain a man in order to explore them.
  • The protagonist of David Thomas's novel Girl is a macho, laddish twenty something bloke who is mistaken for another patient while in hospital and mistakenly given gender reassignment surgery. Though initially horrified, when the news that reversing the procedure is unviable is broken to him he ends up deciding to commit fully to his new identity, and after cosmetic surgery, hormone replacement and therapy adapts to the life as an attractive, well-adjusted young woman. When towards the end of the book he/she is asked whether he was angry at the doctor responsible (she is suing the hospital) the protagonist admits that, given the chance, she would not want to give up her new life and female identity.
  • So typical of most of Jack Chalker's Gender Bender works (given his tendency to subordinate Different for Girls to The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body) that only the exceptions are notable, like Joe de Oro from the River of Dancing Gods series, who never accepts being changed from a barbarian hero into a tree nymph.
    • An interesting variation occurs in Jack Chalker's Well World series: All new arrivals on the titular Well World are transformed into one of the native species (and frequently Gender Bent as well.) This is usually followed by a Sense Freak and/or Showing Off the New Body when they wake up in their new forms and eventually leads to an epiphany that they now regard their new body as their natural form.
    • Played straight in Chalker's The Identity Matrix: The protagonist embraces becoming a woman partially because it gets her the attention she's always craved and partially because the Government Conspiracy knowingly played upon that desire when they messed with her head.
    • Averted in Chalker's The Four Lords of the Diamond series. In each of the books, the main character has his brain pattern imprinted on four prisoners, each being sent to a different planet in the Warden Diamond Penal Colony. One of the bodies is that of a female. Fortunately for the protagonist, he is going to a planet that has the strange property of switching the minds of two people when they sleep with each other (in the literal sense). He jumps at the first opportunity to get himself back into a male body, and never looks back —even though this inevitably blows his cover.
  • The Land of Oz books have Tip. The Marvelous Land of Oz stars a boy named Tip who works for an evil witch named Mombi. Near the end, it's revealed that Tip is actually the lost Princess Ozma. She was Raised as the Opposite Gender in order to prevent people from finding her. Tip is very against the idea of being turned into a girl and wants to stay a boy, but once he's transformed back into Ozma he shows no discomfort at being a girl. Ozma is completely content with being female and develops a Pseudo-Romantic Friendship with Dorothy.
  • In Orlando: A Biography, the title character sums it up: "Praise God, I'm a woman!"
  • In Princess Holy Aura, after Steve becomes acclimated to being a girl, Holly finds changing back into Steve gives her severe body dysphoria, so only does so at times of the most urgent need (such as explaining the whole thing to the other Maidens' parents, or when she picks up a creepy male stalker on a walk home). She also takes great pains to explain to people that, though she started out as Steve, she now considers herself to be Holly in every way that matters. (This is at least in part to try to defang some of the creepiness inherent in a story concept that involves a 35-year-old man hanging out with a bunch of teenaged girls.)
    • It nearly gives Holly a Heroic BSoD when an adversary offers to let her go back to her old male self if she'll join his side, and she explicitly admits for the first time, even to herself, that she doesn't want to go back to being Steve.
  • Andrew Jackson Libby, a character from several of Robert A. Heinlein's works, had his gender changed to female when he was resurrected, when it's discovered that he had both male and female sex chromosomes. He changes his name to Elizabeth Andrew Jackson Libby Long, and tells anyone and everyone that he's much happier as a woman.
  • Ultimately averted in The Warlock Of Strathearn. The main character turns himself into a woman because he falls in love with a lesbian. This works out very well for awhile, and he enjoys many aspects of being a woman. Eventually, though, after his lover dies, he begins to experience the not-so-good parts of being a woman, and begins to want to be a man again. However, his powers aren't working anymore, and he has to make a deal with someone to change him back into a man. He turns out to like different qualities of being either gender.
  • In The Wheel of Time after Balthamel is resurrected in the body of a Borderland woman he comes to accept his new life as a woman. His/her appetite for sex and women is not lessened in the slightest, the gender change does however broaden his interests and provide him a wealth of new assets.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Doctor Who, it's a bit strange. Time Lords can routinely change genders via regeneration, but they also change personalities, which means their feelings towards their old and current selves can change quite dramatically from one incarnation to the next. When a Time Lord only known as "The General" regenerated from man to woman, they didn't seem uncomfortable in their male form but instantly remarked that they much preferred being female once the shift was done. The Doctor too, instantly felt quite pleased when they discovered that they had regenerated from Peter Capaldi to Jodie Whittaker. The Master, whose attitude towards women has always been somewhat disdainful, embraces their new persona Missy with gusto.
  • Star Trek: Voyager. In "Warlord", would-be planetary dictator Tiernan does a Grand Theft Me on Innocent Flower Girl Kes as he's dying. His followers aren't happy that their fearsome leader is now a cute alien female, but Tiernan finds the change quite useful, and not only because of Kes' psychic powers. He even announces a political marriage to his Puppet King, then strongly implies to his squicked-out wife that he'd be quite interested in a threesome.
    Mythology 
  • Downplayed by Tiresias from Classical Mythology, who angered Hera after hitting a pair of copulating snakes with a stick, killing the female, so she transformed him into a woman for seven years during which time he had children. Reasons vary on why he was changed back depending on the source (ranging from leaving the next pair of mating snakes he encounters alone to killing a male snake), but he returns to being a man (averting the First Law of Gender Bending in the process). Later, when Zeus and Hera are having an argument about whether men or women enjoy sex more (each taking the opposite sex stance), they go to Tiresias for his unique perspective of experiencing it from both sides. Tiresias claims "of ten parts a man enjoys one only" (in other words, saying a woman enjoys it ten times as much), supporting Zeus' All Women Are Lustful argument. This angers Hera who blinds him, while Zeus consoles him by giving him the gift of prophecy, turning him into the Trope Maker for Blind Seer. Downplayed because he never says whether he prefers being a man or a woman, but does admit that he liked the sex better.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Downplayed in Dragon magazine's "The Ecology of the Sheet Ghoul". The story's Villain Protagonist is a greedy miser who becomes a sheet phantom upon dying, and like any, seeks a human host to transform into a Sheet Ghoul. Eventually, he succeeds by slaying a female thief who tries to rob his house. He's a little irked at first upon finding himself in a woman's body, but then he figures, "Eh, better than nothing" and goes about his business. Being, by that point, an undead monstrosity that no longer had any biological functions (such as a sex drive) probably meant that it didn't make a lot of difference.

    Theatre 
  • Played with in John Lyly's Gallathea. After presenting as males for the bulk of the play and falling in love, both Gallathea and Phillida are revealed to each other, and the rest of the characters at the end of the play. Still in love, Venus pities them and declares that one of the maidens (which one is not revealed) will become a man for real so that they can be together.

    Video Games 
  • In the Nintendo Switch port of Undertale, Mad Dummy gains a new form as Mad Mew Mew upon possessing a discarded Mew Mew Kissy Cutie doll, which is portrayed analogously to a gender transition (even switching from "they/them" pronouns to "she/her"). After doing so, she readily accepts this as her ideal and fulfilling self, with later dialogue (both in this port and in her minor appearance in the later Xbox One port) emphasizing how much better she feels in this explicitly female form compared to her prior androgynous one.

    Visual Novels 
  • Shouko Aihara from Gakuen Saimin Reido. He is originally a male bully and playboy known as Akira Aihara. As a revenge by the protagonist whom he used to bully, he is hypnotized into crossdressing and receiving breast implants. Though he tries to resist, Akira is then hypnotized again to act more feminine and gets his sexual orientation twisted. Afterwards, he falls in love with the protagonist, changes his name to Shouko, voluntarily takes female hormones offered by the protagonist, and eventually chooses to undergo sex change surgery.
  • Almost every playable character in Gender Bender DNA Twister Extreme ends up feeling this way (the one exception is Stephenie/Stephan, who was also the first female to male transformation in the game- canonically, she goes back to being a woman after the end of her arc and is seen in both her male and female forms in subsequent arcs), and it's even pointed out by the characters responsible in certain paths. Good thing too, since the gender-flipping turns out to be irreversible. A cure is discovered eventually, but by that time none of the characters who were affected by the initial accident are interested in going back to being male.
  • Mice Tea has Felicia, a trans woman very deeply and firmly in the closet at the outset of the story who still goes by Felix in her public and private lives, but after drinking the titular transformative beverage she undergoes a shift in her body that more closely aligns with her actual gender, in addition to animal characteristics. While shocked and greatly unsettled at first, she quickly comes to grips with the reality of her situation and gradually grows to accept it, ultimately realizing it's what she's always wanted. Notably, regardless of what path and story the player choses to pursue, Felicia still comes out one way or another by the end of all of them.
    • Zig-zagged with Gavin, who ends up drinking a "sugar & spice" altered tea on Felicia's route and undergoing a gender change of his own. He's quite upset at first and is desperate for his old body back, but once he figures out how to reverse the changes he ends up switching back and forth occasionally as he realizes he quite enjoys the experience. He still identifies as male and uses both he/him pronouns and his same name regardless of which gender he's presenting as, except when presenting femme at work whereupon he goes by Gabby. He's also highly apologetic when he accidentally bumps into Felicia in public when he's in "Gabby" mode, saying that he feels guilty about doing something like it for fun when there are people who do it for more legitimate reasons.

    Webcomics 
  • The emperor from Beyond the Veil embraces this trope mere minutes after changing genders. It's implied issues with a new body were never a big concern and she takes her second-in-command as her new lover (having never found a worthy one as a man) before going back to trying to conquer the universe.
  • Played straight in Cheer! (the spinoff comic of The Wotch) when Jo, the only one of the the transformed cheerleaders who knows she used to be a boy, freely admits that she and her friends were all troubled as boys and are all much happier as girls, though she still cries when she discovers that no one remembers her former male self's Moment of Awesome. The other three jocks-turned-cheerleaders have so far averted this trope, since they don't appear to remember the past.
  • Played with a great deal in The Dragon Doctors, since there are a great deal of gender benders in it. It's all over the map, ranging from genuine gender dysphoria to total acceptance and everything in between.
  • Used sparingly in El Goonish Shive despite all of the constant Gender Benders:
    • Justin specifically rejects the idea even though it would make him sexually compatible with the object of his unrequited affection.
    • It's touching in Vlad/Vladia's case. There's nothing kinky about her accepting the change. The transformation humanized them, instead of just giving a Gender Bender to their original monstrous form. For the first time in her whole life normal people aren't terrified by the sight of her, so she's willing to accept any form provided it's human, which her old, male form decidedly was not. And given that her one attempt to use her supposed shapeshifting powers was a painful, near-death experience she's not about to experiment even given the chance.
    • Elliot initially had no interest in remaining female for long and considered his gender-bending Power Incontinence distasteful. However, upon finding aspects of his magic he liked (flying around as a superheroine and ogling his Goth form in a mirror) he's grown to accept the female forms to the point of being worried that he might lose them if magic changes. Tedd at one point theorizes that Elliot would partly have to fulfil this trope to stop getting spells that involve or interact with turning into a woman (not enjoying being a female more than being a male, but finding things to enjoy about being a female).
    • Tedd is a straight example. He likes this form of shapeshifting because his androgynous face becomes an advantage while close enough to Tedd's own form and he likes to feel attractive. Once this problem became moot it was revealed that "Freaky Friday" Flip is #37 on his fetish list. Later strips established he's actually genderfluid, he just didn't know the term.
    • Ellen states she doesn't suffer gender dysphoria and wouldn't want to be male (though there are hints that the Loss of Identity associated with Opposite Sex Cloning Angst was a sore point until she got a new set of memories).
  • Played with in The Good Witch: Angel is fond of using magic spells to force these sorts of second law declarations out of her brother as a form of torment. Played straight with Angel herself, though.
  • The older T-Girls of Jet Dream all come to the first form of acceptance at varying rates. However, teen T-Girl Cookie Jarr was an awkward young lad transformed into a knockout of a girl. She is quickly excited by the possibilities of being an extremely attractive and enthusiastically bisexual girl, even voicing a desire to remain female instead of taking a hypothetical antidote to Virus-X. ("It's the Love-In Generation, Harmony! And I was being Left-Out! But a chick can play with Jacks AND Jills! Double the Hills, Dig!")
  • Apparently played straight, then averted with Julius of Key To Her Heart, mainly because being female allows him to have a relationship with Nadia, who is a lesbian. However, after a talk on the subject matter, and how they love each other regardless, he asks if they might have straight sex from time to time, which in addition to other moments, suggest that he's doesn't prefer either gender over the other, and only really stays female because Nadia prefers it.
    • Also played straight with his mom (who took to her mode-locking to female with gusto) but averted with his dad, who is very much a manly badass-type who does not take well to his gender-changing. He has come to enjoy it for sex, but he's always male apart from that.
  • Subverted in Misfile: Several aspects of Ash's life are better in the reality where he's a girl (most obviously girl Ash reconnected with her Missing Mom) and the alteration lead him to meet his love interest Emily. Yet Ash still vehemently tries to go back to being a boy, even if it means that all the good things achieved in the meantime disappear. Keeping a firm grasp of "his" male identity remains top priority over all else.
  • In MSF High, Keiri sees that people enjoy it after she changes them so that they'll be less likely to change back when the nightly reset button hits.
  • Mocked in one strip of Murry Purry Fresh and Furry; the parody TF comic boils down to "Boys are hideous and live bleak, miserable lives; girls (and boys turned girls) are pretty and have perfect lives with no problems".
  • Averted in The Order of the Stick when Durkon helps Roy to break the curse of the Belt of Masculinity/Femininity he was forced to equip to save himself and Elan from assassins. Durkon asks Roy if he's sure he wants to go back to being a man, and, while Roy does admit that the experience of being a woman ultimately wasn't as bad as he was expecting it to be, he still identifies as a man and, thus, wants to go back to having the body of a man as soon as possible.
  • Out-of-Placers leaves it ambiguous: while Kass says she accepts her change (which came with an accompanying change of species) fairly quickly Matriarch Vislet believes Kass actually hasn't even begun to deal with it and her premature "acceptance" is just another way of avoiding dealing with it.
  • Variation 1 shows up in Sailor Sun, though it seems less like grudging acceptance than flat-out surrender to hear Bay describe it. (Naturally, it's immediately followed by a Snap Back due to amnesia, proving the first law takes precedence.)
  • The Wotch positively loves this trope, with four jocks-turned-cheerleaders (who later got a spinoff comic), a male teacher turned Asian girl student and an Innocent Bystander-turned-Perky Female Minion, amongst others. There's even a variation where a woman turned centaur decides she prefers that form as well. Special mention goes to a couple who keeps swapping bodies and gender as a Running Gag, and it's the girl, not the boy, who expresses an interest in trying the other gender again recreationally.

    Web Original 
  • This is pretty much the second staple of amateur Gender Bender fiction after Different for Girls. Case in point: Literotica. About the only stories that avoid this are the ones that use a male-to-female Gender Bender for Break the Haughty, and even those sometimes go for a Happy Ending by way of this.
  • This, but for species rather than gender, is essentially the 54th law of 'Morphic Transformation. (Yeah, there are a lot of them.
  • Geraldine is about a young man who's turned into a woman against his will in some unexplained way. After a decade of assimilating to the point of dating, becoming a famous model, and becoming the leader of France, the man turns back on his wedding day. He then ends up with his best (girl) friend instead.
  • Artist Ian Samson does a lot of gender-bending work, much of which plays with this trope. Link of The Legend of Zelda succumbs to the Second Law a few times in his work, whether becoming a fairy or forced to stay in the form of a Gerudo.
  • In the Paradise setting, humans are randomly, permanently changed into Funny Animals (with some experiencing a gender-change at the same time). A number of stories follow the journey of gender-changed characters as they come to accept and then enjoy their new (usually female) gender. Some stories take this a notch further into Third Law of Gender-Bending territory.
  • In the SCP Foundation, Agent Diogenes has had their sex changed so many times by magical artifacts that, in addition to appearing very androgynous, they have comfortably taken on an agender identity. Diogenes refuses to pick either, state what their biological sex even is at this point and also goes for an entirely unsexed presentation.
  • Take A Lemon: Pretty much inevitable once Marsh realizes she'd received the memories of her alternate universe Spear Counterpart instead of an actual Gender Bender.
  • The main characters in Whateley Academy play this trope across the entire spectrum. It doesn't hurt that for most of them being turned female was a side effect to gaining the superpowers which make them some of the most attractive and powerful people on the planet. (It's also completely and utterly impossible for them to change back, period.) Still, the degree of acceptance tends to be directly contingent upon the degree to which each character was (knowingly or unknowingly) transgender in the first place.

    Western Animation 
  • Futurama:
    • In "Bend Her", Bender pretends to be "Coilette", a fembot from Robonianote  in order to compete in fembots' events in the Robolympics. After winning five gold medals, he finds that sex testing is mandatory, so he has the Professor switch his "testosteroil" with "femmzoil", intending to switch back after the test. Instead, Bender enjoys the ensuing fame far too much to care if it's as a fembot sex symbol. He only changes back because "Coilette" started a relationship with Calculon, and faking "her" death was seen as necessary to break it off.
    • In "Neutopia", a sexless alien first takes away everyone's gender, then when asked to restore them gets everyone backwards. The now-male Leela, Amy, and LaBarbara struggle to save the sinking Planet Express business, while the feminized men have fun being girls and goofing off. When the "guys" force the "girls" to make a swimsuit calendar, they go along with it a lot more happily than the real women did earlier. Despite all this, the men go back to their original sex with zero protests when the opportunity comes up (except for Scruffy, who came in late).
  • In Mary Shelley's Frankenhole, Victor gives himself female genitalia but is extremely hesitant when Elizabeth tries to treat him to stereotypically feminine things. He later acts traditionally feminine to date Dracula, but that was only so he could screw him over.

    Real Life 
  • Two rare conditions (5ARD or 17BHDD) can cause chromosomal males to develop around puberty rather than before birth. Some people with these conditions come to identify with their "new" gender.
  • Gender-affirming care is care meant to help transgender people live as themselves in age-appropriate ways. Children socially transition (with no chemical or surgical interventions), younger teenagers take puberty blockers to buy time for a decision, older teenagers and adults take hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for their desired puberty, and adults who aren’t satisfied with the effects of hormones can then take surgical or therapeutic procedures to further edit the body. Justified in that nearly everyone who’d be remotely interested in gender-affirming care is transgender already—they tend to appreciate their bodies and minds aligning.
  • Common restriction in regards to those who seek sex reassignment surgery (also known as “bottom surgery”) is to obtain a psychiatrist's approval (or several psychiatrists' approvals) following a lengthy evaluation period before the surgery can be performed. This is nominally intended as a means of enforcing this trope, making sure that the person is likely to be happy after the procedure, rather than come to regret it. In practice, this is often regarded as an institutional method to make them occur as little as possible. In an inversion of this trope, the difficulties in getting surgical interventions are a not insignificant cause of suicide among trans people.


Alternative Title(s): Resigned To Their New Gender, Genderbending Is Enjoyable, Genderbenders Always Adapt

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