Sexual Orientation and Childhood Gender Nonconformity: Evidence From Home Videos

Department of Psychology, Northwestern University, 2029 Sheridan Road, Swift Hall #102, Evanston IL 60208, USA.
Developmental Psychology (Impact Factor: 3.21). 02/2008; 44(1):46-58. DOI: 10.1037/0012-1649.44.1.46
Source: PubMed


Homosexual adults tend to be more gender nonconforming than heterosexual adults in some of their behaviors, feelings, and interests. Retrospective studies have also shown large differences in childhood gender nonconformity, but these studies have been criticized for possible memory biases. The authors studied an indicator of childhood gender nonconformity not subject to such biases: childhood home videos. They recruited homosexual and heterosexual men and women (targets) with videos from their childhood and subsequently asked heterosexual and homosexual raters to judge the gender nonconformity of the targets from both the childhood videos and adult videos made for the study. Prehomosexual children were judged more gender nonconforming, on average, than preheterosexual children, and this pattern obtained for both men and women. This difference emerged early, carried into adulthood, and was consistent with self-report. In addition, targets who were more gender nonconforming tended to recall more childhood rejection.

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    • "This scale measured self-report of perceived gender nonconformity. We used five out of 10 items of the original scale items (i.e., items 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8 in the men's version) (Rieger et al., 2008), which included statements such as " People think I should act more masculine than I do " (for male participants). Equivalent items were included for men and women. "

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