Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 11, Issue 6, pp 451–478

Childhood play activities of male and female homosexuals and heterosexuals


  • Edward A. Grellert
  • Michael D. Newcomb
    • Department of PsychologyUniversity of California
  • P. M. Bentler
    • Department of PsychologyUniversity of California

DOI: 10.1007/BF01542472

Cite this article as:
Grellert, E.A., Newcomb, M.D. & Bentler, P.M. Arch Sex Behav (1982) 11: 451. doi:10.1007/BF01542472


This study examined the differences in childhood play behavior reported by adult male homosexuals (N =198) and heterosexuals (N =198) and those reported by female homosexuals (N =198) and heterosexuals (N =198). Two checklists with a total of 58 sports, games, and play activities were assembled: one for ages 5–8 and the other for ages 9–13. These were administered to the four samples. Monotonicity analysis (a type of factor analysis) revealed four scales within each checklist that were statistically reliable in each of the four samples. Scale and item mean comparisons revealed large significant differences between heterosexual males and females, male homosexuals and heterosexuals, and female homosexuals and heterosexuals. A majority of homosexuals reported significant degrees of cross-sex behavior in childhood play. Favorite play activities, age trends, play-related attitudes, and parent-child interactions were also examined.

Key words

homosexualitylesbianismplay preferencessex differences

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1982