Original Paper

Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 237-247

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Is Homosexuality a Paraphilia? The Evidence For and Against

  • James M. CantorAffiliated withSexual Behaviours Clinic, Law and Mental Health Program, Centre for Addiction and Mental HealthDepartment of Psychiatry, University of Toronto Email author 


Whether homosexuality should be described as one among many paraphilic sexual interests or an altogether different dimension of sexual interest has long been discussed in terms of its political and social implications. The present article examined the question instead by comparing the major correlates and other features of homosexuality and of the paraphilias, including prevalence, sex ratio, onset and course, fraternal birth order, physical height, handedness, IQ and cognitive neuropsychological profile, and neuroanatomy. Although those literatures remain underdeveloped, the existing findings thus far suggest that homosexuality has a pattern of correlates largely, but not entirely, distinct from that identified among the paraphilias. At least, if homosexuality were deemed a paraphilia, it would be relatively unique among them, taxonometrically speaking.


Fraternal birth order Handedness Neuroanatomy Neuropsychology Physical height Sexual orientation