Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 29, Issue 5, pp 463–478

Fraternal Birth Order and Sexual Orientation in Pedophiles

Authors

  • Ray Blanchard
    • Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of Toronto
    • CAMH—Clarke Division
  • Howard E. Barbaree
    • Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of Toronto
  • Anthony F. Bogaert
    • Health Studies ProgramBrock University
  • Robert Dickey
    • Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of Toronto
  • Philip Klassen
    • Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of Toronto
  • Michael E. Kuban
    • Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
  • Kenneth J. Zucker
    • Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of Toronto
Article

DOI: 10.1023/A:1001943719964

Cite this article as:
Blanchard, R., Barbaree, H.E., Bogaert, A.F. et al. Arch Sex Behav (2000) 29: 463. doi:10.1023/A:1001943719964

Abstract

Whether homosexual pedophiles have more older brothers (a higher fraternal birth order) than do heterosexual pedophiles was investigated. Subjects were 260 sex offenders (against children age 14 or younger) and 260 matched volunteer controls. The subject's relative attraction to male and female children was assessed by phallometric testing in one analysis, and by his offense history in another. Both methods showed that fraternal birth order correlates with homosexuality in pedophiles, just as it does in men attracted to physically mature partners. Results suggest that fraternal birth order (or the underlying variable it represents) may prove the first identified universal factor in homosexual development. Results also argue against a previous explanation of the high prevalence of homosexuality in pedophiles (25% in this study), namely, that the factors that determine sexual preference in pedophiles are different from those that determine sexual preference in men attracted to adults. An alternative explanation in terms of canalization of development is suggested.

birth ordercanalizationhomosexualitypedophiliaphallometrysexual orientationsibling sex ratio

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2000