, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 155-163

Familial Aspects of Male Homosexuality

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Abstract

Research has generally supported the existence of familial–genetic factors for male sexual orientation, but has not shed much light on the specific nature of those influences. Gay men with gay brothers provide the opportunity to examine several hypotheses. Sixty-six men, representing 37 gay male sibling pairs, completed questionnaires assessing behavior on various measures including childhood and adult gender nonconformity, timing of awareness of homosexual feelings, self-acceptance, and the quality of family relationships. Consistent with prior findings using twins, gay brothers were similar in their degree of childhood gender nonconformity, suggesting that this variable may distinguish etiologically (e.g., genetically) heterogeneous subtypes. The large majority of gay men with brothers knew about their own homosexual feelings before they learned about their brothers' homosexual feelings, suggesting that discovery of brothers' homosexuality is not an important cause of male homosexuality.