Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 73–81

Age of Puberty and Sexual Orientation in a National Probability Sample


  • Anthony F. Bogaert
    • Department of Community Health SciencesBrock University
    • Department of PsychologyBrock University
  • Chris Friesen
    • Psychology Graduate ProgramYork University
  • Panagiota Klentrou
    • Department of Physical EducationBrock University

DOI: 10.1023/A:1014083218773

Cite this article as:
Bogaert, A.F., Friesen, C. & Klentrou, P. Arch Sex Behav (2002) 31: 73. doi:10.1023/A:1014083218773


The relations between sexual orientation and age of puberty in both men and women were examined in a national probability sample of the United States. The sample was the National Health and Social Life Survey (E. O. Laumann, J. H. Gagnon, R. T. Michael, & S. Michaels, 1994), which contains 3432 cases. Gay/bisexual men reported an earlier age of puberty (e.g., age of first pubic hair) relative to heterosexual men, but lesbian/bisexual women did not report a different age of puberty (i.e., age of menarche) than heterosexual women. These results confirm findings from prior research examining age of puberty using nonrepresentative samples and add to a body of literature suggesting that gay/bisexual men may score, on average, in the female-typical direction on certain sex-dimorphic physical and developmental characteristics.

pubertysexual orientationhypothalamusprobability samplingmenarche

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2002