Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 103–114

Handedness, Sexual Orientation, and Gender-Related Personality Traits in Men and Women

  • Richard A. Lippa

DOI: 10.1023/A:1022444223812

Cite this article as:
Lippa, R.A. Arch Sex Behav (2003) 32: 103. doi:10.1023/A:1022444223812


This study assessed large numbers of heterosexual and homosexual men and women on handedness and gender-related personality traits. Initial analyses employed a dichotomous measure of handedness (right-handed vs. non–right-handed). For men and women combined, homosexual participants had 50% greater odds of being non–right-handed than heterosexual participants, a statistically significant difference. Homosexual men had 82% greater odds of being non–right-handed than heterosexual men, a statistically significant difference, whereas homosexual women had 22% greater odds of being non–right-handed than heterosexual women, a nonsignificant difference. When participants were classified into five graduated categories of handedness, both men and women showed significant homosexual–heterosexual differences in handedness distributions. Within groups, handedness showed a number of weak but statistically significant associations with sex-typed occupational preferences, self-ascribed masculinity, and self-ascribed femininity, but not with instrumentality or expressiveness. Rates of non–right-handedness were virtually identical for heterosexual men and women, suggesting that sex differences in handedness may result from higher rates of homosexuality in men.

handednesssexual orientationsex differencesmasculinityfemininity

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard A. Lippa
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyCalifornia State UniversityFullerton