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Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 3–18 | Cite as

Parental background of male homosexuals and heterosexuals

  • Marvin Siegelman
Article

Abstract

Conflicting descriptions of parents of homosexuals compared to those of heterosexuals have typically been reported. The most frequently noted pattern for homosexuals includes a close-binding, controlling mother and a detached, rejecting father. Because the majority of studies have examined emotionally disturbed patients, and have contained significant methodological and sampling inadequacies, the present research evaluated nonclinical homosexual and heterosexual groups by means of systematically developed objective questionnaires. The data for the total samples indicated that homosexuals (N= 307) described their fathers and mothers as more rejecting and less loving and that they were less close to their fathers than heterosexuals (N= 138). For subsamples of homosexuals and heterosexuals scoring low on neuroticism, however, no significant differences in family relations were found. Differences in parent similarity were also considerably reduced when homosexuals and heterosexuals low on neuroticism were compared. Homosexuals low on femininity, in addition, reported negative behavior for fathers but not for mothers. The importance of considering the general level of adjustment among nonclinical subjects and the degree of masculinity of subjects was supported by the findings in the present study. The overall results, in addition, cast serious doubt on the prevalent assumption that negative parental behavior, especially of mothers, plays a critical role in differentiating the backgrounds of homosexuals and heterosexuals.

Keywords

Critical Role Total Sample General Level Social Issue Parental Behavior 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marvin Siegelman
    • 1
  1. 1.School of EducationThe City CollegeNew YorkUSA

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