Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 23, Issue 5, pp 565–577 | Cite as

Opposite sex-linked behaviors and homosexual feelings in the predominantly heterosexual male majority

  • Nathaniel McConaghy
  • Neil Buhrich
  • Derrick Silove


Whether homosexual feelings are distributed categorically or dimensionally remains controversial. In an earlier series of studies, medical students anonymously reported a dimensional distribution of homosexual feelings, the ratio of homosexual to heterosexual feelings in men correlating with opposite sex-linked behaviors in childhood and adolescence, and, in both sexes, with current degree of opposite sex identity. Prevalence of homosexual feelings was markedly higher than that found in nonanonymous studies. In the present investigation, a study of male twins allowed investigation of the findings in 411 educationally more representative subjects. Awareness of some homosexual feelings was reported in adolescence by 20% and currently by 12%. As with medical students, the majority of those who reported some homosexual feelings were predominantly heterosexual, which could be considered to indicate such feelings were distributed dimensionally. Correlations between degree of homosexual feelings and avoidance of contact sport in childhood and adolescence, current wish to be of the opposite sex, and opposite sex identity remained present when subjects with equally bisexual and predominantly homosexual feelings were excluded from analysis. The finding that the majority of men with homosexual feelings are predominantly heterosexual renders implausible the theory that homosexual feelings result from fear of heterosexuality.

Key words

homosexual feelings dimensional sex-linked behaviors predominant heterosexuality bisexuality 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nathaniel McConaghy
    • 1
  • Neil Buhrich
    • 1
  • Derrick Silove
    • 1
  1. 1.School of PsychiatryUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia

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