Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 89–96 | Cite as

Childhood indicators of male homosexuality

  • Frederick L. Whitam


Questionnaires were administered to 206 male homosexuals and 78 male heterosexuals. The most important aspects of the questionnaire dealt with six “childhood indicators” of later adult homosexuality: (1) interest in dolls, (2) crossdressing, (3) preference for company of girls rather than boys in childhood games, (4) preference for company of older women rather than older men, (5) being regarded by other boys as a sissy, (6) sexual interest in other boys rather than girls in childhood sex play. Significant differences were found between homosexuals and heterosexuals with respect to all six indicators. Moreover, it was found that the stronger one's homosexual orientation the greater was the number of childhood indicators. It is concluded that there are behavioral aspects related to one's sexual orientation which may begin to emerge early in childhood.

Key words

homosexuality childhood feminization sexual orientation homosexual subculture sexual identity gender role behavior 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corp 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frederick L. Whitam
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyArizona State UniversityTempeUSA

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