Advertisement

Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 16, Issue 6, pp 475–492 | Cite as

Sexual orientation and boyhood gender conformity: Development of the Boyhood Gender Conformity Scale (BGCS)

  • Stewart L. Hockenberry
  • Robert E. Billingham
Article

Abstract

Two hundred twenty-eight respondents (110 heterosexuals and 118 homosexuals) completed a survey containing a 20-item Boyhood Gender Conformity Scale (BGCS). This scale was largely composed of edited and abridged gender items from Part A of Freund et al.'s Feminine Gender Identity Scale (FGISA) and Whitam's “childhood indicators.” The combined scale was developed in an attempt to obtain a reliable, valid, and potent discriminating instrument for accurately classifying adult male respondents for sexual orientation on the basis of their reported boyhood gender conformity or nonconforming behavior and identity. In addition, 33% of these respondents were administered the original FGIS-A and Whitam inventory during a 2-week test-retest analysis conducted to determine the validity and reliability of the new instrument. All the original items significantly discriminated between heterosexual and homosexual respondents. From these a 13-item function and a 5-item function proved to be the most powerful discriminators between the two groups. Significant correlations between each of the three scales and a very high test-retest correlation coefficient supported the reliability and validity assumption for the BGCS. The conclusion was made that the five-item function (playing with boys, prefering boys' games, imagining self as sports figure, reading adventure and sports stories, considered a “sissy”) was the most potent and parsimonious discriminator among adult males for sexual orientation. It was similarly noted that the absence of masculine behaviors and traits appeared to be a more powerful predictor of later homosexual orientation than the traditionally feminine or cross-sexed traits and behaviors.

Key words

sexual orientation gender identity homosexuality gender nonconformity 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Bell, A. P., Weinberg, M. S. and Hammersmith, S. K. (1981).Sexual Preference Indiana University Press, Bloomington.Google Scholar
  2. Bieber, I., Dain, H. J., Dince, P. R., Drellich, M. G., Grand, H. G., Gondlach, R. H. Kremer, M. W., Rifkin, A. H., Wilber, C. B., and Bieber, T. B. (1962).Homosexuality: A Psychoanalytic Study Basic Books, New York.Google Scholar
  3. Billingham, R. E., and Hockenberry, S. L. (1987). Gender conformity, masturbation fantasy, infatuation, and sexual orientation: A discriminant analysis investigation.J. Sex. Res. 23: 368–374.Google Scholar
  4. Blanchard, R., McConkey, J. G., Roper, V., and Steiner, B. W. (1983). Measuring physical aggressiveness in heterosexual, homosexual, and transsexual males.Arch. Sex. Behav. 12: 511–524.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Freund, K., and Blanchard, R. (1983). Is the distant relationship of fathers and homosexual sons related to the sons' erotic preference for male partners, or to the sons' atypical gender identity, or both?J. Homosex. 9: 7–25.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Freund, K., Nagler, E., Langevin, R., Zajac, A., and Steiner, B. (1974). Measuring feminine gender identity in homosexual males.Arch. Sex. Behav. 3: 249–260.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Freund, K., Langevin, R., Satterberg, J., and Steiner, B. (1977). Extension of the gender identity scale for males.Arch. Sex. Behav. 6: 507–519.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Green, R. (1974).Sexual Identity Conflict in Children and Adults Basic Books, New York.Google Scholar
  9. Green, R. (1976). One-hundred ten feminine and masculine boys: Behavioral contrasts and demographic similarities.Arch. Sex. Behav. 5: 425–446.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Green, R. (1979). Childhood cross-gender behavior and subsequent sexual preference.Am. J. Psychiat. 136: 106–108.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Green, R. (1985). The gender identity disorder of childhood and later sexual orientation: Follow-up of 78 males.Am. J. Psychiat. 142: 339–341.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Green, R. (1987).The “Sissy Boy Syndrome” and the Development of Homosexuality Yale University Press, New Haven.Google Scholar
  13. Hair, Jr., J. F., Anderson, R. E., Talham, R. L., and Grablowsky, B. J. (1984).Multivariate Data Analysis Macmillan, New York.Google Scholar
  14. Harry, J. (1982).Gay Children Grown-Up: Gender Culture and Gender Deviance Praeger, New York.Google Scholar
  15. Hockenberry, S. L. (1985). Male sexual orientation: The development roles of gender identity, affectional, and erotic cognitions. Unpublished thesis, Indiana University.Google Scholar
  16. Kinsey, A. C., Pomeroy, W. B., and Martin, C. E. (1948).Sexual Behavior in the Human Male W. B. Saunders, Philadelphia.Google Scholar
  17. Ross, M. W. (1980). Retrospective distortion in homosexual research.Arch. Sex. Behav. 9: 523–531.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Saghir, M., and Robins, E. (1973).Male and Female Homosexuality Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore.Google Scholar
  19. Spanier, G. B. (1976). Use of recall data in survey research on human sexual behavior.Soc. Biol. 23: 244–253.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Thompson, N. L., Setiwartz, D. M., McCandless, B. R., and Edwards, D. A. (1973). Parentchild relationships and sexual identity in male and female homosexuals and heterosexuals.J. Consult. Clin. Psychol. 41: 120–127.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Whitam, F. L. (1977). Childhood indicators of male homosexuality.Arch. Sex. Behav. 6: 89–96.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Whitam, F. L. (1980). The prehomosexual male child in three societies: The United States, Guatemala, Brazil,Arch. Sex. Behav. 9: 87–99.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Whitam, F. L., and Mathy, R. M. (1986).Male Homosexuality in Four Societies: Brazil, Guatemala, The Philippines, and the United States. Praeger, New York.Google Scholar
  24. Whitam, F. L., and Zent, M. (1984). A cross-cultural assessment of early cross-gender behavior and familial factors in male homosexuality.Arch. Sex. Behav. 13: 427–439.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stewart L. Hockenberry
    • 1
  • Robert E. Billingham
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Applied Health ScienceIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA

Personalised recommendations