Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 22, Issue 5, pp 461–469 | Cite as

Maternally rated childhood gender nonconformity in homosexuals and heterosexuals

  • J. Michael Bailey
  • Joseph S. Miller
  • Lee Willerman


Homosexual and heterosexual subjects provided self-ratings of childhood gender nonconformity. Additionally, their mother rated them on several adjectives describing childhood behavior, which included words related to gender nonconformity. Male homosexuals were remembered by their mothers as less masculine and more nonathletic. This finding did not appear to be due to a bias in mothers' memories. Though female homosexuals were recalled as more masculine than female heterosexuals, this appeared to reflect retrospective bias, as mothers who knew of their daughters' homosexuality were more likely to rate them as masculine. Both self-rated and maternally rated childhood gender nonconformity made independent contributions in predicting sexual orientation. Within the homosexual samples, maternal and self-ratings of subjects' childhood gender nonconformity failed to correlate significantly.

Key words

homosexuality gender nonconformity sexual orientation 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Michael Bailey
    • 1
  • Joseph S. Miller
    • 1
  • Lee Willerman
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyNorthwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA
  2. 2.University of TexasAustinUSA

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