The Relation Between Childhood Gender Nonconformity and Adult Masculinity–Femininity and Anxiety in Heterosexual and Homosexual Men and Women
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Recalled childhood gender nonconformity (CGN) and adult traits—e.g., masculinity–femininity of occupational preferences (MF-Occ), self-ascribed masculinity–femininity (Self-MF), self-reported anxiety—were assessed in an ethnically diverse US convenience sample of California college students and gay pride attendees, including 238 heterosexual men, 127 gay men, 343 heterosexual women, and 197 lesbian women. CGN showed large heterosexual–homosexual and gender differences, with homosexual individuals higher than heterosexual individuals and women higher than men. CGN was significantly associated with both men’s and women’s MF-Occ and Self-MF, both within and across sexual orientations. CGN was associated with self-reported anxiety for men but not for women, a finding true for both heterosexual and gay men, suggesting that CGN had a more negative impact on men than women.
KeywordsChildhood gender nonconformity Femininity Masculinity Gender Personality stability Gender differences Sexual orientation
Special thanks go to Brady Goss and Gabriela Vicente for their conscientious work as research assistants on this project.
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