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Effects of recalled childhood gender nonconformity on adult genitoerotic role and AIDS exposure


The connections between childhood gender nonconformity (assessed by the Freund Feminine Gender Identity Scale, or FGI) and adult genitoerotic role (assessed by a sex history) were examined. The core sample was a group of 106 men who had sex with other men before 1980 and who are currently enrolled in two longitudinal studies of AIDS. Although other workers have cautioned against assuming a priori that childhood gender role is inherently related to adult preferences for particular sexual acts, our data suggest that there is at least a statistical association between these two concepts. In particular, the FGI (and many of its factors and items) are significantly associated with preferences for receptive anal intercourse and, less clearly, with oral-anal contact — but not with oral-genital intercourse or insertive anal intercourse. Suggestions for AIDS prevention and safe-sex awareness are made on the basis of these findings. The data also suggest that in sex research involving homosexual men, the correct genitoerotic role distinction is not insertive vs. receptive behaviors, or even insertive vs. receptive anal intercourse, but receptive anal intercourse vs. all other behaviors.

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Correspondence to James D. Weinrich Ph.D..

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The principal support for the HNRC is provided by NIMH Center grant 5 P50 MH45294 (HIV Neurobehavioral Research Center). Additional support is provided by 5 R01 MH 43298 (Neuropsychiatric Sequelae of HTLV-III Infections), 5 R29 MH45688 (Object-Oriented Simulation of HIV- and CNS/HIV Infection), R01 MH46255 (Psychosocial Moderators of Disease Progression in AIDS), 1 R01 NS27810 (Role of Immune Responsiveness in HIV Encephalopathy), and the Henry M. Jackson Foundation (Psychiatric Natural History Study: Factors Related to Human Immunodeficiency Virus Transmission and Morbidity).

The San Diego HIV Neurobehavioral Research Center (HNRC) group is affiliated with the University of California, San Diego, the Naval Hospital, San Diego, and the San Diego Veterans Administration Medical Center, and includes Igor Grant, M.D., Director; J. Hampton Atkinson, M.D., Co-Director; James D. Weinrich, Ph.D., Center Manager; James L. Chandler, M.D., Joseph L. Malone, M.D., and Charles A. Kennedy, M.D., Co-Investigators Naval Hospital San Diego; J. Allen McCutchan, M.D., P.I. Medical Core; Stephen A. Spector, M.D., P.I. Virology Core; Leon Thal, M.D., P.I. Neurology Core; Robert K. Heaton, Ph.D., P.I. Neuropsychology Core; John Hesselink, M.D. and Terry Jernigan, Ph.D., Co-P.I.s Imaging Core; J. Hampton Atkinson, M.D., P.I. Psychiatry Core; Clayton A. Wiley, M.D., Ph.D., P.I. Neuropathology Core; Richard Olshen, Ph.D. and Ian Abramson, Ph.D., Co-P.I.s Biostatistics Core; Nelson Butters, Ph.D., P.I. Memory Project; Renée Dupont, M.D., P.I. SPECT Project; Thomas Patterson, Ph.D., P.I. Life Events Project; Sidney Zisook, M.D., P.I. Mood Project; Dilip Jeste, M.D., P.I. Psychosis Project; and Hans Sieburg, Ph.D., P.I. Dynamical Systems Project.

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Weinrich, J.D., Grant, I., Jacobson, D.L. et al. Effects of recalled childhood gender nonconformity on adult genitoerotic role and AIDS exposure. Arch Sex Behav 21, 559–585 (1992).

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Key words

  • genitoerotic roles
  • homosexuality
  • childhood gender nonconformity
  • Freund Feminine Gender Identity Scale
  • insertor/insertee
  • anal intercourse