Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 73–81

Age of Puberty and Sexual Orientation in a National Probability Sample

  • Anthony F. Bogaert
  • Chris Friesen
  • Panagiota Klentrou


The relations between sexual orientation and age of puberty in both men and women were examined in a national probability sample of the United States. The sample was the National Health and Social Life Survey (E. O. Laumann, J. H. Gagnon, R. T. Michael, & S. Michaels, 1994), which contains 3432 cases. Gay/bisexual men reported an earlier age of puberty (e.g., age of first pubic hair) relative to heterosexual men, but lesbian/bisexual women did not report a different age of puberty (i.e., age of menarche) than heterosexual women. These results confirm findings from prior research examining age of puberty using nonrepresentative samples and add to a body of literature suggesting that gay/bisexual men may score, on average, in the female-typical direction on certain sex-dimorphic physical and developmental characteristics.

puberty sexual orientation hypothalamus probability sampling menarche 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anthony F. Bogaert
    • 1
    • 2
  • Chris Friesen
    • 3
  • Panagiota Klentrou
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Community Health SciencesBrock UniversitySt. CatharinesCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyBrock UniversitySt. CatharinesCanada
  3. 3.Psychology Graduate ProgramYork UniversityTorontoCanada
  4. 4.Department of Physical EducationBrock UniversityOntarioCanada

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