Skip to main content

Comparative Data of Childhood and Adolescence Molestation in Heterosexual and Homosexual Persons


In research with 942 nonclinical adult participants, gay men and lesbian women reported a significantly higher rate of childhood molestation than did heterosexual men and women. Forty-six percent of the homosexual men in contrast to 7% of the heterosexual men reported homosexual molestation. Twenty-two percent of lesbian women in contrast to 1% of heterosexual women reported homosexual molestation. This research is apparently the first survey that has reported substantial homosexual molestation of girls. Suggestions for future research were offered.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  • Bell, A. P., Weinberg, M. S., and Hammersmith, S. K. (1981). Sexual Preference: Its Development in Men and Women, Indiana University Press, Bloomington.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bradford, J., Ryan, C., and Rothblum, E. D. (1994). National Lesbian Health Care Survey: Implications for mental health care. J. Consult. Clin. Psychol. 62: 228-242.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cameron, P., and Cameron, K. (1995). Does incest cause homosexuality? Psychol. Rep. 76: 611-621.

    Google Scholar 

  • Condy, S. R., Templer, D. I., Brown, R., and Veaco, L. (1987). Parameters of sexual contact of boys with women. Arch. Sex. Behav. 16: 379-394.

    Google Scholar 

  • Doll, L. S., Joy, D., Bartholow, B. N., Harrison, J. S., Bolan, G., Douglas, J. M., Saltzman, L. E., Moss, P. M., and Delgado, W. (1992). Self-reported childhood and adolescent sexual abuse among adult male homosexual and bisexual men. Child Abuse Negl. 16: 855-864.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dunbar, T. M. (1995). Women who sexually molest female children. Dissert. Abstr. Int., Sec. B: Sci. Engng. 56(3-B): 1687.

    Google Scholar 

  • Groth, A. N., and Birnbaum, H. J. (1978). Adult sexual orientation and attraction to underage persons. Arch. Sex. Behav. 7: 175-181.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gundlach, R. H. (1977). Sexual molestation and rape reported by homosexual and heterosexual women. J. Homosex. 2: 367-384.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hall, J. M. (1996). Pervasive effects of childhood sexual abuse in lesbians' recovery from alcohol abuse. Subst. Use Misuse 31: 225-239.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hislop, J. R. C. (1995). Female child molesters. Dissert. Abstr. Int. 1995-95013-106. UMI AAM9514340.

  • Hunter, J. A., Lexier, L. J., Goodwin, D. W., and Browne, P. A. (1993). Psychosexual, attitudinal, and developmental characteristics of juvenile female sexual perpetrators in a residential treatment setting. J. Child Fam. Studies 2: 317-326.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jaffe, A. C., Dynneson, L., and ten Bensel, R.W. (1975). Sexual abuse of children: An epidemiological study. Am. J. Disease Child. 129: 689-692.

    Google Scholar 

  • Petrovich, M., and Templer, D. I. (1984). Heterosexual molestation of children who later became rapists. Psychol. Rep. 54: 810.

    Google Scholar 

  • Simari, C. G., and Baskin, D. (1982). Incestuous experiences within homosexual populations: A preliminary study. Arch. Sex. Behav. 11: 329-344.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Tomeo, M.E., Templer, D.I., Anderson, S. et al. Comparative Data of Childhood and Adolescence Molestation in Heterosexual and Homosexual Persons. Arch Sex Behav 30, 535–541 (2001).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

  • childhood molestation
  • adult sexual orientation
  • female pedophiles