Childhood Sex-Typed Behavior and Sexual Orientation: A Conceptual Analysis and Quantitative Review

J. Michael Bailey*, Kenneth J. Zucker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

474 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article reviewed research examining the association between childhood sex-typed behavior and sexual orientation. Prospective studies suggest that childhood cross-sex-typed behavior is strongly predictive of adult homosexual orientation for men; analogous studies for women have not been performed. Though methodologically more problematic, retrospective studies are useful in determining how many homosexual individuals displayed cross-sex behavior in childhood. The relatively large body of retrospective studies comparing childhood sex-typed behavior in homosexual and heterosexual men and women was reviewed quantitatively. Effect sizes were large for both men and women, with men's significantly larger. Future research should elaborate the causes of the association between childhood sex-typed behavior and sexual orientation and to identify correlates of within-orientation differences in childhood sex-typed behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-55
Number of pages13
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Volume31
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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