Familial aggregation of female sexual orientation

J. Michael Bailey*, Deana S. Benishay

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine whether female homosexuality is familial and whether it is cofamilial with male homosexuality. Method: Subjects included 84 homosexual and 79 heterosexual female probands recruited through newspaper advertisements. Probands were asked about their siblings' sexual orientations and were asked for permission to contact siblings to confirm their reports. Results: The authors were able to contact 60% of eligible siblings, and the information they provided about their sexual orientations confirmed that probands' reports were highly accurate. Homosexual probands had a significantly higher proportion of homosexual sisters according to four criteria for rating siblings' sexual orientations. Homosexual probands also had a higher proportion of homosexual brothers; however, this difference was not significant. Conclusions: female homosexuality appears to be familial, further research is required to resolve the question of whether female and male homosexuality are cofamilial.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)272-277
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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