Heritable Factors Influence Sexual Orientation in Women

J. Michael Bailey*, Richard C. Pillard, Michael C. Neale, Yvonne Agyei

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

195 Scopus citations

Abstract

Homosexual female probands with monozygotic cotwins, dizygotic cotwins, or adoptive sisters were recruited using homophile publications. Sexual orientation of relatives was assessed either by asking relatives directly, or, when this was impossible, by asking the probands. Of the relatives whose sexual orientation could be confidently rated, 34 (48%) of 71 monozygotic cotwins, six (16%) of 37 dizygotic cotwins, and two (6%) of 35 adoptive sisters were homosexual. Probands also reported 10(14%) nontwin biologic sisters to be homosexual, although those sisters were not contacted to confirm their orientations. Heritabilities were significant using a wide range of assumptions about both the base rate of homosexuality in the population and ascertainment bias. The likelihood that a monozygotic cotwin would also be homosexual was unrelated to measured characteristics of the proband such as self-reported history of childhood gender nonconformity. Concordant monozygotic twins reported similar levels of childhood gender nonconformity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-223
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of general psychiatry
Volume50
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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