Maternally rated childhood gender nonconformity in homosexuals and heterosexuals

Michael Bailey*, Joseph S. Miller, Lee Willerman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Homosexual and heterosexual subjects provided self-ratings of childhood gender nonconformity. Additionally, their mother rated them on several adjectives describing childhood behavior, which included words related to gender nonconformity. Male homosexuals were remembered by their mothers as less masculine and more nonathletic. This finding did not appear to be due to a bias in mothers' memories. Though female homosexuals were recalled as more masculine than female heterosexuals, this appeared to reflect retrospective bias, as mothers who knew of their daughters' homosexuality were more likely to rate them as masculine. Both self-rated and maternally rated childhood gender nonconformity made independent contributions in predicting sexual orientation. Within the homosexual samples, maternal and self-ratings of subjects' childhood gender nonconformity failed to correlate significantly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)461-469
Number of pages9
JournalArchives of Sexual Behavior
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 1993


  • gender nonconformity
  • homosexuality
  • sexual orientation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)

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