Top, Bottom, and Versatile Orientations among Adolescent Sexual Minority Men

David A. Moskowitz*, Andrés Alvarado Avila, Ashley Kraus, Jeremy Birnholtz, Kathryn Macapagal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Sexual role preference or self-label (i.e., top, versatile, or bottom) has been well studied in samples of sexual minority men (SMM) but lacks research among adolescent sexual minority men (ASMM). In response, data were collected from 302 ASMM (15–18 years old), measuring sexual self-label, relationship and sexual experience, sexually explicit media use, use of geosocial networking applications, penis size satisfaction, and gender atypicality. Results showed there was no significant difference in the distribution of sexual position self-identity in ASMM when compared with data from published, adult samples. A model that associated sexual socialization factors with adopting any self-label was significant, with greater number of partners, previous geosocial networking app use, and more relationship experience being positive predictors of having a label. Additionally, a model that tested the convergent validity between self-label and enacted sexual behaviors was significant. Both receptive and insertive sex enactments were highly correlated with corresponding labels. Lastly, gender atypicality and penis size satisfaction were significant predictors of sexual position self-identity. Data from our study supports sexual self-labeling occurring before adulthood, during adolescence for SMM. Furthermore, it shows that socialization factors (e.g., partner frequency, using apps) are important in the development of sexual position self-identity in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)643-651
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of sex research
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology
  • Gender Studies
  • History and Philosophy of Science
  • Sociology and Political Science


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