Opposite-sex twins and adolescent same-sex attraction

Peter S. Bearman, Hannah Brückner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The etiology of human same-sex romantic attraction is generally framed in terms of (1) social influences, (2) genetic influences, or (3) hormonal influences. In this article, we show that adolescent males who are opposite-sex twins are twice as likely as expected to report same-sex attraction; and that the pattern of concordance (similarity across pairs) of same-sex preference for sibling pairs does not suggest genetic influence independent of social context. Our data falsify the hormone transfer hypothesis by isolating a single condition that eliminates the opposite-sex twin effect we observe - the presence of an older same-sex sibling. We also consider and reject a speculative evolutionary theory that rests on observing birth-order effects on same-sex orientation. In contrast, our results support the hypothesis that less gendered socialization in early childhood and preadolescence shapes subsequent same-sex romantic preferences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1179-1205+I
JournalAmerican Journal of Sociology
Volume107
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2002

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adolescent
birth order
evolutionary theory
etiology
socialization
childhood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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Opposite-sex twins and adolescent same-sex attraction. / Bearman, Peter S.; Brückner, Hannah.

In: American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 107, No. 5, 01.03.2002, p. 1179-1205+I.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bearman, Peter S. ; Brückner, Hannah. / Opposite-sex twins and adolescent same-sex attraction. In: American Journal of Sociology. 2002 ; Vol. 107, No. 5. pp. 1179-1205+I.
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