Sibship Size, Sibling Sex Ratio, Birth Order, and Parental Age in Homosexual and Nonhomosexual Gender Dysphorics

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Abstract

This study investigated whether demographic variables previously reported to differentiate ordinary homosexuals from heterosexuals also differentiate gender-dysphoric homosexuals from gender-dysphoric persons with other sexual orientations. Subjects were outpatients aged 16 and older who were referred by physicians to a specialty clinic for the assessment of gender identity disorders. The subjects were divided into three groups: 204 homosexual women, 193 homosexual men, and 273 non homosexual men; the last category included men sexually attracted to females, to both sexes, and to neither sex. Demographic data on patients families of origin were extracted from their clinical charts and from structured interview protocols. A multiple-range test at the .05 level showed that the homosexual men had significantly more siblings than the homosexual women, who, in turn, had significantly more siblings than the non homosexual men. The sibling sex ratio of the homosexual men, 131 brothers per 100 sisters, was significantly higher than the sex ratio of live births for the population as a whole (106 men per 100 women; p=.01); the sibling sex ratios of the other groups did not differ from the expected value. The homosexual men had a significantly later birth order than the non homosexual men (p=.004); the homosexual women, who fell in between, did not differ significantly from either male group. There were no between-groups differences in paternal or maternal age at the time of the subject's birth. The results concerning sibling sex ratio and birth order are consistent with previous findings for homosexual men.

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