Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Sexual orientation and family dysfunction: In my previous post, I showed that homosexual and bisexual men, compared to straights, were much more likely to have experienced intense sexual contact as children. Looking at the same survey of 760 men, I observed that these men witnessed much more parental violence and were hit much more by parents (i.e., physical blows, kicking, throwing to the ground). Respondents gave answers ranging from "never" (=1) to "more than 20 times per month" (=5). Here are the means:


Mean score for parents hitting each other

Straight men 1.07
Homosexual men 1.75
Bisexual men 1.47
Unsure 1.29


Mean score for being hit by parents

Straight men 1.36
Homosexual men 2.10
Bisexual men 1.74
Unsure 1.57


For both types of violence, homosexual men averaged around a two which is the score for "1 to 5 times per month." The typical experience for straight men was to experience and witness little physical abuse. The responses given by bisexual men and those who are not sure about their sexuality are somewhere between straights and gays.

These findings, in combination with the earlier post on early sexual contact, suggest that non-heterosexual men are much more likely to grow up in disturbed families.

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