Saturday, May 19, 2012

Gender nonconformity and homosexuality

In the comments of an earlier post, someone wrote that there is very little relationship between masculine or feminine behavior and sexual orientation. From a 2003 review:
There are two main correlates of sexual orientation that point to an early developmental genesis. The first is the relationship between childhood gender nonconformity and adult sexual orientation (Bailey and Zucker 1995), which is generally considered one of the strongest of all developmental associations in humans (Bem, 1996). Homosexual men typically recall having been feminine boys, whilst homosexual females were masculine girls. Prospective work confirms this relationship for men (Green, 1987; Zucker and Bailey, 1995). In their meta-analysis, Bailey and Zucker (1995) report large effect sizes for the degree of this association (d=1.31 for men, d=0.96 for women). The gender nonconforming behaviours appear to be specific to childhood sex-typed activities and interests, rather than playmate preferences. Given evidence for an early formative role for androgens in the development of such behaviours, these data are consistent with neurohormonal differentiation theory (Berenbaum and Hines, 1992; Berenbaum and Snyder, 1995). These large heterosexual–homosexual differences in childhood sex atypicality also extend to adulthood, when assessed by “gender-diagnosticity” measures (the extent of male versus female typicality of interests). On these measures (as well as on traditional masculinity–femininity scales; Haslam 1997) gay men are typically more feminine and lesbian women more masculine in adulthood than their same-sex heterosexual peers (Lippa, 2000; Lippa and Arad, 1997).

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

From Bailey's Northwestern homepage:

"Furthermore, the average gay man recalls being more feminine than the average heterosexual man. This link is probably weaker for females–most masculine girls probably grow up to be heterosexual adults–but lesbians tend to remember being particularly masculine.

"Although the link between childhood gender nonconformity and adult homosexuality is well established (especially for men), much less research has been done on adult gender nonconformity. I have focused a great deal of attention on this topic.

"One of my first publications in this general area showed that with respect to sexual psychology, gay men tend to be like heterosexual men, and lesbians like heterosexual women. This is interesting because it shows that the developmental systems that cause sexual orientation to sexually differentiate are different from those that cause, say, interest in casual sex to sexually differentiate.

"But there are other ways that gay men and lesbians may differ from same-sex heterosexuals. Stereotypes about homosexual people include sex-atypical occupational and recreational interests, superficial aspects of behavior such as movement and speech, and in the case of lesbians, physical appearance. My lab is examining the validity of these stereotypes. If they are true, on average, it will then be important to determine whether they represent innate or social causation (or both). The idea that people's sexual orientations can sometimes be accurately judged by listening to them say a few (nonsexual) words is fascinating and potentially important in illuminating the origins of sexual orientation and sex differences in articulation patterns. (Here is a link to an interesting page about gay articulation patterns.)

"In general our lab is confirming the stereotypes, on average."

Bailey and others have established that there is a "gay voice" but can't say positively if it's a social manifestation or what.

Just the other day another bit of research claimed to confirm that even controlling for style of haircut and so forth, shown pictures of gay men and straight men, people were able to distinguish between gay and straight at a rate more accurate than chance.

It would be interesting to put the question to Peter Frost. I know from his blog that he's done a lot of work on facial recognition and differentiation.

Anonymous said...

I've known a lot of homosexuals in my life. It comes with living in America's large urban centers I guess. And only a small minority of those fit the stereotypes of gay men as "feminine" and gay women as "masculine".


Of course that's not incompatible with "gay men are typically more feminine and lesbian women more masculine in adulthood than their same-sex heterosexual peers", since the minority of gay people who do behave in a gender-bending fashion will skew the overall average. But the great majority of gay people around you are not recognizable on the basis on their (non sex life) behavior.


Just the other day another bit of research claimed to confirm that even controlling for style of haircut and so forth, shown pictures of gay men and straight men, people were able to distinguish between gay and straight at a rate more accurate than chance.


There is no proposition which cannot be "confirmed" with research. I saw a study not too long ago which "confirmed" that black men are more physicslly attractive than white men.

Anonymous said...

Stereotypes about homosexual people include sex-atypical occupational and recreational interests, superficial aspects of behavior such as movement and speech, and in the case of lesbians, physical appearance.


Actually the stereotypes about homosexual men also extend to their physical appearance.

"movement and speech" - yes, the stereotype that gay men talk with a high-pitched lisp and walk around with their wrist bent at ninety degrees. It has an element of truth to it - I've seen gay men who fitted this stereotype. (I'm referring to people I knew to be gay and not to my own suspicions) Still, most gay men are not "queens" and most gay women are not "butch".

And of course plenty of men who appear somewhat feminine and women who appear somewhat masculine are not in the least bit homosexual.

Anonymous said...

shown pictures of gay men and straight men, people were able to distinguish between gay and straight at a rate more accurate than chance.



Then I guess we can assume that they were not shown pictures of Kristanna Loken and Rock Hudson as examples of gay people.

Anonymous said...

Homosexual men have certain facial features and it's easy for me to distinguish between gay and straight men. It's just something in the eyes. Something that shows that they are disconnected to the opposite sex. It gives them away.

But by the same token would I consider men's rights activists, masculinists and men in the manosphere homosexual since they are disconnected to women? No. They dislike feminism and modern Western women. They don't like immodest oversexualized women.

I've met a lot of misogynists. How many of them are homosexual? It would be interesting to do a link between misogyny and male homosexuality.

Then I guess we can assume that they were not shown pictures of Kristanna Loken and Rock Hudson as examples of gay people.

These people are from 50-60 years ago before women's sexual liberation. Lesbians (and to a lesser extent gays) are on average more feminist and hate the patriarchy. A lot of them are career women. Look at lesbian Hilary Rosen and her hatred for feminine stay-at mothers/wives like Ann Romney.

Anonymous said...

Any links between misogyny and male homosexuality?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps back then they were more gender confirming but less so now. Heterosexual men are on average less feminist than homosexual men these days (check all of the blogs talking how women suck... how many of them are homos?) and thereby more masculine. Heterosexual women are feminist but not as much as lesbian women and feminist heterosexual women have less children than more traditional feminine ones so the gene pool corrects itself.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:"Then I guess we can assume that they were not shown pictures of Kristanna Loken and Rock Hudson as examples of gay people."

The identification rate was greater than chance, not 100%.Hence, this comment is meaningless.

Anonymous:"I've known a lot of homosexuals in my life. It comes with living in America's large urban centers I guess. And only a small minority of those fit the stereotypes of gay men as "feminine" and gay women as "masculine"."

I grew up in San Francisco and have a Gay Brother, and I can truthfully say that the majority of known homosexuals of my acquaintance have demonstrated, to varying degrees, homosexual mannerisms. E.g., most of the Lesbians display masculine qualities (very short hair, wearing male clothing, etc) and most of the Gay men display feminine traits (interest in fashion, feminine vocal traits, etc).

Anonymous said...

The identification rate was greater than chance, not 100%.Hence, this comment is meaningless.


No, your comment is meaningless, as is the "study" in question. All of these idiotic studies in which a sample of people look at a sample of photographs and make judgements on them are utterly pointless. They are not scientific in any sense.


I grew up in San Francisco and have a Gay Brother


Sure you did.

Anonymous said...

These people are from 50-60 years ago before women's sexual liberation.



Kristanna Loken is 32 years old.


Homosexual men have certain facial features and it's easy for me to distinguish between gay and straight men. It's just something in the eyes. Something that shows that they are disconnected to the opposite sex. It gives them away.


You're a moron.

Anonymous said...

Heterosexual men are on average less feminist than homosexual men these days (check all of the blogs talking how women suck... how many of them are homos?)



How did this garbage about homosexual men just loving women while real heterosexual men loath them get started? There's no idea so stupid and counter-factual that some people won't swallow it.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:"No, your comment is meaningless, as is the "study" in question. All of these idiotic studies in which a sample of people look at a sample of photographs and make judgements on them are utterly pointless. They are not scientific in any sense."

Oh, dear, I think that nasty science has hurt your feelings.Reality is tough, isn't it?

Anonymous:"Sure you did."

Yes, dear boy/girl/other, I did. In fact, I even grew up in an apartment that was down the hall from a Lesbian couple. A very nice couple, too.

Anonymous said...

"I grew up in San Francisco and have a Gay Brother, and I can truthfully say that the majority of known homosexuals of my acquaintance have demonstrated, to varying degrees, homosexual mannerisms. E.g., most of the Lesbians display masculine qualities (very short hair, wearing male clothing, etc) and most of the Gay men display feminine traits (interest in fashion, feminine vocal traits, etc).

Growing up and workind all my life in the BAy Area of CA I too have spent time around many gays, and I have worked with gays before it was common for them to be out.

Yes, they occupy of range of mannerisms, behavior, interests, but I don't see how any fairly observant person couldn't see that gay men are much more fem (or perhaps its' more descriptive to say "much less masculine") in mannerisms, many times including vocal tones and devlivery OR much more fem in their interests OR both than most straight men.

Yeah, there are outliers, but they exist in everything.

The lesbian is more masculine(or less fem) in her dress, her interests, and her general body movements.

heartiste said...

anon:
"But the great majority of gay people around you are not recognizable on the basis on their (non sex life) behavior"

wrong. gaydar is real:

http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-05-gaydar-automatic-accurate-women-psychologists.html

and from personal observation of gays around me, i can tell you that your statement is utter bs. most people can tell who is gay or not just by looking at them and watching their mannerisms. try listening to chicks gossip about this or that guy or girl who "may be that way". how do they know? they know because they see them in action. their mannerisms give them away.

gay and lesbian tics are very noticeable, and very distinguishable from the hetero norm. for gays, it's the sing-song voice, the watery eyes, the clenched-butt walk, the crossed-legged bent over sit, and a whole host of other traits. for lesbians, you've got the obvious bulldykes who wear baggy jeans, cropped hair cuts, flannel, and walk like lumberjacks, their shoulders rocking rhythmically, just back from a day's work felling sequoias. lipstick lezzies tend to be harder to identify, but they aren't nearly as common as their butch sisters, and still have giveaways like their manly walk and that peculiar way their teeth align like little chiclets (see jodie foster for a case study of this toothy lesbo phenomemon).

i bet 100 straight people could identify the gays and lesbians in a crowd just be observing them to within 80% accuracy. are there straight-acting gay exceptions to this rule? sure. they're called bisexuals.

Anonymous said...

How did this garbage about homosexual men just loving women while real heterosexual men loath them get started?

It's not garbage. It's TRUE. Homosexual men are blind to the stupidity and the monstrosity that is the modern Western woman.

Gays support feminism to a larger degree than heterosexual men and that's because homos don't have to deal with these feminist twits in their relationships.

Look around you... how many religious patriarchs or even people in the manosphere are homosexuals?

Gays support feminism because they don't have to tolerate women directly. They don't have to swallow their crap. It would drive a man insane and it has turned a lot of straight men into sexists.

Anonymous said...

Gays and feminists are no more a strong alliance than blacks and Hispanics are buddies. For political expedience, they find themselves supporting similar candidates, and that's it. All fo that is subject to change at a moment's notice.

Anonymous said...

Comparing gays and women to black and hispanics is a bad comparison.

They are an alliance. Gays support fatherless (two mommies) and motherless (two daddies) families. Feminists also support fatherless (single mothers) and motherless (single daddies) families. Neither support the father-mother-children model. Both hate the patriarchal religious family. Both hate seeing a man, a woman and their children.

Anonymous said...

If science discovered tomorrow that homosexuality was caused in the womb, gay men would lobby against parents doing anything about it (including abortion), and feminists would be their enemies.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous above - Should it matter? Feminists don't believe that fetuses are human yet they cry about females being aborted in China and India. Huge contradiction there.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous above - Should it matter? Feminists don't believe that fetuses are human yet they cry about females being aborted in China and India. Huge contradiction there.

Was just pointing out that political allies don't remain so for long. There are inconsistencies in just about everyone's political stances--it always depends on whose ox is being gored.

Once a "minority" is identified as such (either legally or by the press), they'll always find something to "cry about."