Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Homosexuality and older brothers

It seems that the best predictor of male homosexuality is the number of older brothers. This is confirmed in this study that controls for non-biological factors.

Biological versus nonbiological older brothers and men's sexual orientation

Anthony F. Bogaert

PNAS; July 11, 2006, v. 103, no. 28 10771-10774

Abstract: The most consistent biodemographic correlate of sexual orientation in men is the number of older brothers (fraternal birth order). The mechanism underlying this effect remains unknown. In this article, I provide a direct test pitting prenatal against postnatal (e.g., social/rearing) mechanisms. Four samples of homosexual and heterosexual men (total n = 944), including one sample of men raised in nonbiological and blended families (e.g., raised with half- or step-siblings or as adoptees) were studied. Only biological older brothers, and not any other sibling characteristic, including nonbiological older brothers, predicted men’s sexual orientation, regardless of the amount of time reared with these siblings. These results strongly suggest a prenatal origin to the fraternal birth-order effect.

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