August 1981

Childhood Sexual Identity, Childhood Religiosity, and 'Homophobia' as Influences in the Development of Transsexualism, Homosexuality, and Heterosexuality

Author Affiliations

From South Beach Psychiatric Center, Brooklyn, NY (Dr Hellman); the Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science and Psychology (Dr Green), the Computing Center (Dr Gray), and the Long Island Research Institute (Ms Williams), State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1981;38(8):910-915. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1981.01780330068007

• We have studied the interaction between boyhood crossgender behavior, "homphobia," and religiosity in men raised as Catholics who, during adulthood, considered themselves transsexual, homosexual, or heterosexual. The sample consisted of 43 transsexual, 78 homosexual, and 43 heterosexual subjects matched for age, race, educational level, and economic status. The transsexual men recalled the most "feminine" behavior during boyhood, followed by the homosexual men. The heterosexual group was most "homophobic," followed by the transsexuals. "Homophobia" positively correlated with religiosity among adult transsexuals and heterosexuals. Transsexuals, recalling childhood, perceived their parents as being more religious than did the homosexuals. At intermediate levels of "femininity," greater "homophobia" scores were associated with more transsexual characteristics. These data support the thesis that early developmental aspects of sexual identity, and later concerns over homosexuality that are partly of a religious derivative, may contribute to a transsexual outcome.