Does Childhood Sexual Abuse Influence Later Sexual Orientation?
"A 2001 study in
the Archives of Sexual Behavior utilizes a non-clinical sample of 942 adults to compare rates of childhood molestation between
heterosexuals and non-heterosexuals.
The authors found that 46% of homosexuals and 22% of lesbian women reported
homosexual molestation in childhood. This compared to childhood homosexual molestation rates of only 7% of heterosexual men
and 1% of heterosexual women.
The authors review substantial previous research which also found a link between
homosexuality and a history of childhood sexual abuse. Their own research is apparently the first survey, the authors say,
"that has reported substantial homosexual molestation of girls." The female victims had a mean age of 13 at the
time of the same-sex abuse, while the comparable group of abused boys had a mean age of 11.
The sample was
especially useful for research purposes because it did not focus on dissatisfied homosexuals in therapy; in fact, 97% of the
men were participating in a gay pride celebration at the time they participated in the survey interview.
did the molestation cause--or contribute to--the respondents' own homosexuality some years later in adulthood? The question
is particularly intriguing because 68% of the male study subjects and 38% of the females did not identify as homosexual until
after the molestation."
--Tomeo, M., Templer, D., Anderson, S., Kotler, D., "Comparative Data of
Childhood and Adolescence Molestation in Heterosexual and Homosexual Persons." Archives of Sexual Behavior Vol. 30(3),
pp. 535-541, 2001.