Birth order and sibling sex ratio in two samples of dutch gender-dysphoric homosexual males

Ray Blanchard, Kenneth J. Zucker, Peggy T. Cohen-Kettenis, Louis J.G. Gooren, J. Michael Bailey

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Two studies were undertaken to confirm the previous findings that homosexual men in general tend to have a later than expected birth order and that extremely feminine homosexual men also tend to have a higher than expected proportion of brothers (i.e., a higher sibling sex ratio). Subjects in Study 1 were Dutch, adult and adolescent, biological male patients with gender dysphoria (persistent and recurrent desires to belong to the opposite sex), who were undergoing treatment with feminizing hormones. These comprised 83 patients who reported sexual attraction to other males (the homosexual group) and 58 who reported sexual attraction to females or equal attraction to males and females (the non-homosexual group). Subjects in Study 2 were Dutch adolescent male patients at another hospital. The homosexual group consisted of 21 gender-dysphoric homosexual teenagers referred to a gender identity clinic for children and adolescents. The control group were 21 adolescent males referred to the child psychiatry department of the same hospital for reasons other than gender identity disorder, homosexuality, or transvestism. These were individually matched to the homosexual subjects on age and sibship size. In both studies, the homosexual group had a significantly later average birth order than the comparison group. In Study 1, the homosexual group had a significantly elevated sibling sex ratio; this was not tested in Study 2 because of its small sample size. These studies add to the mounting evidence that late birth orders are common to all homosexual samples and that elevated sibling sex ratios are an additional characteristic of extremely feminine ones.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)495-514
Number of pages20
JournalArchives of sexual behavior
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1996


  • Birth order
  • Gender dysphoria
  • Gender identity disorder
  • Homosexuality
  • Sibling sex ratio
  • Transsexualism

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