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Arch Sex Behav. 2016 Apr;45(3):651-9. doi: 10.1007/s10508-015-0541-1. Epub 2015 Jun 6.

Stability of Self-Reported Same-Sex and Both-Sex Attraction from Adolescence to Young Adulthood.

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Department of Psychology, Texas State University, UAC 253C, 601 University Drive, San Marcos, TX, 78666, USA.
Department of Psychology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA.
Department of Psychology, Pennsylvania State University-Altoona, Altoona, PA, USA.


This study examined how sexual attraction varied across age, gender of participant, and gender of romantic partner, from adolescence to early adulthood. Comparisons between same-sex and both-sex attracted individuals were of particular interest. Using the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (AddHealth), we examined the responses of participants who reported experiencing same-sex attractions or both-sex attractions at least once within four waves (n = 1889). Results indicated that same-sex attractions became more stable over time, whereas both-sex attraction remained unstable even into adulthood. Compared with males, females were less stable in same-sex attraction, but more stable in both-sex attraction. The majority of people who reported same-sex attraction did not report having a same-sex romantic partner before they entered adulthood, and those who reported a same-sex romantic partner were more likely to maintain their same-sex attraction than those who did not. As males got older, the gender of their romantic partner tended to become more consistent with their sexual attraction. However, for females, the consistency between the gender of their romantic partner and sexual attraction did not change over time.


Bisexuality; Gender; Romantic relationship; Same-sex attraction; Sexual orientation; Transition to adulthood

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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