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Int J Psychol. 2019 Jan 31. doi: 10.1002/ijop.12569. [Epub ahead of print]

Father absence, sociosexual orientation, and same-sex sexuality in women and men.

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Department of Management, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.


A recent evolutionary theory of female sexual fluidity suggests that women may not have sexual orientations in the same sense that men do, and that women's apparent sexual orientation may instead be a byproduct of their sociosexual orientation. One developmental factor that has consistently been shown to influence sociosexual orientation is father absence in childhood. Consistent with the prediction of the theory, the analyses of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) data show that father absence significantly increases women's, but not men's, same-sex sexuality in adulthood, whether it is measured by self identity, sexual behaviour, or romantic attraction. Further consistent with the theory, the association between father absence and same-sex sexuality in women is entirely mediated by their sociosexual orientation.


Heterosexuality; Homosexuality; Sexual fluidity


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