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J Pers Soc Psychol. 1997 Oct;73(4):862-70.

Evidence that male sexual orientation is a matter of degree.

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Department of Psychology, New School for Social Research, New York, New York 10003, USA.


Whether male sexual orientation is best represented by discrete categories or by a continuum has been the focus of much debate. These alternatives were compared in an analysis of 1,138 men's scores on the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 Masculinity-Femininity Scale, an established correlate of male sexual orientation. Mixtures of 2 or 3 latent distributions did not fit the observed distribution of scores better than a single normal distribution, suggesting that the latent variable underlying male sexual orientation is not discrete. Additional taxometric analyses provided convergent support for continuity. The findings were inconsistent with accounts of male sexual orientation that invoke single preponderant causes, whether genetic or environmental, and call some forms of taxonomic theorizing about sexual orientation into question.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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