Data provided by 24 adult men, 20 heterosexual and four homosexual, concerning parental, religious, geographic and explicit sexual innuendos, comments and childhood experiences are presented and discussed in an attempt to consider some of the multiple factors impacting the development of sexual orientation. All of the study subjects were normally developed males and were presumed to have been exposed to normal male levels of androgens prenatally. Since the experiences and perceptions reported are conditioned by a unique social environment that has been superimposed on a normal male typical prenatal CNS differentiation, the experiences of these men suggest that affirmation of masculinity, and openness in the realm of social and sexual interaction, may enhance the formation of a heterosexual orientation. Conversely, sexually explicit feedback with critical implications occurred commonly among the homosexual men, which they interpreted as implying an insufficient masculinity. Both innate factors and social influences impact sexual orientation; in some instances males appear to have been homosexual from early childhood onward, while in other cases there appears to have been some degree of conditioning and choice in sexual orientation. Regarding the intersexed male, this suggests that social interactions, particularly those provided by parents, have a major influence on the development of sexual orientation in the child, while all persons involved in these children's lives and particularly those who nurture must be prepared for any sexual orientation that develops.
- Adolescent sexual experience
- Childhood sex play
- Sexual orientation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism