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Psychiatry & Psychology--General/This question may be based on an outdated idea, but if it isn't...


QUESTION: If people are usually closer with their parent of the opposite gender, are gay people usually closer to their parent of the same gender?

Thank you for your time.


ANSWER: Actually most youngsters are closer to their same-sex parent because that's who they identify more with.  As for homosexuality, the cause is unknown, and while presumably there must be some parental influence, the exact nature is not known.  And even if we had all the background information, it would only be correlational and we would never know about causation for sure.

Sorry there's not a more specific answer to your quite reasonable question, Alexandra.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you for responding so quickly, but I was asking about older children or even adults, regardless of the reason for their sexual orientation.

I was wondering whether the stereotypical "daddy's girl" or, excuse the un-masculine implications, but "momma's boy"-type thing was less common among gay people towards their straight parents.


No, nothing reported in terms of "closeness" or what you next asked about as far as I know.

One study I'm aware of suggested more h'sexuality in boys with dominant mothers and unobtrusive fathers. Another suggested that the causes were complex rather than single. And it's hard to eliminate factors such as opportunity, experimentation, early experiences, and the wish to be or seem "individual" or accepted as a member of an "outgroup."


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Alan Auerbach


Taught psychology for 30 years, authored four textbooks. Specialize in introductory and industrial/organizational psychology, but will tackle wider range of areas.

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