It appears that intense sexual stimulation in early childhood has some correlation with homosexuality (in many cases). So far scientists have only looked at the possible connection between child sexual abuse (CSA) and homosexuality.
However, we think a more complete picture would be provided if people were asked about intense sexual stimulation at an early age - whatever the circumstances. After all, supranormal stimulation doesn't necessarily entail the participation of another person (one might stumble upon porn, or some particularly stimulating method of masturbation, oneself, or even be unduly frightened in connection with harmless masturbation due to religious views of surrounding adults). And supranormal stimulation certainly doesn't necessarily entail a person old enough to meet the definition of CSA (could easily be a not-much-older sibling).
If the determining factor is becoming hypersensitive to sexual cues (which is a hypothesis because straight men who get hooked on porn find they keep looking for a more and more intense "kick," and often end up viewing gay porn among other "shocking" - to them - themes), then it would perhaps pay to ask broader questions.
Despite the limitations of current research, these findings may be of interest to some visitors:
The impact of sexual abuse on sexual identity formation in gay men.
J Child Sex Abus. 2008;17(3-4):359-76.
Mental Health and Behavioral Medicine Program, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02118, USA. email@example.com
Emerging data suggests that as children, gay males have an increased risk for physical and sexual abuse. Anecdotal evidence suggests that a significant subset of children abused by clergy identify as gay as adults. However, we know very little about the impact of clergy-perpetrated sexual abuse in childhood on the development and psychosocial functioning of gay men. This article describes the incidence of childhood abuse in the lives of gay men and the probable impact of clergy-perpetrated sexual abuse. In the treatment of gay men sexually abused as children, including those abused by clergy, providers should use a normative frame for gay identity development such as the Homosexual Identity Formation Model. This treatment model, highlighted with case material, is also discussed.
Childhood sexual experiences and adult health sequelae among gay and bisexual men: defining childhood sexual abuse.
Arreola S, Neilands T, Pollack L, Paul J, Catania J.
J Sex Res. 2008 Jul-Sep;45(3):246-52.
HIV Research Section, San Francisco Department of Public Health, San Francisco, CA 94102, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
Gay and bisexual men carry the burden of HIV infections in the United States and have high rates of childhood sexual abuse that predict HIV and other health outcomes. This study examined differential effects of forced, consensual, and no childhood sexual experiences (CSE) on health outcomes among a probability sample of adult men who have sex with men (MSM). The forced sex group had the highest levels of psychological distress, substance use, and HIV risk. There were no differences in rates of depression and suicidal ideation between the consensual- and no-sex groups. The consensual- and forced-sex groups had higher rates of substance use and transmission risk than the no-sex group. The forced-sex group, however, had significantly higher rates of frequent drug use and high-risk sex than the consensual group. Findings suggest that forced CSEs result in a higher-risk profile than consensual or no childhood sexual experiences, the kind of risk pattern differs between forced and consensual childhood sexual experiences, and the underlying mechanisms that maintain risk patterns may vary. It is important to clarify risk patterns and mechanisms that maintain them differentially for forced and consensual sex groups so that interventions may be tailored to the specific trajectories related to each experience.
Men's self-definitions of abusive childhood sexual experiences, and potentially related risky behavioral and psychiatric outcomes.
Child Abuse Negl. 2008 Jan;32(1):83-97. Epub 2007 Nov 26.
Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion, Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, United States.
OBJECTIVES: To estimate how many heterosexual and gay/bisexual men self-define abusive childhood sexual experiences (CSEs) to be childhood sexual abuse (CSA) and to assess whether CSA self-definition is associated with risky behavioral and psychiatric outcomes in adulthood. METHODS: In Philadelphia County, 197 (66%) of 298 recruited men participated in a telephone survey. They were screened for CSEs and then asked if they self-defined abusive CSEs to be CSA; they also were asked about risk behavior histories and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression symptoms. RESULTS: Of 43 (22%) participants with abusive CSEs, 35% did not and 65% did self-define abusive CSEs to be CSA ("Non-Definers" and "Definers," respectively). Heterosexual and gay/bisexual subgroups' CSA self-definition rates did not significantly differ. When self-definition subgroups were compared to those without CSEs ("No-CSEs"), Non-Definers had lower perceived parental care (p=.007) and fewer siblings (p=.03), Definers had more Hispanics and fewer African Americans (p=.04), and No-CSEs had fewer gay/bisexual men (p=.002) and fewer reports of physical abuse histories (p=.02) than comparison groups. Non-Definers reported more sex under the influence (p=.001) and a higher mean number of all lifetime sex partners (p=.004) as well as (only) female sex partners (p=.05). More Non-Definers than Definers reported having experienced penetrative sex as part of their CSA (83% vs. 35%, p=.006). Different explanations about self-definition were provided by subgroups. CONCLUSIONS: Many men with abusive CSEs do not self-define these CSEs to be CSA, though not in a way that differs by sexual identity. The process by which men self-define their abusive CSEs to be CSA or not appears to be associated not only with self-explanations that differ by self-definition subgroup, but also with behavioral outcomes that impart risk to Non-Definers.
Two hypotheses on the causes of male homosexuality and paedophilia.
J Biosoc Sci. 2006 Nov;38(6):745-61. Epub 2005 Oct 4.
The Galton Laboratory, University College London.
This note considers two hypotheses on the causes of homosexuality and paedophilia in men, viz. the hypotheses of maternal immunity and of postnatal learning. According to the maternal immune hypothesis, there is progressive immunization of some mothers to male-specific antigens by each succeeding male fetus, and there are concomitantly increasing effects of anti-male antibodies on the sexual differentiation of the brain in each succeeding male fetus. An attempt is made to assess the status of this hypothesis within immunology. Knowledge of the properties of anti-male antibodies is meagre and there has been little direct experimentation on them, let alone on their effects on the developing male fetal brain. Moreover until the relevant antigens are identified, it will not be possible to test mothers of male homosexuals or paedophiles for the presence of such antibodies. Yet until this experimentation has been done, it would seem premature to regard the hypothesis as more than a very provisional explanatory tool. The evidence in relation to the postnatal learning hypothesis is quite different. There is an abundance of data suggesting that male homosexuals and paedophiles report having experienced more sexual abuse (however defined) in childhood (CSA) than do heterosexual controls. The question revolves round the interpretation of these data. Many (though not all) of these studies are correlational and thus subject to the usual qualifications concerning such data. However, there are grounds for supposing that some of the reports are veridical, and there is support from a longitudinal study reporting a small but significant increase in paedophilia in adulthood following CSA. To summarize: most boys who experience CSA do not later develop into homosexuals or paedophiles. However, the available evidence suggests that a few do so as a result of the abuse.
Gay and bisexual men's age-discrepant childhood sexual experiences.
Stanley JL, Bartholomew K, Oram D.
J Sex Res. 2004 Nov;41(4):381-9.
Department of Psychology, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada V5A 1S6. email@example.com
This study examined childhood sexual abuse (CSA) in gay and bisexual men. We compared the conventional definition of CSA based on age difference with a modified definition of CSA based on perception to evaluate which definition best accounted for problems in adjustment. The sample consisted of 192 gay and bisexual men recruited from a randomly selected community sample. Men's descriptions of their CSA experiences were coded from taped interviews. Fifty men (26%) reported sexual experiences before age 17 with someone at least 5 years older, constituting CSA according to the age-based definition. Of these men, 24 (49%) perceived their sexual experiences as negative, coercive, and/or abusive and thus were categorized as perception-based CSA. Participants with perception-based CSA experiences reported higher levels of maladjustment than non-CSA participants. Participants with age-based CSA experiences who perceived their sexual experience as non-negative, noncoercive, and nonabusive were similar to non-CSA participants in their levels of adjustment. These findings suggest that a perception-based CSA definition more accurately represents harmful CSA experiences in gay and bisexual men than the conventional age-based definition.
Childhood sexual abuse among homosexual men. Prevalence and association with unsafe sex.
Lenderking WR, Wold C, Mayer KH, Goldstein R, Losina E, Seage GR 3rd.
J Gen Intern Med. 1997 Apr;12(4):250-3.
Department of Biostatistics, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.
Of 327 homosexual and bisexual men participating in an ongoing cohort study pertaining to risk factors for HIV infection who completed a survey regarding history of sexual abuse, 116 (35.5%) reported being sexually abused as children. Those abused were more likely to have more lifetime male partners, to report more childhood stress, to have lied in the past in order to have sex, and to have had unprotected receptive anal intercourse in the past 6 months (odds ratio 2.13; 95% confidence interval 1.15-3.95). Sexual abuse remained a significant predictor of unprotected receptive anal intercourse in a logistic model adjusting for potential confounding variables.
Self-reported childhood and adolescent sexual abuse among adult homosexual bisexual men.
Doll LS, Joy D, Bartholow BN, Harrison JS, Bolan G, Douglas JM, Saltzman LE, Moss PM, Delgado W.
Child Abuse Negl. 1992 Nov-Dec;16(6):855-64.
Division of HIV/AIDS, Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, GA.
>From May 1989 through April 1990, 1,001 adult homosexual and bisexual men attending sexually transmitted disease clinics were interviewed regarding potentially abusive sexual contacts during childhood and adolescence. Thirty-seven percent of participants reported they had been encouraged or forced to have sexual contact before age 19 with an older or more powerful partner; 94% occurred with men. Median age of the participant at first contact was 10; median age difference between partners was 11 years. Fifty-one percent involved use of force; 33% involved anal sex. Black and Hispanic men were more likely than white men to report such sexual contact. Using developmentally-based criteria to define sexual abuse, 93% of participants reporting sexual contact with an older or more powerful partner were classified as sexually abused. Our data suggest the risk of sexual abuse may be high among some male youth and increased attention should be devoted to prevention as well as early identification and treatment.