Apostolou, Menelaos (2022). The Direct Reproductive Cost of Same-Sex Attraction: Evidence from Two Nationally Representative U.S. Samples. Archives of Sexual Behavior.
Same-sex attraction is associated with a direct reproductive cost, i.e., a reduced number of biological children. The current study aimed to assess this cost for different forms of sexual attraction (i.e., only attracted to opposite sex, mostly attracted to opposite sex, equally attracted to both sexes, mostly attracted to same-sex, only attracted to same-sex), using two large nationally representative datasets (N = 15,208) from the USA. The results indicated that same-sex attraction was associated with substantial loss in direct reproductive output. More specifically, significant differences between the different types of same-sex attraction were found: Exclusive and mostly homosexual orientation identities were associated with the highest direct reproductive cost, while mostly attracted to opposite sex orientation and bisexuality identities were associated with lower direct reproductive costs. In addition, bisexual women did not differ significantly from exclusively heterosexual women in terms of their reproductive output. The implications of these findings for the evolutionary origins of same-sex attraction are further discussed.
Archives of Sexual Behavior