An Exploration of the Relations Between Self-Reported Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation in an Online Sample of Cisgender Individuals

Roi Jacobson, Daphna Joel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The present study explored the relations between self-reported aspects of gender identity and sexual orientation in an online sample of 4756 cisgender English-speaking participants (1129 men) using the Multi-Gender Identity Questionnaire and a sexual orientation questionnaire. Participants also labeled their sexual orientation. We found a wide range of gender experiences in the sample, with 38% of the participants feeling also as the “other” gender, 39% wishing they were the “other” gender, and 35% wishing they had the body of the “other” sex. Variability in these measures was very weakly related to sexual orientation, and these relations were gender-specific, being mostly U shaped (or inverted-U shaped) in men and mostly linear asymptotic in women. Thus, in women, feeling-as-a-woman was highest in the exclusively heterosexual group, somewhat lower in the mostly heterosexual group, and lowest in the bisexual, mostly homosexual, and exclusively homosexual groups, which did not differ, and the reverse was true for feeling-as-a-man (i.e., lowest in the exclusively heterosexual group and highest in the bisexual, mostly homosexual, and exclusively homosexual groups). In men, feeling-as-a-man was highest at both ends of the sexual orientation continuum and lowest at its center, and the reverse was true for feeling-as-a-woman. Similar relations were evident also for the other aspects of gender identity. This study adds to a growing body of literature that questions dichotomous conventions within the science of gender and sexuality. Moreover, our results undermine the tight link assumed to exist between sexual and gender identities, and instead posit them as weakly correlated constructs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2407-2426
Number of pages20
JournalArchives of Sexual Behavior
Volume47
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2018

Keywords

  • Bisexuality
  • Gender identity
  • Sexual orientation

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