Will Your Tomboy grow up to be a Lesbian?

Katherine - posted on 07/12/2011 ( 23 moms have responded )





It is well recognised that there consistent differences in the psychological characteristics of boys and girls; for example, boys engage in more 'rough and tumble' play than girls do.

Studies also show that children who become gay or lesbian adults differ in such traits from those who become heterosexual -- so-called gender nonconformity. Research which follows these children to adulthood shows that between 50 to 80 per cent of gender nonconforming boys become gay, and about one third of such girls become lesbian.

Writing in the online journal PLoS ONE, Dr Andrea Burri and Dr Qazi Rahman from Queen Mary's School of Biological and Chemical Sciences report that a shared set of genes and shared set of random environmental factors is partially responsible both for gender nonconformity and female sexual orientation.

The team followed a group of 4,000 British women who were one of a pair of twins. They were asked questions about their sexual attractions and behaviour, and a series of follow up questions about their gender nonconformity. In line with previous research, the team found modest genetic influences on sexual orientation (25 per cent) and childhood gender nonconformity (31 per cent).

Dr Qazi Rahman, co-author of the study, explains: "We found that there is a connection between these mental traits and how sexual orientation develops. One idea is that there is an association between these psychological traits and sexual orientation because they all develop under common biological drivers; like the development of brain regions under the influence of genes and sex hormones."

Dr Rahman adds: "We think environmental factors and genetics drive other mechanisms, like exposure to sex hormones in the womb, to shape differences in gender nonconformity and sexuality simultaneously."

Dr Rahman is mindful that the results may carry the risk of stereotyping, adding: "Stereotypes like 'sissy' or 'mannish' have not been helpful in promoting respect for gay people, and those who don't match those stereotypes may find it hard to accept they are gay or lesbian."

But he believes the team's findings are increasingly important to researchers concerned with the mental health of sexual minorities. Dr Rahman concludes: "We know that gay people who are strongly gender nonconforming report more anxiety and depression symptoms.

"Poor mental health in gay populations is partly due to societal stigma and victimisation. Our results suggest that being gender nonconforming and lesbian comes from 'within'; there is little you can do about it. So gender nonconformity does not cause mental health problems, but it may trigger negative reactions from other people (like parents and peers), leading to mental health problems."


Constance - posted on 07/14/2011




I was and still am a tomboy. Though now I do like to to dress up nice and girly. I have alwaysplayed with things "only" made for boys. I work on cars. I am the one who taught my husband how to fix cars. How to rip out and engine and transmission take it apart and put it back together. I am very much so straight.

JuLeah - posted on 07/12/2011




There is much I falut here, the first being ... one does not become gay. One is born gay, or not. It is not a condition one develops as an adult, it is not catching :0

So, do lesbians, as children, act differntly then their peers ... in my experiance, yes. Not ALL tomboys are queer, and not ALL girly girls are straight. But, often ... yah.

I know BIG macho, football, huntin', beer drinking, car cfixing, NASA car watchin' dudes who are queer and I parent, know men who cook, choose to be the stay at home, decorate ... who are straight ... so, gotta say not ALL ... but, yes, I have seen this.

Most of my friends have a photo or two of themselves as a small child in a tie, most of us played sports (softball) ...

I have concern that this type of report will leade us back to the days of beating boys who play with dolls and shaming girls good at sports ....

User - posted on 11/02/2012




I am with you Jackie, I dont believe that people should be gay, but yea we cant change whats going to happen, whatever happen will happen and if they just so go down that road, thats okay too, as parents we need to support our children no matter what

[deleted account]

I was a tomboy as a kid and became very much a girly girly as they say when i got older.In my teens i would say.

I am not a lesbian.So i disagree.My daughter who is my oldest is a tomboy and i don't have a clue what she will be one day but i don't mind in the least as long as she is 100% happy, then Mommy&Daddy are 100% happy.:-)

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**Jackie** - posted on 11/02/2012




Absolutely. I think I would be upset only because of the children issue. I'm only 25 but I dream of a huge packed house on Christmas with tons of grandkids and dogs lol.

I can think of 10 things off the top of my head that would be far worse, that's all I'm saying.

**Jackie** - posted on 11/02/2012




Does it matter? No really. I'm not being sarcastic or snotty. I'm really asking...does it matter? My 2 year old is 100% tomboy. She loves anything to do with outside and dirt, I was the same way and I'm not a lesbian. If she grows up to be a lesbian then okay.

With all of the people my age, 25, being on welfare and crack and constantly having babies and not knowing who the fathers are etc....I'd say being a lesbian is not a problem at all.

Kimberlee - posted on 11/02/2012




I don't care about non-conforming . All I want as a parent is for my children to be happy, healthy , productive members of society . If they are gay or straight doesn't matter . I'm not sure why we spend so much money or time trying to determine when and how a persons sexuality is formed. I would rather spend that on figuring out why some people would hate or even hurt a person who is non gender conforming.Then perhaps we could put a stop to it.

User - posted on 11/01/2012




I was a tomboy too and I am not close to being a lesbian lol. I think each individual is different and certain things people do might be more common for lesbians or gays but i dont think it distugushes them to be so. I think sometimes scientists try too hard to get physical evidence for these things. People are as they are, I dont think that factors or genetics could cause it, i think its a choice on how they feel.

Lakota - posted on 11/01/2012




There are plenty of girls who were tomboys and still are as grown women who aren't gay. If they do grow up to be a lesbian, love them anyway. These "studies" are irritating to me. Just love your children no matter what.

Tracey - posted on 10/31/2012




As long as they love someone who loves them back, treats them well and makes them happy who cares if their child and partner is straight / gay or bi?

Niketa - posted on 10/27/2012




Hi, My name is Niki Bhatia and I am the author o a childrens book, PINK IS JUST A COLOR AND SO IS BLUE. It is about letting go of our old gender stereotypes about colors (pink and blue) and toys kids choose to play with. The main character is a little boy who is not too athletic and his best friend is a feisty little girl who is "tomboyish". Our ultimate goal is to assure that our kids grow upto be confident, productive individuals, without placing so much emphasis on color and toys when they are sooo young.

Tomboys are not lesbians....


Niketa - posted on 10/27/2012




Hi, My name is Niki Bhatia and I am the author o a childrens book, PINK IS JUST A COLOR AND SO IS BLUE. It is about letting go of our old gender stereotypes about colors (pink and blue) and toys kids choose to play with. The main character is a little boy who is not too athleti and his best friend is a feisty little girl who is

tomboyish". Our ultimate goal is to assure that our kids grow upto be confident, productive individuals, without placing so much emphasis on color and toys when they are sooo young.


Denikka - posted on 10/25/2012




*head desk*

I'm kinda viewing this in the same light as the theory that *people who listen to death metal become killers*

I think it's a load of bunk. Being a tomboy isn't going to MAKE a woman gay. Liking fashion or dolls isn't going to make a man gay. Just like listening to a certain type of music isn't going to turn a person into a killer.

That being said, people with a certain predisposition towards certain behaviors may have a preference for certain activities. A woman who is already predisposed to be gay may find a preference towards more traditionally male behaviors and past times. Vice versa with a man who is gay may find himself preferring traditionally female behaviors and hobbies.

I really don't think that the activities you prefer has anything to do with where you end up in life. A normal person who listens to death metal is not going to go on a killing spree. But a person who is already disturbed and on the edge may have a liking for the *musical violence* of death metal.

Fixing a car is not going to turn a girl into a lesbian, but a girl who is gay may have an enjoyment of mechanics.

Shopping for matching clothes is not going to turn a boy gay, but a boy who is gay may have a preference for higher class dressing.

*I want to say that I'm sorry for making any association between killers and homosexuals. I honestly couldn't think of anything else where an *activity* was blamed for an individual being a certain way (that whole thing about Marilyn Manson music turning people into killers).

Patricia - posted on 10/24/2012




I have always been a tomboy i like boy sports.

When i was a little girl i would play with my brothers toys.

I dress more like a guy than a girl.

My sexual preferance leans more towards girls than men thou i do have sex with both so i would rate myself as being bi not gay

Ez - posted on 07/14/2011




I grew up with a girl who was a complete tomboy (they were family friends). From the time she could talk she would refuse to wear dresses. She would refuse to have her long hair done in ponytails etc. When she was old enough for sport, she was only interested in 'boy' sports (which was soccer here 25yrs ago). Her parents allowed her to be who she was - never persuading her one way or another - and yes she is a lesbian. So it does happen.

But across the board? Obviously not.

Cara - posted on 07/14/2011




I was a tomboy. I love toy cars, blocks, fishing, climbing trees, football, baseball, playing in dirt/mud and all that good stuff.......and I am happily married to my wonderful husband and am far from a lesbian

[deleted account]

I was a girly girl that always wore dresses and frilly bows. About the article, I only skimmed it. But I would probably disagree with that theory.

Joanna - posted on 07/12/2011




I was neither a tomboy nor a girly girl. As a kid I loved shopping and baking with my mom, but was also in Venture Scouts (co-ed scouts that do a lot of adventure trips, hiking, white water rafting, etc) with my dad as the troop leader. And while I had some flings with women, I am most definitely straight.

My oldest daughter is a little tomboy. I love her dearly as she is, and whatever her sexual orientation is won't change a thing. I'll be happy with a son or daughter-in-law in the future. :)

Charlie - posted on 07/12/2011




Yep I am one of two sisters both of us are tomboys both in a heterosexual relationship although I do find women attractive I prefer men .....she has always been attracted to only men.

Jane - posted on 07/12/2011




I was a tomboy, too, and ditto. My brother played with dolls and he is very definitely heterosexual.

Katherine - posted on 07/12/2011




I was a tomboy and I'm not a lesbian.....

No but this is a really interesting read.

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