 Theoretically, a continuum across various
SO indicators (attraction, arousal, fantasy,
behavior, identity)
 Practically...
 Do MHs exist as a unique sexual
orientation group distinct from exclusive
Hs and substantial Bs?
 Is treating MHs as a ...
Paper 1 (Savin-Williams & Vrangalova, 2013, Dev Rev)
1. Population prevalence
2. Sexual orientation profile
3. Temporal st...
 Review of studies up to June 2012
 Incorporating at least one of the
psychological indicators
 60 studies, published 1...
Meta-analysis of proportions
General population (21 samples, 6
countries):
 Women: 8.6%; Range 1.2% - 15.4%
 Men: 3.9%; ...
 MH - single largest nonheterosexual group;
 Often (70% m; 90% f samples) MH larger
than all other nonheterosexuals (B, ...
 Same-sex attraction/fantasy, partners,
and arousal (men only): H < MH < B
 Other-sex sexuality
› Attraction and arousal...
3 longitudinal studies; 2 samples
 MH identity was stable for ~50% over any
two time points from early adolescence
throug...
 Qualitative studies – MH highly desirable
label & legitimate descriptor
 Greater identity uncertainty and
exploration t...
 70 studies, 1991-2013
 32 samples (most population-based)
 MH vs. H and MH vs. B
 Meta-analysis - Unweighted Cohen d’...
Men Women
k M Range k M Range
Internalizing (mood,
suicidality, anxiety)
11 0.40 -0.04 – 0.66 14 0.32 0.05 – 0.46
Disorder...
Men Women
k M Range k M Range
Substance use (smoking,
alcohol, drugs)
9 0.29 -0.02 – 0.66 11 0.45 0.26 – 0.63
Sexual risk ...
Men Women
k M Range k M Range
Victimization
(sexual, nonsexual)
8 0.29 -0.04 – 0.51 11 0.32 -0.05 – 0.85
Stressful/Risky
e...
Men Women
k M Range k M Range
Internalizing (mood,
suicidality, anxiety)
8 -0.22 -0.59 – -0.02 11 -0.27 -1.29 – 0.38
Disor...
Men Women
k M Range k M Range
Substance use (smoking,
alcohol, drugs)
6 -0.05 -0.36 – 0.33 8 -0.13 -0.40 – -0.22
Sexual ri...
Men Women
k M Range k M Range
Victimization
(sexual, nonsexual)
8 -0.39 -0.65 – -0.06 10 -0.26 -0.88 – 0.10
Stressful/Risk...
 MHs are a numerous SO group unique in
their sexual orientation profile
 Similar to other nonheterosexuals, MHs
have ele...
Mostly heterosexual
Mostly heterosexual
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Mostly heterosexual

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This talk, given at the annual meeting of the International Academy of Sex Research in Chicago in August 2014 reviews the existent literature on the 'mostly heterosexuals,' those who are not exclusively heterosexual yet not same-sex oriented enough to consider themselves or be considered by others as bisexual. Reviewing over 70 studies from 6 different countries, we find that the mostly heterosexuals is a largely unrecognized, but sizable and psychologically vulnerable sexual minority.

Published in: Health & Medicine, Technology
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  • Located between exclusive heterosexuality and substantial bisexuality,A heterosexual core with a slight amount of same-sex sexuality
  • Mostly heterosexual

    1. 1.  Theoretically, a continuum across various SO indicators (attraction, arousal, fantasy, behavior, identity)  Practically, 3 groups: Hetero, Bi, & Gay/Lesbian  Until recently, MHs either not assessed or not analyzed separately; › Treated as heterosexual (most common) › Treated as bisexual › Treated as nonheterosexual  Recently, more research on MHs as a separate group
    2. 2.  Do MHs exist as a unique sexual orientation group distinct from exclusive Hs and substantial Bs?  Is treating MHs as a separate SO group in research (and beyond) practically useful over combining them with heterosexuals or bisexuals?
    3. 3. Paper 1 (Savin-Williams & Vrangalova, 2013, Dev Rev) 1. Population prevalence 2. Sexual orientation profile 3. Temporal stability 4. Subjective relevance Paper 2 (Vrangalova & Savin-Williams, in prep) 5. Psychological and health profile
    4. 4.  Review of studies up to June 2012  Incorporating at least one of the psychological indicators  60 studies, published 1994 – 2012  30 samples (majority population-based)  6 Western countries: US, Canada, UK, Norway, Australia, & New Zealand Savin-Williams & Vrangalova, 2013, Developmental Review
    5. 5. Meta-analysis of proportions General population (21 samples, 6 countries):  Women: 8.6%; Range 1.2% - 15.4%  Men: 3.9%; Range 1.4% - 5.6% College samples (5 samples, US):  Women: 15.6%; Range 7.7 – 22.6%  Men: 6.9%; Range 2.8 – 8.3%
    6. 6.  MH - single largest nonheterosexual group;  Often (70% m; 90% f samples) MH larger than all other nonheterosexuals (B, MGL, GL) combined  Women 1.2-4.7 (median = 2.4) times more likely to report being MH  Cohort effects: among women  Developmental effects: › Women: Increase through mid-/late-20s, then decrease › Men: Increase through early 20s, then stable
    7. 7.  Same-sex attraction/fantasy, partners, and arousal (men only): H < MH < B  Other-sex sexuality › Attraction and arousal (men): H = MH > B › Partners  Women: H ≥ MH > B  Men: H ≤ MH > B
    8. 8. 3 longitudinal studies; 2 samples  MH identity was stable for ~50% over any two time points from early adolescence through adulthood; for ~25% across 3+ time points › Such stability lower than H, but higher than B  Of those who moved toward or away from MH, vast majority migrated to or emigrated from H
    9. 9.  Qualitative studies – MH highly desirable label & legitimate descriptor  Greater identity uncertainty and exploration than H, but clear commitment in many/most  When not given MH option; vast majority (80%-93%) identifies as H
    10. 10.  70 studies, 1991-2013  32 samples (most population-based)  MH vs. H and MH vs. B  Meta-analysis - Unweighted Cohen d’s › d >= 0.80 - large, › 0.80 > d > 0.20 - medium, › d <= 0.20 small, › d < 0.10 negligible  Higher d’s mean MHs possess trait more (Vrangalova & Savin-Williams, in prep)
    11. 11. Men Women k M Range k M Range Internalizing (mood, suicidality, anxiety) 11 0.40 -0.04 – 0.66 14 0.32 0.05 – 0.46 Disordered eating 3 0.69 0.34 – 1.15 4 0.30 0.18 – 0.39 Body image problems 3 0.23 0.19 – 0.36 4 0.11 -0.05 – 0.23 Sexual health (STIs, teen pregnant, abnormal Pap) 2 0.45 0.44 – 0.46 6 0.37 0.18 – 0.61 Physical health (general health, overweight, specific conditions) 2 0.11 0.01 – 0.22 3 0.17 0.11 – 0.22 k - # samples M – mean effect size across all samples;
    12. 12. Men Women k M Range k M Range Substance use (smoking, alcohol, drugs) 9 0.29 -0.02 – 0.66 11 0.45 0.26 – 0.63 Sexual risk taking (early onset, multiple partners, condom non-use) 7 0.13 -0.20 – 0.75 11 0.40 -0.08 – 0.77 Other risk taking (gambling, aggression, delinquency) 3 0.10 0.07 – 0.13 3 0.18 0.07 – 0.37 Preventive health behaviors (regular checkups, Pap testing) 0 - - 3 -0.09 -0.14 – -0.03 k - # samples M – mean effect size across all samples;
    13. 13. Men Women k M Range k M Range Victimization (sexual, nonsexual) 8 0.29 -0.04 – 0.51 11 0.32 -0.05 – 0.85 Stressful/Risky environment 3 0.21 0.17 – 0.23 6 0.34 0.12 – 0.50 Personal & social relationships, connectedness 4 -0.31 -0.49 – -0.19 7 -0.38 -0.53 – -0.28 Gender nonconformity 4 0.57 0.35 – 0.79 2 0.51 0.40 – 0.60 SES (education, income) 4 0.22 -0.02 – 0.66 7 0.13 -0.03 – 0.69 k - # samples M – mean effect size across all samples
    14. 14. Men Women k M Range k M Range Internalizing (mood, suicidality, anxiety) 8 -0.22 -0.59 – -0.02 11 -0.27 -1.29 – 0.38 Disordered eating 2 -0.45 -0.60 – 0.31 3 -0.22 -0.28 – -0.17 Body image problems 1 0.13 1 -0.12 Sexual health (STIs, teen pregnant, abnormal Pap) 2 -0.31 -0.60 – -0.02 5 -0.04 -0.30 – 0.12 Physical health (general health, overweight, specific conditions) 2 -0.11 -0.18 – -0.05 3 -0.14 -0.19 – -0.11 k - # samples M – mean effect size across all samples;
    15. 15. Men Women k M Range k M Range Substance use (smoking, alcohol, drugs) 6 -0.05 -0.36 – 0.33 8 -0.13 -0.40 – -0.22 Sexual risk taking (early onset, multiple partners, condom non-use) 5 -0.56 -0.75 – -0.03 8 -0.25 -0.72 – 0.15 Other risk taking (gambling, aggression, delinquency) 3 -0.22 -0.35 – -0.00 3 -0.22 -0.35 – -0.00 Preventive health behaviors (regular checkups, Pap testing) 0 - - 3 0.21 0.01 – 0.49 k - # samples M – mean effect size across all samples;
    16. 16. Men Women k M Range k M Range Victimization (sexual, nonsexual) 8 -0.39 -0.65 – -0.06 10 -0.26 -0.88 – 0.10 Stressful/Risky environment 2 -0.05 -0.15 – 0.05 4 -0.11 -0.46 – 0.12 Personal & social relationships, connectedness 4 0.28 -0.12 – 0.86 6 0.03 -0.32 – 0.21 Gender nonconformity 2 -0.62 -0.91 – -0.33 2 -0.44 -0.75 – -0.13 SES (education, income) 3 0.35 0.27 – 0.39 5 0.32 0.21 – 0.44 k - # samples M – mean effect size across all samples
    17. 17.  MHs are a numerous SO group unique in their sexual orientation profile  Similar to other nonheterosexuals, MHs have elevated health vulnerabilities compared to H, but somewhat less than B  Need to start treating them as a separate group in research and practice
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