Psychological Features Of Adolescent Girls Who Identify Themselves As Having Homosexual Orientation

Abstract

The present study aimed at examining psychological features of adolescent girls of homosexual orientation. 128 girls participated in it. 35 of them were normally developed adolescents (mean age was 13.69 ± 0.58 years old), 54 were adolescents identifying themselves as having homosexual (non-traditional) orientation (mean age was 13.69 ± 0.47 years old), and 39 were adolescents who abused alcohol and tobacco (mean age was 13.83 ± 0.56 years old). The following methodologies were used in the study: the Personality Pathology-Basic Diagnostic Questionnaire for Adolescents, the Jan Strelau Temperament Inventory, the Buss-Durkee Hostility Inventory, the Bem Sex Role Inventory and the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking (short version). All of the adolescents went through a set of psychological procedures. It was shown that the girls of homosexual orientation generally had hysteroid type of character accentuation. They were androgynous and had higher levels of aggression and hostility. They also had the highest scores for all of the parameters of creativity in comparison with the other two groups of teenagers.

Keywords: Homosexual orientationadolescent girlsaggressioncreativity

Introduction

The majority of studies that look into the nature of homosexual orientation either attest to a biological basis for this phenomenon (Masters & Johnson, 1966; Blanchard, 1997; Muscarella, 2007) or they point to the child’s abnormal development up to the age of five or six (Martin & Ruble, 2009; Fingerhut et al., 2010; Rivers & Gordon, 2010). As a result, in many countries there has been a substantial change in the attitudes towards people who exhibit such features. However, in Russia, the reaction to such people is still extremely negative, and so, observation of their distinctive features has been much more complicated. These adolescent girls find themselves in a particularly difficult position, for they are just beginning to realize their difference from the overwhelming majority, including the members of their own family. They are unable to discuss their problems with a specialist, as they fear the publicity.

There are data showing that, in the adolescent form of homosexuality, there is no alteration in the sexual identity and no essential deviations in the psyche (Hines, 2011).

Problem Statement

Because of much aggression in society, adolescents quickly learn to avoid encounters with both adults and their peers, forming closed communities. There are prevalent and misguided opinions in society that such teenagers are both hopelessly lascivious and extraordinarily talented (McCormick, Witelson, 1991; Sandfort, 1998; Diamond, 2007). It is precisely for this reason that studying the distinctive features of homosexual orientation among adolescent girls seems to be vitally important. Coming up with a description would make it possible to identify the risk groups and give them the assistance and support that they need.

Both normally developed adolescent girls and those who abuse alcohol and tobacco are included in control groups. The last group is chosen due to the widespread opinion that homosexual orientation is always accompanied by dependent behaviour.

Research Questions

Nevertheless, secondary behavioural anomalies may arise in connection with the development of intrapersonal conflict because, in relation to the manifestation of sexuality, the internal longings are at odds with the external demands. The adolescent form of homosexual behaviour does not necessarily lead to homosexuality, and it has been examined least of all.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is to examine the psychological features of adolescent girls of homosexual orientation.

Research Methods

Subjects

Altogether, 128 adolescent girls, attending high school, participated in the study. The first group was composed of 35 normally developed girls (mean age was 13.69 ± 0.47 years old). The second group was made up of 54 girls (mean age was 13,95 ± 0,56 years old) who identified themselves as having homosexual (non-traditional) orientation, and who went to closed clubs. And the third group was comprised of 39 girls (mean age was 13,83 ± 0,56 years) who abused alcohol and drugs.

In the first and third groups, the teenagers were enlisted on the basis of consultations with school psychologists and testing; the second group was based on psychological interviews with the teens in closed clubs, during which they professed to have homosexual (non-traditional) orientation.

The testing on the basis of which the teenagers were assigned to the third group was done according to the following instructions: “On the reverse side of a sheet of paper, please, write the letter S if you smoke more than one cigarette a day, and (or) the letter L if you drink hard liquor more often than once a week.” Those who wrote down both S and L were the ones who ended up in the third group.

Consequently, one could say that the complexion of the second and third groups was determined by the adolescents themselves.

The following methodologies were used in the study:

Statistical data processing was fulfilled using SPSS Statistics 17.0 software.

Findings

The tendency toward alcoholism turned out to be significantly higher among the adolescents who abused alcohol and tobacco when in comparison with those who were normally developed and those who identified themselves as having homosexual (non-traditional) orientation. It attested to the validity of values in the students in the different groups who filled out the questionnaire about smoking and drinking. While the normally developed adolescents and those who abused alcohol and tobacco had predominantly feminine traits, the adolescents of homosexual orientation differed significantly from the other adolescents in that they exhibited androgyny. This was in accord with the results of the Sex Role Inventory presented below.

Sex Role Inventory

The Bem Sex Role Inventory [1] made it possible to distribute the adolescents according to the parameters of psychological gender: masculinity, femininity and androgyny. The normally developed adolescents were overwhelmingly feminine (94 percent). The majority of the adolescents of homosexual orientation were androgynous (89 percent), while in the other two groups androgyny was encountered much less frequently (6 percent and 9 percent, respectively).

Masculinity was characteristic only of those girls of homosexual orientation (7 percent).

Accentuation types

Furthermore, the results of the DAPP-BQ-A Inventory showed that the normally developed adolescents did not exhibit any of the traits of character accentuation. And the adolescents of homosexual orientation manifested in sharp contrast to those who abused alcohol and tobacco when it came to the following scales: hyperthymic type, compulsive type and hysteroid type. The adolescents in the third group were largely connected with the first and second types, and those in the second group, with the third type. However, in none of the groups did the level of social maladjustment exceed the norm.

The Jan Strelau Temperament Inventory (Strelau, Zawadzki, 1993)

Using the Jan Strelau Temperament Inventory [8], it was discovered that the normally developed adolescents (Table 2 ) were more persistent and flexible and active than those in the other groups, although the differences were not significant. The adolescents of homosexual orientation differed from the others in that they had higher ratings on the Emotional Responsiveness and Dynamism scales.

Table 1 -
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The adolescents who abused alcohol and tobacco were more emotionally responsive but less persistent, resilient and sensitive. All of this conforms to the results of the first questionnaire, which revealed a high incidence of hysteroid accentuation among the adolescents of homo sexual orientation.

The results of the Buss-Durkee Hostility Inventory

According to the results of the Buss Durkee Hostility Inventory (Table 1 ), the normally developed adolescents (14.8 ± 5.6) were decidedly less aggressive in comparison with those of homosexual orientation (25.7 ± 7.1). The same was true for the levels of aggressive motivation (14.3 ± 4.8 and 26.0 ± 7.4, respectively).

Table 2 -
See Full Size >

At the same time, it was important to bear in mind that, in the opinion of the authors of the present procedure, if the level of aggressive motivation was higher than that of aggressiveness, then there was a potential for aggression. However, if this score was lower, this indicated that the suppression of the personality was in process. In this case, the level of aggressive motivation was almost the same as the level of aggressiveness for all of the adolescents.

According to the results of this inventory, the adolescents who abused alcohol and tobacco did not differ from those who were normally developed.

The Torrance Test of Creative Thinking

For the normally developed adolescents, the results of the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking were within normal limits. The values for the adolescents of homosexual orientation were appreciably higher on all the four scales than for the other adolescents. The results for these adolescents on the Originality Scale indicated their ability to generate ideas that were neither obvious nor typical, and characterized them as having a high level of intellectual activity and nonconformity. Their scores on the Elaboration Scale pointed to their aptitude for constructive activity. For the adolescents who abused alcohol and tobacco, the scores for productivity and flexibility were below the norms for their age, which testified to the rigidity of their thinking and limitation of their intellectual potential.

Conclusion

Thus, on all the tests, we discover significant differences between the groups of adolescents. The adolescent girls are assigned to the groups according to the information that they themselves give us. We call our test subjects adolescents of homosexual (non-traditional) orientation because this is exactly how they categorize themselves. We have no way of evaluating the real nature of their sexuality since these girls have had no real sexual experience. They simply have psychological features that lead them to frequent closed clubs of a particular sort.

We have gathered a considerable amount of evidence showing that there is a biological basis for having homosexual orientation. First of all, these adolescent girls are more androgynous (some were even masculine), more aggressive and hostile and, to a significant degree, more creative than the other girls. All of this conforms with the hypothesis that, during the process of prenatal development, the fetus is susceptible to high concentrations of androgens (McCormick & Witelson, 1991). It is known that high concentrations of androgens are that what promote a highly mature right hemisphere at birth. Emotionality and creativity are, of course, functions of the right hemisphere.

However, these girls also exhibit hysteroid traits, which may be a result of their being in an aggressive environment. It is noteworthy that the adolescents who abuse alcohol and tobacco have a fundamentally different set of psychological traits. And, it is in their nature to have hyperthymic and compulsive character accentuation, a tendency toward alcoholism, and low scores for flexibility, persistence, sensory responsivity and creativity. All of these show that there are significant differences in the psychological development of the adolescents in the three groups. It is possible because those adolescents who have fewer opportunities for creative activities turn to alcoholism. Nevertheless, it is important to emphasize that the results of our research do not support the widespread opinion that addictive behaviour is characteristic of people who have homosexual orientation.

  • Hysteroid type of character accentuation is inimical to the adolescents who identify themselves as having homosexual (non-traditional) orientation. They have higher levels of aggressiveness and hostility in comparison with the other two groups of adolescents.

  • The adolescents who identify themselves as having homosexual (non-traditional) orientation are predominantly androgynous.

  • The adolescents who identify themselves as having homosexual (non-traditional) orientation have the highest scores for all the parameters of creativity in comparison with the other adolescents.

Acknowledgments

The study is founded by Russian Fund of Scientific Researches 18-013-00323 “Formation of the sensorimotor integration and inhibitory control in children with different lateral preferences”.

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Publisher

Future Academy

First Online

18.12.2019

Doi

10.15405/epsbs.2018.07.10

Online ISSN

2357-1330