Gay and Bisexual Adolescent Boys' Sexual Experiences With Men:
An Empirical Examination of Psychological Correlates in a Nonclinical Sample
Bruce Rind, PhD
Department of Psychology, Temple University, Philadelphia,
Over the last quarter century the incest model, with its image of helpless victims exploited and traumatized by powerful perpetrators, has come to dominate perceptions of virtually all forms of adult-minor sex. Thus, even willing sexual relations between gay or bisexual adolescent boys and adult men, which differ from father-daughter incest in many important ways, are generally seen by the lay public and professionals as traumatizing and psychologically injurious. This study assessed this common perception by examining a nonclinical, mostly college sample of gay and bisexual men.
Of the 129 men in the study, 26 were identified as having had age-discrepant sexual relations (ADSRs) as adolescents between 12 and 17 years of age with adult males. Men with ADSR experiences were as well adjusted as controls in terms of self-esteem and having achieved a positive sexual identity.
Reactions to the ADSRs were predominantly positive, and most ADSRs were willingly engaged in. Younger adolescents were just as willing and reacted at least as positively as older adolescents.
Data on sexual identity development indicated that ADSRs played no role in creating same-sex sexual interests, contrary to the "seduction" hypothesis. Findings were inconsistent with the incest model. The incest model has come to act as a procrustean bed, narrowly dictating how adult-minor sexual relations quite different from incest are perceived.
KEY WORDS: gay and bisexual boys; man-boy sex; incest model; psychological correlates; homosexual development.