Familial Patterning and Prevalence of Male Androphilia in Samoa

J Sex Res. 2017 Oct;54(8):1077-1084. doi: 10.1080/00224499.2016.1218416. Epub 2016 Sep 3.


Previous research established that male androphilia (i.e., sexual arousal and attraction to adult males) clusters in families. Some studies find that male androphilia clusters in both the paternal and maternal lines, while others find that it clusters only in the latter. Most of the research investigating the familial nature of male androphilia has taken place in Western cultural contexts that are problematic for such research because they are characterized by low fertility. To address this, our previous work has examined familial patterning of male androphilia in Samoa, a high-fertility population in which androphilic males are readily identified due to their public status as fa'afafine (a third gender category). Building on this work, the present study replicated the familial nature of male androphilia in Samoa using a sample size that was ~122% larger than the one we previously employed (N = 382, M ±SD age: 29.72 years ±10.16). Samoan fa'afafine had significantly more fa'afafine relatives in their maternal and paternal lines compared to Samoan gynephilic males (p < .001). The prevalence of male androphilia was equivalent across both the paternal and maternal lines (all p > .15). The revised prevalence estimate of male androphilia in Samoa falls between 0.61% and 3.51%.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Family* / ethnology
  • Homosexuality, Male / ethnology
  • Homosexuality, Male / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Samoa / ethnology
  • Young Adult