Sexual Attraction, Sexual Identity, and Same-Sex Sexual Experiences of Adult Offspring in the U.S. National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study

Arch Sex Behav. 2019 Jul;48(5):1495-1503. doi: 10.1007/s10508-019-1434-5. Epub 2019 Mar 19.


The U.S. National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study has followed offspring with sexual minority parents from conception into adulthood. It was initiated in 1986, and it has a 92% retention rate to date. In the current investigation, the 25-year-old offspring answered questions about sexual attraction, sexual identity, and sexual experiences; their responses were compared with those of same-age adults from a population-based survey. The analytic samples consisted of 76 offspring of lesbian parents and 76 demographically matched participants from the National Survey of Family Growth. All 152 respondents were 25 years old, 48.7% were female, 90.8% identified as White, 9.2% were people of color, and all had attended at least some college. Although most respondents in each sample identified as "heterosexual or straight," compared to their matched counterparts in the population-based survey, the female and male offspring of lesbian parents were significantly more to likely to report same-sex attraction, sexual minority identity, and same-sex experience. These findings suggest that adult offspring from planned lesbian families may be more likely than their peers to demonstrate diversity in sexual attraction, identity, and expression.

Keywords: Adult offspring; Same-sex sexual experiences; Sexual attraction; Sexual minorities; Sexual orientation identity; U.S. National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Homosexuality, Female / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sexual Behavior / psychology*
  • Sexual and Gender Minorities / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States