This study examined the association between sexual orientation and nonviolent and violent delinquency across the life course. We analyzed self-reported nonviolent and violent delinquency in a sample of heterosexual males (N = 5220–7023) and females (N = 5984–7875), bisexuals (N = 34–73), gay males (N = 145–189), and lesbians (N = 115–150) from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health). The analyses revealed, in general, that bisexuals were the most delinquent of the sexual orientation categories for both males and females. Additional analyses revealed that heterosexual males reported significantly higher levels of both violent and nonviolent delinquency than gay males, whereas lesbians reported more involvement in nonviolent delinquency and, to a lesser extent, violent delinquency relative to heterosexual females. Analyses also revealed that lesbians reported significantly more delinquent behavior, particularly for nonviolent delinquency, than gay males. Future research should explore the mechanisms that account for these observed patterns and how they can be used to more fully understand the etiology of delinquency.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)