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Predicting the Timing of Coming Out in Gay and Bisexual Men From World Beliefs, Physical Attractiveness, and Childhood Gender Identity/Role1


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    The authors thank Luanne Jamieson for her comments on a previous draft of this manuscript.

Anthony F. Bogaert, Department of Community Health Sciences or Department of Psychology, Brock University, 500 Glenride Avenue, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada L2S 3A1. E-mail:


In a questionnaire study, we examined the age of “coming out” (i.e., acknowledging one's sexual identity) in gay and bisexual men as predicted by belief in a just world (BJW), personal efficacy (PE), physical attractiveness, childhood gender identity/role, and demographics. As hypothesized, men with a higher BJW, greater physical attractiveness, greater degree of same-sex behavior, and younger age reported an earlier age of coming out. An interaction between BJW and childhood gender identity/role showed, as expected, that the relation with BJW only occurred among men with greater childhood femininity. Unexpectedly, PE was unrelated to age of coming out. Results add to previous studies on the coming-out process and to work suggesting a buffering effect of BJW in other contexts.