February 1, 2024

How to Tell If My Brother is Gay - Look For Evidence of Him Being Closeted

A new study reveals that there may be one way to tell if your brother is gay: look for evidence of him being closeted.

Twenty years ago, researchers Ray Blanchard and Anthony Bogaert noticed that the probability of a boy growing up to be gay increases with each older brother born to the same mother — a phenomenon known as the fraternal birth order effect. Since then, multiple studies have replicated this finding, though a mechanism to account for it has proved elusive. Now, a team of scientists suggests that the effect might be biologically driven by testosterone levels, which are elevated in boys with older brothers. The results appear this week in PNAS.

If your brother is gay, the first reaction you might have is sadness. It's normal to feel that way, because your sibling is going to face more challenges than if they were straight. But don't confuse that sadness with self-loathing: You can love your brother for being gay without wishing him to be straight. And if you want to help him, there are confidential telephone support services that can provide help and information.

Your next step might be to try to communicate with your brother or sister. He or she may need to go through a coming out process, which can be incredibly painful. Make sure your brother or sister knows that you are a person they can count on, and offer to talk about gay issues with them.


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