Setting the Record Straight: Homosexual Tendencies in Organ Donor Registration


  • C.K. Naivar Sen
  • T. Kumkale


Background: Even with demand for transplant organs exceeding supply, registration of homosexuals remains controversial. While some theorists suggest positive experiences lead to prosocial behavior, others like Staub, posit group hardship leads to helping. We break ground by being the first to examine the prevalence and psychological correlates of this altruistic action in those with homosexual tendencies. Methods: In 13,856 individuals from Wave III of Add Health, we examined sexual orientation controlling for gender and education using decision trees and analyzed personality correlates. Findings: Homosexual tendencies, being female, and having higher education were associated with increased registered organ donor rates. In groups with at least a high school education, individuals with homosexual tendencies' rates were almost 14 percentage points higher. No differences in altruism existed, but those with homosexual tendencies were more liberal and less conservative. Discussion: Although individuals with homosexual tendencies were higher in registration, altruism measures did not underlie the relationship. Research is needed to understand the behavior's mediating factors.






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