Are Women More Bisexual Than Men?

A recent study has shown that pupil dilation can be a factor in determining a person’s sexual orientation. When seeing someone attractive, the pupils are more likely to dilate in response. While that, in and of itself, is exciting news for researchers and science-minded people everywhere, it gets even more interesting. Huffington Post states:

“The results showed that pupil dilation matches the pattern seen in genital arousal studies. In men, this pattern is generally straightforward: Straight men respond to sexual images of women, and gay men respond to sexual images of men. Bisexual men respond to both men and women.

In women, things are more complex, Savin-Williams said. Gay women show more pupil dilation to images of other women, similar to the pattern seen in straight men. But straight women dilate basically equally in response to erotic images of both sexes, despite reporting feelings of arousal for men and not women.”

Why exactly does this happen? Are women more likely to have homosexual tendencies than men? Is it, perhaps, as one article theorized, that women have a lower threshold for arousal for survival purposes in cases of rape?

Or is it, as many differences between the genders are, socially affected?

As I mentioned in a previous article, homosexual men are much more often and severely reprimanded for homosexual tendencies. While non-straight women by far do not have it easy, the widespread fantasies of hot lesbians and threesomes have allowed men, and society in general, to be a little more accepting of girl-on-girl sexuality (granted, of course, that these women fit the mold of the fantasy). Perhaps bisexuality is more common in both the genders than we give it credit for, and women just have more leeway to develop and express these tendencies with less shame and fear of being ostracized and facing violent repercussion.

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Which of these couples is more likely to be accepted and less likely to be killed?

 

On the other hand, perhaps it isn’t lack of suppression, but actual encouragement of viewing females in a sexual light that has lead to these murky results of female arousal and sexuality. While women may not be inherently attracted to other women, our culture and media has instilled an idea of sex=sexy-looking-women. Most porn focuses on on showing the woman (or women) and reduces men to merely something attached to a penis. Advertisements for club nights focus on all the “sexy ladies” available and have posters of strippers/go-gos/female club goers (you really can’t tell the difference). Magazines for both men and women (like Maxim and Cosmo) plaster their fronts with sexually appealing women in come-hither expressions in associations with talk about sex. Very rarely are men posed in sexually attractive positions or situations outside of gay clubs and bachelorette parties, and even then it is almost seen as ridiculous or funny (Which is entirely misguided. Go to a Chip and Dales show in Vegas and you’ll understand why some men lose their minds at strip clubs). With all this association of female images representing ALL sex, it’s no wonder that otherwise straight women would become aroused by images of other seductive women.

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(I’m straight, and I’m pretty sure my pupils are dilated)

Like with all of my posts as of yet, I am only one person with one perspective. Chime in and let me know what your thoughts are on this study!

8 thoughts on “Are Women More Bisexual Than Men?

  1. I’ve actually known this a long time, so it must have been researched before. But I have no idea what to make of it! I’m not sure if straight women can be socialised into being turned on by images of sexy women, but I suppose it’s possible.

    It’s difficult to say because I’ve always been attracted to women, too, though I prefer men. It’s hard to even imagine not being at least a little bi! But I remember an estimation that about 10-20 % of people really are totally straight (or totally gay), so I guess I’ll just have to believe it’s possible! :)

    But because of the social stigma of being nothing but straight, many people who have homosexual urges repress them rather than own up to them. That doesn’t necessarily cause any anxieties if you’re mostly attracted to the opposite sex anyway, so many people don’t even become aware of their occasional homosexual impulses before promptly smothering them. That still doesn’t explain why women react to sexy women more often than men react to sexy men, though!

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  6. i would certainly say that there are much more gay women nowadays, and many women that are straight are bi as well since many of them have experimented with another woman at one time or another.

  7. Interesting article. It’s completely true that today’s Western society is far more permissive with lesbians than gays. And that women are seen as the “sexy” gender. Most women (straight or not) believe the sterotype that women are the fair sex.
    And it’s false that women are more likely homosexual or bisexual. In fact, most statistics show that same-sex behaviours are more common in men than women (for example, the Kinsey reports: 35% of men had had gay sex, against just 15% of women). Also, there you have the Ancient Greeks, and sexual behaviours in prisons or all-male environments. I believe that, the day homophobia is compleyely erased, most men will have occasional gay sex.

    However, I think that what this study is showing is indeed an automathic mechanism to prevent injuries during rape, as the researchers concluded, and not some result of sexist and homophobic education. A similar study showed that women showed physical arousal to images of bonobos mating, but men didn’t. And another study (here: http://pss.sagepub.com/content/early/2010/12/28/0956797610394660.abstract) showed that women responded as well to rape cues, again unlike men. But neither bonobos nor rape are something that society presents as “sexy”. Nonetheless, these women showed a physical response (but not subjective response; they weren’t aware of it).

  8. I am a bi man, 41. Over the course of my life I have dated more women than men and been with women longer term. As a young man I was mostly attracted to women and had sexual encounters with women in high school. When I had sex with a man “both lightbulbs turned on”. I have talked to straight men who have been attracted to men from time to time, looked at gay porn, made out with guys but did not take it all the way, or have had strong emotional feelings for other men. I have talked to gay men too who were married, realized they were more into men but still attracted to women and enjoyed sex with women. Or gay men who emded up falling in love with women. What these latest studies do not reveal is 1) emotional attraction 2) various body types and androgynous attraction. 3) personality attraction. Strangely I have been mostly attracted to bisexual women without knowing that they were bisexual.

    As far as social stigma – I have been out as bi for a long time and even though my dominate attraction is women bi translates into “gay and in the closet” phase etc. So the idea that men would chose “bi” for social acceptance is BS as most bi men either straight leaning or gay leaning say they are straight or gay. 2) homo behavior in men has been punishable by death or prison for centuries while homo behavior in women has not – but partly because our culture disregards women’s sexuality all together. 3) Men in our culture can be very tribal meaning “are you on our team or not?” this polar thinking creates polarity in sexualities even when men can be just as complex as women. 4) Men are not permitted to hug, kiss or show affection in Northern European derived cultures. Men are not allowed to show affection or hug other men much less have sex with each other.

    The pupil study of Cornell revealed “almost straight men” as well – men who have a slight attraction toother men. these are not gay or bisexual men.

    The fact that our culture has only just begun to recognize that bisexuality in men is an actual real and distinct sexual orientation in men reveals a lot about how men are policed sexually. But all we need to do is look at History and Anthropolgy to reveal various ways bisexuality has been structured in cultures (ancient Greece or 13th century Japan.) But also Polynesia and many more examples. Homosexual and bisexual behavior have been chronically erased by our heteronormative, colonizing western culture. But oddly Gay male culture also erases bisexuality in men too.

    Bisexuality in men poses a strange threat to our culture and it’s catagories.

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