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.
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.
(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!