Gay, straight, bi-sexual… for a while now people have been coming round to the idea that sexuality isn’t necessarily a one-or-the-other option, and now a new study has revealed that no one is 100% heterosexual.
The research, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, concluded that there’s no such thing as a “straight” man or woman, but rather, sexuality operates on a spectrum.
A research team, from the US, studied the reaction of men and women who identified as heterosexual when they were shown different kinds of pornographic material.
The main indicator they assessed was pupil dilation, which is a sign of sexual arousal.
The study found that women’s eyes dilated when they watched a man and a woman being sexuality intimate, but also when two women were getting it on.
And similar results were witnessed with men in that their eyes dilated watching women masturbate, and watching men masturbate.
Lead study author, Ritch C Savin-Williams, who is also the Director of Developmental Psychology at Cornell University told Broadly that he hoped the study would help prove that people are “not either gay, straight, or bi.”
“We show straight men a picture of a woman masturbating and they respond just like a straight guy, but then you also show them a guy masturbating and their eyes dilate a little bit,” he said.
“So we’re actually able to show physiologically that all guys are not either gay, straight, or bi.”
He suggests that though the idea of bisexuality as the norm is becoming more accepted for women, men still struggle with the stigma surrounding the concept.
“There are aspects [of male sexuality] along a continuum, just as we have always recognised with women,” he continues.
“Men have gotten so much cultural crap put on them that even if a man does have some sexual attraction to guys, they would never say it.”
Savin-Williams hopes that the results of the study would provide a “loosening of the boundaries”.
“I think that’s happening for both sexes. It’s probably a good thing, because it gives kids growing up more diversity, more options, so they don’t feel like they have to fit in [at all costs].”
It’s a sentiment echoed in Savin-Williams new book, Mostly Straight: Sexual Fluidity Among Men, which interviews 40 men who identify as ‘straight’ but have also had liaisons with other men.
The book finds that younger generations in particular are more open to the idea of a more fluid definition of their sexuality.
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