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Sex Question Friday: Are women more likely to be bisexual than men?

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Every FriDay on The blog, I answer questions about Sex that are sent to me by real college Students. This week, we are talKing about biSEXUALity. Many Students have askED me if it’s really possible For someOne to be atTractED to both Men and Women (a question I’ve previoUsly answeRedHere). However, The Student who askED this week’s question wantED to know if tHere is a difference between Male and Female biSEXUALity.

I’ve heard of research indicating that certain Men can only be atTractED to One Sex, while Women can be legitimately biSEXUAL. Is this True?

Not quite. The atTraction of Men is not necessarily limited to One Sex. In fact, a recent laboratory Experiment found that biSEXUAL Men experienced high levels of Sexual AROUSAL in response to both Male sexual imagesandFemale sexual imagery (to read more about this Study, clickHere) [1]. The AROUSAL pattern of bisexual men was different from that of hetEROSexual and homosexual men, who only experienced AROUSAL in response to images of the Desired sex (i.e., homosexual men were only Aroused by images of men, while hetEROSexual men they were only Aroused by images of men). Women). They were bisexual menequallyturned on by men and Women? Not necessarily. Bisexual men generally experienced Stronger AROUSAL in response to One sex than the otHer (some were more atTracted to men, while others were more attracted to Women). However, this shouldnotIt mUst be interpreted as bisexuality does not really exist in men, becaUse it does exist; it’s just that while bisexual men were actually very turned on by both sexes, they generally found one sex to be sLightly more arousing.

Although it is Clearly possible For Men to feel some degree of attraction to both sexes, bisexuality seems to be more common among women than among men. As evidence of this, research has found that self-identifiedStraightwomen exhibit significant levels of genital AROUSAL in response to MaleMale, FemaleFemale,andMale-female Pornography, whereas hetEROSexual men do not [2]. This suggests that men and women have different levels ofErotic Plasticity, so women are capable of being Aroused by a broader range of sexual targets than men. Also consistent with this idea are the results of some StuDies indicating that some women go back and forth between having relationships with men and women and changing their sexual identity to be consistent with their sexual Desires (a phenomeNon known as “sexual fluidity”) [ 3 ]. By contrast, reports of fluid sexuality among men are less common. The greater erotic Plasticity of women is also evidenced by the fact that women are less likely than men to developsexual Fetishes(ie becoming obsessed with certain objects or parts of the BODY to experience arousal and sexual Pleasure).

In short, while it is possible for both men and women to be bisexual, evidence from a variety of sources suggests that bisexuality may be more common among women than men.

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[1] Rosenthal, A.M., Sylva, D., Safron, A., & Bailey, J.M. (2011). Review of the patterns of sexual arousal of bisexual men.BiologiCal Psychology, 88,112-115.

[2] Chivers, M.L., Rieger, G., Latty, E., & Bailey, J.M. (2004). A sexual difference in the specificity of sexual arousal.PsychologiCal Sciences, 15,736-744.

[3] Diamond, L. (2008).Sexual fluidity: understanding women’s Love and desire. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

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PostingSex Question FriDay: Are women more likely to be bisexual than men?first Appeared inSex and Psychology.

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