One study, led by Dr. Gerulf Rieger of the University of Essex looked at human sexuality in an effort to understand exactly what makes the gentle sex tick. It recorded the biological responses (a fancy wording for arousal) of a sample of 345 women who watched videos of nude males and females. And the data is quite surprising: 82% of participants responded sexually to both men and women.
Women who identified as lesbians unsurprisingly showed a strong preference for the female form. But what the team didn’t expected was that 74% of the ones who reported their sexual orientation as “straight” were also aroused by the videos showing nude women, in addition to the ones showing only men.
“Even though the majority of women identify as straight,” Dr. Rieger said, “our research clearly demonstrates that when it comes to what turns them on, they are either bisexual or gay, but never straight.”
There are a few flaws that I see with this study though:
For starters, it doesn’t mention including openly bisexual women. Either this was not an option for the participants to choose from, or the data was lost during re-writing (i haven’t been able to locate the original papers of the study yet). Thought the argument could be made that if a large portion of the women identify as bisexual, the findings (i.e. women are bisexual) still stand, i don’t agree with that — the test aimed to find what fires up the imagination and loins of ladies everywhere, but maybe the test just happened to include mainly bisexual or so-called “bi-curious” women on accident; there’s a certain social stigma associated with homosexuality, and faced with a choice between hetero or homo-sexual, many of the participants could have chosen the first one out of the need for social acceptance, rather than personal preference in bed buddies — more and clearer options regarding sexual orientation would have been ideal.
Secondly — and this is not the fault of the study per-say but rather the one leading it — Dr. Rieger has a knack for generalization; 74 percent still needs an extra 26 percent for a whole.
Add this to the fact that previous work of his found that bisexuality in men doesn’t exist at all — again, pretty broad — you kinda start seeing a pattern.
But, just because I personally have some issues with how the study was carried out and Dr. Rieger’s inclination towards headline-grabbing statements, does not mean that the findings are wrong — he may very well be right on target, and there are no biologically heterosexual women out there. I’d definitely like to see more studies that come to test the good doctor’s findings.
And who knows, maybe we’ll find something about the ladies that we all can enjoy. But right now?…Naaaah.
Enjoyed this article? Join 40,000+ subscribers to the ZME Science newsletter. Subscribe now!