A new study by a lead researcher at Cornell University is adding even more spice to our gendered norms, by asserting that no heterosexual person is solely turned on by the opposite sex. The study asserts that most people get aroused by both genders, says DailyMail.
Sexual preference has been a huge topic in the past few years, particularly with gay rights movements and LGBTQ awareness and rising visibility.
The question into the definitions of sexuality has been steadily rising, and this study proves that it may be moving the spectrum even more than in the past.
Particularly for heterosexual men, as author Ritch C Savin-Williams points out in the study, the concept of bisexuality is more complex.
Published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Savin-Williams equally examined both male and female-identified volunteers.
Each were shown porn involving men and involving women, and measured the dilation of their pupils, which reportedly is an indicator of sexual arousal.
In the study, women’s eyes dilated both while watching men with women and watching women with women.
Men’s eyes similarly dilated watching women masturbate, and while watching men masturbate, regardless of their sexual preference.
Answers not simple
Granted, there are questions left unanswered and seems to leave a lot to speculation. For instance, Savin-Williams told Vice, “We used to think [bisexuality] was only a female phenomenon,” assuming that the arousal from men watching men directly relates to men being attracted to men. It could very easily be more complex than that. Perhaps the arousal is from their ability to visually stimulate arousal based upon the memory sensations of the act on themselves?
In a previous study, Savin-Williams reportedly found between 2 and 11 percent of adults had reported experiencing homosexual feelings. But he seems to contradict himself by stating that he believes the fluidity of arousal is commonly understated.
We do know that sexuality is fluid, but is it fluid because arousal is fluid? Arousal is strongly associated with a physiological state, attached to the memory of a sensation. Can one be aroused by the opposite sex without wanting to engage in sex with them?
“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 told Vice.
Still, Savin-Williams has concluded that heterosexual men are better identified as “mostly straight,” so it seems that the heterosexual spectrum for men is bending, though not too far off.