New study says no one is 100% straight

According to one study, sexuality is much more fluid than social norms would have us believe. Here is what you should know.

New study says no one is 100% straight
© James A. Molnar / Unsplash
New study says no one is 100% straight

Are we all bisexual? In 2015, a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology threw a spanner in the works by indicating that people who identify as heterosexual can also be attracted to people of the same sex.

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Eyes widen when you see people of the same sex masturbating

In this study, the researchers studied several men and women who were asked to watch adult content that mixed heterosexual and homosexual intercourse.

They wanted to know whether people watching these films showed signs of sexual arousal, i.e. pupil dilation (an uncontrollable movement that can be observed non-invasively).

After several days' observation, this study showed that women's pupils dilated when they saw a man and a woman making love or masturbating, but more surprisingly, also when two women engaged in sexual activity with each other. A similar phenomenon was also observed on the male side.

Read more:This sexual practice is common for women, but men also find pleasure in it

Bisexuality is a spectrum

How can we interpret this study? In an interview with Vice, Ritch C Savin-Williams, one of the researchers, explains:

When we show straight men a photo of a woman masturbating, we find that physiologically there's arousal. But then when you also show them a man masturbating, their eyes dilate too. We're able to demonstrate that physiologically, no one can say they're gay, straight or bisexual.

In other words, if we disregard social barriers and pay attention to our bodies' reactions, this would mean that no one is 100% straight. Mind you, this doesn't mean that you're unconsciously attracted to your baker or supermarket cashier, or that you're secretly gay, but rather that bisexuality is a spectrum. A relative value, which society pushes us to express more or less... Well, rather less than more, as the researcher points out:

There are aspects [of male sexuality] on a continuum, just as we've always recognized for women. Men have been subjected to so many cultural pressures that even if they feel some sexual attraction to men, they'll never say so.

Read more:South Korea makes landmark ruling on recognising rights of same-sex couples

This article has been translated from Gentside FR.

Sources used:

National Library of Medicine: Sexual arousal and masculinity-femininity of women

Vice: Straight People Don't Exist, Research Says

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