Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Where have all the bisexuals gone?

You know, it's come to my attention that there isn't nearly enough sex at The Reaction. And, after all, doesn't sex sell? Don't we need more of it here?

No, no, not to worry, I'm not about to move away from politics, but here, for your amusement and/or edification and/or personal reflection is an interesting article on bisexuality that I came across today while surfing through the Times. It seems that a study conducted by psychologists in Toronto and Chicago has found that true bisexuality might be nothing more than a myth, indeed, that those men who define themselves as bisexual are actually homosexual: "In the new study, a team of psychologists directly measured genital arousal patterns in response to images of men and women. The psychologists found that men who identified themselves as bisexual were in fact exclusively aroused by either one sex or the other, usually by other men."

Does the study mean anything? Maybe, maybe not. First, only men were tested, and "bisexuality appears easier to demonstrate in the female sex. A study published last November by the same team of Canadian and American researchers, for example, found that most women who said they were bisexual showed arousal to men and to women." Second, "other researchers -- and some self-identified bisexuals -- say that the technique used in the study to measure genital arousal is too crude to capture the richness -- erotic sensations, affection, admiration -- that constitutes sexual attraction."

So there you go. Make of it what you will.

I've long thought that we're all somehow bisexual to varying degrees. In this sense, sexual orientation is more of a continuum from heterosexuality to homosexuality than a set of distinct inclinations, with our place on that continuum determined (and moved around) by the complex and ever-shifting interaction of nature and nurture. I suppose, then, that I agree with those "other researchers". Genital arousal may mean something, but it surely can't explain it all.

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  • Slow news day, huh?
    Well, here's news. My ceiling is leaking and that sucks.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:48 AM  

  • Oh, no thoughts on notorious murderer and commiter of sororicide Karla Homokola who was released today? "Je n'arrive pas me pardonner," she said, teary eyed. She refused to give English language media an interview. Still calculated, still scary.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:50 AM  

  • Sorry about your ceiling, Rachel.

    I don't have much to say about Homolka. I agree that she still seems "calculated" and "scary," but what concerns me is much of the reaction (no pun intended) to her release. Whether we like it or not, this is the justice system we have. There was a deal, she went to prison, and now her sentence is up. What is there to do? The Crown (or what would be the state in the U.S.) can't keep her locked up indefinitely, and the fact is we live in a system that protects citizens from political authority. If anyone can come up with a better system, I'd be willing to give it some thought, but even our most atrocious criminals deserve due process. I realize that the Homolka case arouses intense passions that may be at odds with our liberalism, but we need to think about the consequences of what is being said. Do we want to live in a society where the state can hold people indefinitely? Or where there is no due process for the accused?

    By Blogger Michael J.W. Stickings, at 12:23 PM  

  • how did these devolve from bisexuality?

    To address the original topic: I firmly believe that bisexuality not only exists, but is likely quite common - perhaps even more common than true heterosexuality. I think the trouble here comes in definitions - does penile tumescence define the global experience of sexual attraction for a male? I should hope not. Perhaps the data are so different from those for women because "measuring" arousal (is this even really possible without major confounding? I doubt it.) is so much more subjective for women? does one have to demonstrate equivalent physically measurable sexual readiness in response to images of males and females to be bisexual? or could the attractions be expressed differently or unequally whilst still being valid?

    as an aside, I don't think this post was so unrelated to the usual topics of politics - little is more political, societally-influenced, and subject to the judgement of others than sex.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:21 PM  

  • Seems that the population self-identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) becomes more and more. According to my experience on the site *BiLoves dotcom* (a site for coming out, explore sexuality, etc.), there are about 150 members per day and they are very active. You can imagine.If you come here frequently, you may find what you are looking easily and quickly.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:21 AM  

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