Friday, August 26, 2011

Good News for Bisexual Men: You Exist After All!

This just in: the New York Times reports that scientists at Northwestern University have determined that bisexual men do, in fact, exist.

This is news because a previous "widely publicized" study determined that bisexual men were fooling themselves and/or their loved ones. According to the earlier study, bisexual men were mostly gay (or sometimes straight). Who did that study? Scientists at Northwestern. Where was it widely publicized? In the New York Times. (To be fair, the recent NYT story had the grace to link to the older one.)

I can just imagine the damage this must have caused.

MAN: Honey, I have something to tell you. I'm bisexual.
WIFE OR GIRLFRIEND: You mean you're gay??!
MAN: No, I'm bisexual.
WoG: You're gay! It says so in the New York Times.

Or conversely:

MAN: Honey, I have something to tell you. I'm bisexual.
MALE PARTNER: You mean you're straight??!
MAN: No, I'm bisexual.
MP: You're straight! It says so in the New York Times.

From the NYT:

“I’ve interviewed a lot of individuals about how invalidating it is when their own family members think they’re confused or going through a stage or in denial,” [Dr. Lisa Diamond] said.

The more recent study actually made an effort to find bisexual men. They used bisexual web sites and chose men with serious experience with both genders. Then, they monitored their genitals as they watched man-on-man and woman-on-woman videos. Bisexual men -- go figure! -- got turned on by both.

Despite her cautious praise of the new research, Dr. Diamond also noted that the kind of sexual arousal tested in the studies is only one element of sexual orientation and identity. And simply interpreting results about sexual arousal is complicated, because monitoring genital response to erotic images in a laboratory setting cannot replicate an actual human interaction, she added.

“Sexual arousal is a very complicated thing,” she said. “The real phenomenon in day-to-day life is extraordinarily messy and multifactorial.”

1 comment:

  1. Yes sexual arousal is indeed complicated. "Bisexual" is probably the MOST complicated and most misunderstood even by those who consider themselves bisexual.