Wednesday, July 13, 2005

so, the new york times last week wrote an article about a recent study on the issue of bisexuality. basically, what they did, was show a group of men (1/3 of them identified as straight, 1/3 as gay, and 1/3 as bi) erotic movies, some of which had men in them, and some of which had women in them. their finding was that the bi men all reacted much more strongly to either the female erotica or the male erotica...based on studying their genital arousal patterns, 1/4 of them had patterns indistinguishable from the straight men,and 3/4 of them were indistinguishable from the gay men. thus, they think this casts doubt on the existence of bisexuality.

it's an interesting idea, but i don't really buy it. i think the methodology is's an interesting attempt, using reactions to erotica, but i really don't think it's the same as studying real-life attraction patterns or responses to contact with members of one sex, the other, or both that they find attractive. i mean, if i had been a subject in a study of women that used that same methodology, they'd decide i was calling myself bi because i didn't want to come out as a lesbian. why? because i don't like men in my erotica...i like women in my erotica. but, that doesn't mean that i can't be attracted to men as well as women in real life. i think, before they can make blanket statements about bisexuality because of the results of a study like that, they need to do more research (or find studies, if they've been done) about people's reaction to different kinds of erotic material and how (if at all) it relates to their real-life sexual identifications and how it relates to what arouses them in real life.

i won't go so far as to say what some people are saying, that this study can only be a product of biphobic motives. i just think the methodology is flawed. it's an interesting question, and i think it's worth study...although i'm fully convinced that bisexuality exists, it would be nice to see extensive scientific study on the matter. still, i don't think any one study can "debunk" the "existence" of bisexuality...especially a study that doesn't take into account anything but the subjects' reaction to erotica.

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