No such thing as a straight woman

But gay women are very definitely gay say researchers from Essex University


No one is more aware than I of the minefield I’m stomping into here. In my defence I am wholly and completely relying on the scientific text so if I cross any lines of sensitivity or post-modern sexual awareness then blame the team which published its findings this week in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

The premise is very simple; test the individual’s actual statement of sexual preference against their physiological arousal by sexual stimuli.

It has already been established that men’s stated preferences tend to accurately reflect their physiological responses. Straight men are more turned on by women and gay men are more turned on by men.

But various studies have also shown that women are less accurate when they make similar statements.

What Dr Gerulf Reiger and his team set out to do was measure the level of this discrepancy and, for the first time, measure gay women as a distinct and separate group.

After asking 345 women to express their sexual preferences they then tested their arousal levels while being shown videos of attractive men and women.

The results surprised the researchers when the gay women participants recorded scores that were similar to their male counterparts, 68% of gay women were more turned on by women whereas only 28% of the ‘straight’ participants were more aroused by men.

The researchers were keen to stress that this did not make the women gay, but did reflect a more nuanced and complicated sexuality than simple attraction to a particular gender.

That gay women share more in common with males was the main revelation to the team.

They insist more research is needed before any definitive conclusions are drawn but would venture to suggest that any woman who categorically states that they are in no way aroused by their own sex, is either lying or unaware of their own true sexuality.

I put this to the women in the Benson household and got a marked increase in eye rolling and head shaking.

“Oh Daddy” said my recently graduated anthropologist daughter, walking away with a heavy sigh of disappointment.

I bet Dr Reiger gets that a lot.




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