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A study says that almost all women are bisexual

A study says that almost all women are bisexual

May 24, 2022

An investigative article by Rieger et al. (2016) suggests that women are almost never exclusively heterosexual , but most become so excited to see images of men as attractive women. Next we will analyze this study so that the reader can assess the degree of credibility of this bold statement.

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The study of the University of Essex

Recently a research team from the University of Essex led by the psychologist and anthropologist Gerulf Rieger has published the results of their studies around the differences between men and women in the response to sexual stimuli. These authors also analyzed the peculiarities of these patterns in homosexual persons.


The article by Rieger and colleagues is based on two studies carried out by this team. The first of them focused on the genital responses associated with sexual arousal and self-reports about the degree of masculinity or femininity perceived by the subjects in themselves.

The second investigation, on the other hand, focused on a particular sign of the sexual response: pupillary dilation or mydriasis in the presence of sexual stimuli . Likewise, this element was again compared with the degree of masculinity / femininity, although in this case it was measured by external observers as well as by self-report.

According to the authors of this study, their hypotheses were based on different information obtained in previous investigations. A particularly outstanding aspect in this regard is the scientific evidence regarding differences in the sexual responses of men and women, as well as those between heterosexual and homosexual women.


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Differences in excitement between men and women

Different studies, including that of the Rieger team, have found significant differences in reactivity to sexual stimuli based on biological sex. Specific, The sexual response of heterosexual males is specific for female stimuli , but that of heterosexual women is not so much for male images.

Apparently, the physiological response (in this case pupil dilation) of heterosexual males appears almost exclusively when the eliciting stimuli include female elements. This would be the typical pattern in men who consider themselves heterosexual, although the answer may vary depending on the case.

By cons, women respond to both male and female sexual stimuli even if they claim that they are exclusively heterosexual. Thus, the degree of pupillary dilation of hetero women turned out to be similar when the sexual images that were presented included men as when they were other women.


It is for this reason that the Rieger team ventures to affirm that women are not usually completely heterosexual, but that most of them would be bisexual. Specifically, 74% of the heterosexual women who participated in the study showed intense sexual activation responses when viewing images of attractive women.

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Patterns based on sexual orientation

According to researchers at the University of Essex, homosexual women are the exception to the female general pattern . Interestingly, their sexual response seems to be more similar to that of males than to females - always taking into account, of course, that studies of this type focus on average values.

In this way, women who claim to be exclusively attracted to women tend to react selectively to female sexual stimuli, and not when they are related to males. As we can see, this response is closer to that of the masculine gender than to that of women who consider themselves heterosexual.

In addition, the Rieger team argues that the behavior of homosexual women tends to be more typically masculine than that of heterosexuals. The degree of selectivity in the response to female sexual stimuli seems to be correlated with the intensity of masculinity of external behavior ("Non-sexual masculinity").

However, the authors claim that there is no evidence that sexual and non-sexual patterns are connected to each other. Thus, these two types of masculinity would develop independently as a consequence of different factors, in the words of this research team.

All bisexual? The cause of these differences

The Essex University team's studies used sexual material of a visual nature.In this sense it is worth bearing in mind that, according to research such as that of Hamann et al. (2004), men respond more intensively than women to visual stimuli when these are related to sexuality.

This seems to be related to the fact that certain regions of the brain of men are activated more than those of women in the presence of this class of images. In particular, some of the relevant structures are the amygdala (especially the left), the hypothalamus and the ventral striatum, which is located in the basal ganglia.

By cons, women they seem to get more excited depending on the context ; that is, they tend to show responses such as pupillary dilation if in the situation there are present sexual keys, regardless of whether they are male or female.

It has been proposed that these differences may be due in part to differential socialization between men and women. Thus, while men would learn to suppress homosexual thoughts in times of sexual arousal, women may feel less socially pressured in this regard.

Bibliographic references:

  • Hamann, S., Herman, R. A., Nolan, C. L. & Wallen, K. (2004). Men and women differ in amygdala response to visual sexual stimuli. Nature Neuroscience, 7: 411-416.
  • Rieger, G., Savin-Williams, R.C., Chivers, M.L. and Bailey, J.M. (2016). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 111 (2): 265-283.

Are Women More Likely To Be Bisexual? (May 2022).


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