Bisexual Males Startle Scientists
SEXUALITIES, 3 Oct 2011
Society has long refused to recognize male bisexuality. Bisexual men were believed to be gay who from time to time allow an affair with a woman. Science proved that bisexuals do exist in pure form. However, they admit that the society will not soon begin to understand the nuances of sexuality.
Researchers at Northwestern University of the USA found evidence that some men who consider themselves bisexual can indeed be attracted to both sexes. Not to say that this was some kind of revelation to the public, but scientists have finally calmed down as they have been tormented with the question of the nature of bisexuality for years.
Back in 2005, a number of psychologists, including those from the aforementioned university, said that there is no such thing as male bisexuality. This conclusion rightly outraged bisexuals. Activists also accused the researchers of supporting the stereotype that bisexuals are gay unwilling to admit it and therefore opening up only half of the truth.
For the present study, psychologists selected participants with great care. They searched online the sites frequented by bisexuals and selected a group of volunteers who met all the criteria, that is, had at least two sex partners of each sex in their track record and saw them for at least three months. For comparison, the study conducted in 2005 mainly involved members of the gay community.
In both experiments the men were showed a video with scenes of homosexual love between men and between women. The sensors that identified sexual arousal detected a response in bisexual men in both cases, while gay men and men with a traditional orientation responded to only one of the videos.
In March of this year the study was expanded: the already mentioned video list also included an episode in which a man was making love to a woman and another man, in the hope that bisexuals would appreciate it. The researchers – a psychologist Jerome Cerny and Erick Janssen, a senior fellow of the Kinsey Institute – noticed that the last episode provoked a stronger reaction of the bisexuals. Lisa Diamond, a professor of psychology at the University of Utah, said that both of these studies show that bisexuality is not an excuse of the gay, but a completely separate category of intimate preferences.
In any case, society will take long to get used to the new category of sexual minorities. We tend to think in “black and white” categories that do not imply any shades of gray. In the meantime, bisexuals feel invisible as it is easier for the society to label them “gay” or “heterosexual” rather than understand their preferences.
“Everyone thinks that I must either be gay or not,” complains 20-year-old Brooklyn resident, Simon. “Because of this, I begin to feel insecure.” If his relationships with a woman do not work out, Simon begins to torment himself with a question: can I be gay? If the relationships with a man do not work out, Simon thinks, no, rather, I am a heterosexual. After numerous inquiries about orientation from others is not surprising that they bisexuals begin to ask themselves the same questions.
Some, tired of identity crisis, compromise with themselves. For example, 49-year-old Ed admitted that in different companies he behaves differently. Depending on the environment, he can “be” either gay or straight. Many bisexuals who meet gay say that they are gay in their company while in the company of women they are inveterate heterosexuals. This approach makes their life easier, eliminating the need to spend time explaining all the nuances of their sex lives.
The research in the area of bisexuality is ongoing, but for now, experts say, it is clear that it will never become synonymous with masculinity because homophobic attitudes in any society, even the seemingly tolerant one, are too strong. For this reason, bisexuals admit that on dating sites they appear straight. If a bisexual woman is believed by many to be a gift of fate, hardly anyone would say it about bisexual men.
Sources used: www.nytimes.com; www.salon.com.
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