New study finds that straight people don't actually exist
We've become more aware and accepting of various types of sexuality, recognizing that there is a spectrum. But while people may identify as gay or straight or whatever Stewie Griffin is, the truth is that their sexuality may actually be more fluid. In fact, according to a new study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, straight people don't actually exist.
The study was conducted on a sample of women, who were asked to watch straight adult films and gay adult films. (Which, by the way, sounds like the most fun scientific study ever.) As they watched the movies, the researchers studied their neurological reactions. No matter what sexuality they reported, their bodies responded positively to depictions of homosexual and heterosexual sex. When people say they're simply gay or straight, they're not being totally honest.
So, how did they observe these physiological responses? When people become aroused, their eyes dilate, according to Ritch C. Savin-Williams, the Director of Developmental Psychology and the Director of the Sex and Gender Lab in the Department of Human Development at Cornell University:
"It’s basically a study that assesses sexual orientation by looking at the eyes and whether they dilate or not. You can’t control your eye dilation.
Essentially, that’s what the whole project attempts to get at, another way of assessing sexuality without relying on self report.
Another way of course is genital arousal, but that gets a little invasive."
Indeed. That would probably lead to a lawsuit.
There is a clash between how people report their sexuality compared to what actually arouses them. While we've made strides as a society to be more accepting, people are still influenced by what they believe to be "normal." Women tend to be more honest about their sexual orientation, while men tend to be more in denial:
"We've always recognized mostly straight women, that is, women who mostly are straight but if the right woman comes along, well maybe she'll try it out.
We used to think that was only a female phenomenon. We show straight men a picture of a woman masturbating and they respond just like a straight guy, but then you also show them a guy masturbating and their eyes dilate a little bit.
So we're actually able to show physiologically that all guys are not either gay, straight, or bi.
There are aspects [of male sexuality] along a continuum, just as we have always recognized with women. Men have gotten so much cultural crap put on them that even if a man does have some sexual attraction to guys, they would never say it."
The researchers hope that their study changes our assumptions about heteronormative sexuality. By recognizing their authentic desires, people can express their true selves.
"I do see this loosening of the boundaries. I think that's happening for both sexes. It's probably a good thing, because it gives kids growing up more diversity, more options, so they don't feel like they have to fit in [at all costs].
Straight women and straight men feel much more comfortable than ever before in going into the realm of the other sex in terms of gender role and how they act.
If you look at women, the self esteem of lesbian women tends to be higher than that of straight women.
Maybe they feel like they have more freedom [to be who they really are]. Granted, society may not always like it, but it is your own authentic self."
So, according to this study, there are no straight people - just mostly straight people. Although we like to put simple labels on people, their sexuality is often more complex.
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