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Bisexuality: Not a Phase

Sex Bi-sexuality 2008

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#1 sierraleone

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 11:01 AM

That thread icon was mock shock by the way  :lol:

I remember years ago getting in a discussion with my cousin, who has nothing against gays, but didn't believe in bi-sexuality. Called bisexuals bi-curious  :rolleyes: Thought their orientation would become one or the other in the end.

Anyway, it you want the article which references a study, here ya go:

http://www.theglobea...lifeFamily/home

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Bisexuality is not a phase or a period of experimentation that inevitably leads toward same-sex partnerships, new research has found, but a "third orientation" that remains distinctive over the years.

The study, which followed a group of 79 non-heterosexual women over a 10-year period, was published in this month's edition of Developmental Psychology.

The findings fly in the face of the popularly held notion within both straight and gay communities that bisexuality is not a real form of sexuality, but a temporary attraction, said Lisa Diamond, the University of Utah psychology professor who conducted the study.

Though I don't know how 79 people represent a proper sample.

Quote

Bisexuality has not been the subject of much academic study over the years, Dr. Diamond said, and subjects who identify as bisexual are often excluded from studies of human sexuality because researchers do not know how to interpret their results.

"I've had journal editors say it would make for a much cleaner study if you just took them out," she said. "And that's exactly what keeps happening, so we know almost nothing."

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#2 Godeskian

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 11:05 AM

Color me shocked..... no really......well, no not really. This is right next to homosexuality being a 'phase'

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#3 Christopher

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 11:52 AM

It's sad how groups who are victims of prejudice themselves tend to be prejudiced toward others even though you'd think they'd know better.  Gay people saying bi isn't a "real" form of sexuality is no different from heteros saying homosexuality isn't "real."

I thought Kinsey or whoever had established decades ago that sexual orientation is a continuum, not a dichotomy.  So I'm surprised that sex researchers have been using an artificially dualistic model.
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#4 sierraleone

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 12:06 PM

View PostChristopher, on Jan 17 2008, 11:52 AM, said:

It's sad how groups who are victims of prejudice themselves tend to be prejudiced toward others even though you'd think they'd know better.  Gay people saying bi isn't a "real" form of sexuality is no different from heteros saying homosexuality isn't "real."

I thought Kinsey or whoever had established decades ago that sexual orientation is a continuum, not a dichotomy.  So I'm surprised that sex researchers have been using an artificially dualistic model.

Just like any discriminated against group should know better? I initially thought that as well... until my sister told me of some Hitler-loving gay man. IIRC I asked, "Does he know Hitler persecuted gays?!" "Yeah" Apparently didn't matter, Hitler was revered god-like practically. No flaws. Also the guy had things against 'trannies'... can't remember what else. It wasn't even like he was in the closest, she meet him at a GLBT group.
Of course this was second hand information.

But there are prejudice gays just like there is prejudice everything :)
Men-hating feminist is practically considered normal for feminists, not that I'm saying it is, but it is certainly a prevalant stereotype.
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#5 BklnScott

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 08:12 PM

Note that these subjects were WOMEN, and many studies have demonstrated that orientation is wired differently in men than it is in women.  In men, orientation appears to be more like a switch, whereas in women it's more fluid.

A 2005 study concluded that there may well be no such thing as bisexuality in men.  The study Sierraleone posted, and most previous studies -- including the infamous Kinsey Report referenced by Christopher -- relied upon self-evaluation.  This study--the 2005 study--on the other hand, was stimulus/response.  

nytimes said:

In the new study, a team of psychologists directly measured genital arousal patterns in response to images of men and women. The psychologists found that men who identified themselves as bisexual were in fact exclusively aroused by either one sex or the other, usually by other men.

I don't believe there are truly bisexual men.  (If there are, they are extraordinarily rare.)  Oh, there are men who have sex with partners of both genders -- but there are many reasons why a gay man would seek sex with a woman, and NONE of them have to do with what actually arouses him... and *that's* the true measure of sexual orientation: what arouses you.

Edited by ScottEVill, 17 January 2008 - 08:14 PM.

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#6 Broph

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 08:18 PM

View PostScottEVill, on Jan 18 2008, 01:12 AM, said:

I don't believe there are truly bisexual men.  (If there are, they are extraordinarily rare.)  Oh, there are men who have sex with partners of both genders -- but there are many reasons why a gay man would seek sex with a woman, and NONE of them have to do with what actually arouses him... and *that's* the true measure of sexual orientation: what arouses you.

Funny; the lesbians I know don't believe there are truly bisexual women.

#7 BklnScott

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 08:35 PM

I know (and have discussed this with) a lot of lesbians.  (My summer share is in a town where lesbians are the majority--the only such town in the world, AFAIK.)  However, I don't know many lesbians who agree with your friends on this.  

Certainly, the study Sierraleone linked to, and other studies, suggest that there are quite a few women whose gender preference genuinely changes over the course of their lifetimes, or even from individual to individual.  (One famous example: Anne Heche.)  

You simply do not see that phenomenon among men.  Doesn't happen.  For example, thousands of men who self-identify as bi enter into long term relationships with women--and then cheat on them exclusively with men.  But you don't see the converse: men who self-identify as bi entering into long term relationships with other men, and then cheating on them with women.  Again: doesn't happen.

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#8 Broph

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 08:50 PM

I couldn't really say. I usually have to be told such things. I was at a party one night and I was going to mention to this one guy, Robbie, that I thought that we were the only straight people at the party (we were the only men, in any case). That was the night I found out Robbie was gay. i only know a few gay men; I know a fair number of lesbians.

#9 Shalamar

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 09:28 PM

As a bisexual, who knows people with attraction / arousal /  preferences  that fall across the entire spectrum, I will have to say from personal experience that both your lesbian and homosexual friends are just fooling themselves. I know men who are bisexual and women who are bisexual.

We all have men we get aroused by, women we get aroused by, men that do absolutely nothing for us, and women who do nothing for us...

In fact most every bisexual I know says that in the end what they find arousing / attractive / preferable- it all has to do with personality not gender
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#10 Raina

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 10:20 PM

I know some gay men and bisexual women, but no bisexual men and lesbian women. I've always wondered if this is just a fluke of who I've met, or if men are more likely to be exclusively into one gender or another than women are.

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#11 Orpheus

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 11:21 PM

Scott: I don't find that 2005 study of just 33 self-reported bisexuals very compelling --esp. when 1/3 of test subjects of all orientations didn't register arousal to *either gender* by the standards of the study. Let me turn it around: are you saying that 1/3 of the self-avowed gay subjects were kidding themselves  If you were among that 1/3, would you call that proof that you were not gay, but kidding yourself? Or are you just assuming that would never happen to you?

However strong your sexuality, it certainly *could* happen to you, if the criteria were poor. A test that fails to detect any orientation (much less the correct one)  in 1/3 of subjects is *less* accurate than self-reporting, however strong its rationale seems to you. Quite a few people in your NYT article noted this flaw, and it's well established that that response to *visual* stimulus is absolutely NOT the sole determinant in men. We simply wish it  we had a good objective physiological response that was convenient. (we don't -- objectively measuring a subjective quality is tough)How would you objective measure subject responses to a panel of personalities or caresses or "being chatted up at a party"? Bisexuals, like anyone else, use many, often unconscious, criteria when choosing each successive partner in their lives. To say "what turns men on visually is all that counts" would be to say "men always choose the prettiest partner they can get".

I know that's not true of myself or most men I know of any orientation. The difference is: to bisexuals, gender would be just another option, like race (which was/is an equally viscerally unthinkable or "unnatural" choice to many people).

I can appreciate that, in our culture, your orientation carries challenges or burdens that mine does not. I ask, however, isn't it at least plausible that people who are forced to defend and justify their orientation against a culture that ranges form questioning to ignoring to denying to sometime reviling their preference ... might perhaps have a vested stake in asserting the immutable "objective fact"  of their orientation to the point of rejecting any (to them) intermediate state?

I certainly note that anti-bisexual view is stronger among the gay I know than heterosexual men -- and *logically* (i.e subtracting the cultural factor above) a strictly gay man has no more claim to superior expertise on actual bisexuals than a straight man. That would be like a straight man passing judgment on gays based on some adolescent experiments  (of course some people would call him gay whatever *he* thought) To refute another common meme mentioned in your NYT article: gay men often claim/believe they are straight before they realize/admit they are gay -- yet straight men still exist! What people who AREN'T bisexual say/do/believe has little bearing on those who ARE

I'd let a bisexual decide their own orientation as I'd let anyone else. I certainly wouldn't presume to assert that a certain choice is so unnatural as to be nonexistent or extremely rare. I could easily see a bisexual finding that offensive.

You may not be aware of men involved in homosexual relationships who "cheat" with women, but I am aware of such cases. It would be easy to "define them out of existence" by simply arguing that they "weren't really gay", and I've often heard both hetero- and homosexuals make that kind of remark. Once you remove marriage from the picture (and were still nowhere near the point where that is a symmetric measure, then your argument with insdcate that man who is having serious ongoing relationships with  both a man and a woman may well be cheating on the woman, but not cheating on the man because "that never happens". I'd argue it was cheating on both, and I'm aware of exactly such cases even if it doesn't happen to be common in your social circles or routine duties.

Since you deny the existence of bisexual men, you must not know any, nor hang in their circles. Those would be the people who would best know about the kind the situation you deny. The unthinkable often turns much less so, once you become familiar with it. I've pulled out a man's still-beating heart and held it in my hand -- and had him thank me later [1]. In my circle, it was merely an interesting story, but most would intuitively consider it an impossible threat or lie.  "Straight sex" seemed more than a bit implausible/unpleasant when I first heard the exact details (I was actually less taken aback when I heard the details of gay sex, years later) yet I'm really rather fond of it now. YMMV

[1] I wish I'd been the one to answer the concerned phone call when my son proudly repeated that sentence at kindergarten lunch. Suffice it to say: threats wouldn't have worked well in our family -- how could I top that?)

Edited by Orpheus, 17 January 2008 - 11:28 PM.


#12 Nittany Lioness

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Posted 18 January 2008 - 12:03 PM

Here's another wrinkle in the tapestry -

I assume the '05 study has a physical measure much like a documentary I caught on Discovery or somesuch;
pardon the graphic description - a collar around the penis registering engorgment and a light suppository measuring vaginal moisture.  Or maybe it was brain scans?
What about the idea that heterosexual people can be aroused in some measure by simply observing a member of their same sex being aroused/in flagrante delicto ?  For instance, if a 1 minute video of a male shown only from the bellybutton up but obviously in the middle of intercourse (you see he's thrusting andhis facial expressions, flushness, etc...) sends some blood flowing in a claimed heterosexual male observer, I would hesitate to draw any conclusion from that.  
Ie. The When Harry Met Sally reaction, sort of - How do we know Rob Reiner's mother wasn't a tad wet in her granny panties?  :p  <sorry>

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#13 Mr. Synystyr

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Posted 18 January 2008 - 01:00 PM

I know a couple of bisexual men, some gay men, a few lesbians, and many bisexual women.  I understand that "Us" vs. "Them" is an easy mentality to fall into, but when it comes to sexuality I have to admit I've always liked Kinsey's scale (although it, too, is oversimplified).

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#14 Nikcara

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Posted 19 January 2008 - 12:52 AM

I know some lesbians who won't date bisexual women because they're afraid of getting left for a man, but that's the closest I've really heard from that community that it's just a "phase" or not actually real.  

I've known bisexual guys.  One in particular somewhat regularly runs out on his wife to have sex with men and/or other women (it's an open relationship, so it's not as problamatic as it sounds).  Sometimes they even share partners.  If he were really that worried about what society thought of his sexuality, I very much doubt he would be openly and proudly polyamourus.
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