Sophie Wilkinson | Contributing Editor | Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Young, Attractive, Educated Women More Likely To Be Bisexual, Study Says

Women Three Times As Likely To Be Bisexual As Men, Study Says

The Debrief: The study seemed to say that women will adapt to situations and suppress their sexuality if necessary...

Following on from the British survey which found that about half of young people don’t identify as straight or gay but somewhere in the middle of the vast spectrum of sexualities out there, an American study has found that young women are more likely to be bisexual than young men.

According to The Mirror, researchers tracked 5,018 women and 4,191 men as they grew up – from adolescence to young adulthood (the sample ages are therefore similar to the UK study) – and asked them about their sexuality every now and then. Like a really naggy mate who’s not getting any and wants to live vicariously through you and your sex life.

The women were three times more likely than men to change their sexual identities. And the ones most likely to tinker with their sexuality? The women who were less educated, less physically attractive and/or young mothers. Which sounds a bit like nonsense to us because, well, though these factors might be linked to sexuality, how much of them are linked to the situations that affect sexuality?

Lead researcher Dr Elizabeth McClintock, at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, explained at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association in Chicago: ‘Women with some degree of attraction to both males and females might be drawn into heterosexuality if they have favourable options in the heterosexual partner market.

‘Women who are initially successful in partnering with men, as is more traditionally expected, may never explore their attraction to other women.

‘However, women with the same sexual attractions, but less favourable heterosexual options might have greater opportunity to experiment with same-sex partners.’

In simpler language? If a slightly bisexual women grows up in a traditional area or just can’t see many options for independence outside of a heterosexual relationship, she might settle for any guy who comes along. Any interest in other women won’t necessarily be acted on. Ever.

But if a slightly bisexual women is in a situation where traditional marriage isn’t the norm, say she’s attractive and educated, she’s much more likely to act on these desires.

Meanwhile, men – whose education and economic security isn’t that dependent on their being married with kids or not – are less likely to be anything but straight or gay. ‘Men are less often attracted to both sexes. Men’s sexuality is, in this sense, less flexible. If a man is only attracted to one sex, romantic opportunity would little alter his sexual identity.’

What’s interesting here is, despite women getting a bit of a crap deal of it in many spheres, it seems like at least in some cases, we’re allowed a sexual freedom a lot of men aren’t.

That said, if women who fancy other women are restricted into straight relationships because of a necessity to fulfil some out-dated traditional standards of living, or if a lot of girls are feeling pressured into experimenting because porn has taught so many of us that bisexuality is just another part of a woman’s sexual repertoire, then there’s cause for some concern – is that really sexual freedom? Or something else entirely?

Liked this? You might also be interested in: 

Was 2014 The Year Of Sexual Fluidity?

Being A Bisexual Teenager Made Me Realise Just How Unhelpful Sex Ed In School Is 

Stupid Questions You Get Asked About Sex When You’re Bisexual 

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Picture: Lukasz Wierzbowski

Tags: Sex, LGBT, Science Says