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October 28, 2012 / JayMan

The Evolution of Female Bisexuality

Post edited (5/31/13) See below.

As promised, here is my post on this fascinating, and rather mysterious topic.

Who doesn’t love bisexual women? Before my foray into the HBD world, I thought that that was a trick question. In any case, I’m certainly quite fond of them. :)

But bisexuality, or for that matter lesbianism—like homosexuality in men—doesn’t seem, at first glance, to make sense evolutionarily.

One might imagine that attraction to both sexes confers no additional benefit, and would not have been selected for. And for this reason, like male same-sex attraction (both strict homosexuality and bisexuality, hereafter abbreviated SSA), it is suspected to not be evolutionary at all.

However, all the evidence shows that female SSA (both lesbianism and bisexuality) is quite heritable—indeed, more reliably heritable that male SSA (at 0.33 vs 0.22, respectively).

But, at the same time, confusingly, its prevalence seems vary widely in time, as this NY Times chart shows. Indeed, recent info indicates that female bisexuality is now incredibly common, as now as much as 15-20% of women identify as being non-heterosexual, the vast majority of those being bisexual.

Several others have looked at this phenomenon, including, recently, Peter Frost and Jason Malloy. They found the same rather sharp increase in women reporting having sex with women from generation to generation.

Interestingly, Jason Malloy also found that, at least among the U.S. ethnicities, there seems to be a negative correlation between ancestral latitude and the incidence of homosexuality in both sexes. This means that non-Whites are considerably more likely to identify as LGBT, at least in the U.S. However, I doubt that these numbers are truly indicative of the true global distribution of SSA, due to the unreliability of self-reported ethnicity, the unrepresentativeness of Americans of their ancestral peoples, and subsequent evolution in the States.

Since non-heterosexuality is still frowned upon (depending on who’s doing the frowning—or smiling), the true numbers of same-sex orientation may be even higher than noted. The rapid increase in female bisexuality could not be due to evolution. The trait cannot be that much more prevalent now than it was just a generation ago, because evolution does not occur that quickly. It is a phenotypic rather than genotypic change.

What must be occurring is that the proportion of women who are genetically potentially bisexual is quite high. Perhaps permissive attitudes towards homosexual sex has encouraged more women to embrace their SSA.

Interestingly, as noted in the earlier posts by myself and Dr. Frost, the same doesn’t appear to be true for homosexuality in men. The proportions there have remained constant or in fact have declined, possibly for the reasons I’ve stated.

So why the high prevalence of female bisexuality? Its high prevalence suggests rather strongly that, quite unlike male SSA—female SSA was selected for; or at the very least, that it is a side effect of some other trait that was selected for—a side effect which was itself not selected against.

This other trait may have something to do with the very nature of female sexual arousal, which itself is qualitatively quite different from and far more complex than the comparatively straightforward, black-and-white nature of male sexual arousal.

One clue to this is the fact that there is a strong positive correlation between a woman’s sex drive and her chances of being bisexual. Bisexual women (but not lesbians) have considerably higher sex drives, on average, than heterosexual women (at least, among Whites).

Women have been discovered to be physically aroused (by measuring vaginal responses, as similarly done with men) to a wide range of stimuli, as are men. However, these women do not report being mentally aroused anywhere near as often as their superficial physical responses might indicate. Apparently, in the female psyche, unlike that of men, there is a higher barrier between physical and mental arousal. Physically, most women are found to have a bisexual arousal pattern, but this does not translate emotionally. Hence, most—and perhaps almost all women have the physiological potential to be bisexual, but it may take a special set of conditions for that to translate into actual sexual desire.

But now, imagine what might happen as sex drive increases: that barrier between physical and mental arousal might be easier to surmount, and may activate the mental responses to attraction to women within women. Yes, for high-sex drive women, the “dormant” circuitry for attraction to women may become active, and manifest itself as bisexual behavior.

The link between female bisexuality and sex drive might go a long way towards explaining why most bisexual women seem to ultimately end up with men, as all of the above women have. Since sex drive peaks in young adulthood, SSA among women is likely to be highest at this point, but would slowly tend to subside with age, leaving sexual attraction to men as the primary influence.

This would explain why the trait would, at the very least, not be selected against, as it ultimately didn’t (at least in the pre-modern world) detract from a woman’s primary goal (procreation).

However, it is important to note that female bisexuality has been found to be a true sexual orientation, stable throughout life, and not just a passing phase that is abandoned after college, as some have suggested.

Male arousal does not exhibit this duplicitous pattern as sex drive increases—that is, men are either straight, gay, or bisexual. The prevalence of SSA does not appear to be correlated with sex drive. Hence, this may explain the relative stability of the numbers of non-heterosexual men: there simply isn’t a large portion of latent bisexual men who may be swayed one way or another by changes in environmental factors.

Another way of looking at the above hypothesis is like this: evolutionarily, attraction to the female form would be selected for (in that, the most sexually aggressive men would have, for most of human history, in most cultural settings, left the most descendents). Perhaps nature has placed such a premium on male sexual desire that the daughters of these men may have been left with some residual sexual desire for women. This type of desire, provided it didn’t interfere with attraction to men, would not be selected out (since, really, female sex drive is less important to reproduction, so long as a willing mate is present).

But, is the absence of negative selection the whole story? Could female bisexuality have in fact undergone positive selection?

Consider that most bisexual women, despite maintaining SSA throughout life, tend to ultimately end up with men. And, of course, let’s not forget to consider that most men (those who don’t lie) are massively aroused by girl-girl sex (myself included), as the enormous popularity of lesbian porn attests. Perhaps then female bisexuality is so common because it serves some function. Perhaps the fact that men like (love) it is a clue.

The male attraction to female bisexuality could be simply just what it seems to be: that it makes polygyny easier. Obviously a woman who is sexually interested in other women can supply a man with opportunities to have additional women for himself, something that, evolutionarily speaking, is an opportunity men would be selected to seize (more or less).

But if so be the case, what do the women get out of this? The answer is simple: men. As Peter Frost has discussed, female-female competition has been important part of human evolutionary history, more so for some groups than others. Anything that gave a woman a leg up against her rivals (and didn’t put the woman at too much of a disadvantage in the process) would have been selected for. Indeed, this may have helped less attractive and otherwise less desirable women gain a leg up on their competition: bisexual women may have been able to grant a man the promise of greater quantity of mates even if this came at the cost of quality somewhat. As with polygyny in general, the cost of potentially having to share a man with girlfriends may have been offset by the ability to snag a higher quality man (additionally, she has the ability to influence who those other “wives” are). This may be evidenced by the fact that bisexual women have had a greater number of male partners than straight women. For women, bisexuality may be all about getting men.

(Of course, the above would predict that bisexual women are less attractive, on average, than heterosexual women. I know of no data either way on that point.)

Indeed, there is evidence that bisexual women are more orgasmic, fantasize more about sex, and are open to more sexual experimentation even with men. This is consistent with their higher sex drives. There is even some evidence that suggests that bisexual women enjoy stabler marriages than their heterosexual counterparts (possibly because male infidelity is less of an issue). Female bisexuality, if it is indeed an attraction strategy, may however lean somewhat towards the r-side of the r/K spectrum (as high sex drive does in general). Either that, or it may be what I call an artist” strategy (or more technically, an evolutionary stable strategy), which, like mild forms of certain mental disorders (which will be discussed in a future post), is successful, but only so much so, because it may confer wild success to some but marginal success to others, leaving the trait a smallish (but steady) minority in the gene pool.

I do believe that it is likely that female bisexuality was, at the very least, not selected against—at least not on average. If it was in fact selected for, this may have been only on the average. This is would because of the hit-and-miss nature of an r-strategy in general—or because of the hit-and-miss nature of “arty” strategies. In this case, because encouraging your husband to practice de facto polygyny would only be effective if he can either afford to invest in his extra “wives” (difficult in most societies outside of tropical Africa), or at the very least doesn’t desist from investing in you and your children to go off with his extra girlfriends. I’m sure time and more research will clear the picture up one way or another.

Edit, 5/31/13: Also see the “Alloparenting Hypothesis” by Barry X. Kuhle:

Born Both Ways? | Psychology Today

76 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Anonymous / Oct 28 2012 3:46 PM

    The hyperlink that says nonwhites are less likely to identify as LGBT links to a post that says nonwhites are more likely to identify as LGBT. Is that a typo?

    • JayMan / Oct 28 2012 5:03 PM

      Yup it is, thanks!

  2. asdf / Oct 28 2012 5:23 PM

    Bisexual chicks are usually masculine high sex drive women.

    http://lolwtfcomics.blogspot.com/2011/06/lesbians-hello-im-very-rich-bisexuals.html

  3. ogunsiron / Oct 28 2012 8:04 PM

    jayman says :
    Consider that most bisexual women, despite maintaining SSA throughout life, tend to ultimately end up with men. And, of course, let’s not forget to consider that most men (those who don’t lie) are massively aroused by girl-girl sex (myself included), as the enormous popularity of lesbian porn attests. Perhaps then female bisexuality is so common because it serves some function. Perhaps the fact that men like (love) it is a clue.
    ——-
    Meh.
    How long have most men been aroused by girl on girl sex ? I know that I don’t mind it at all but I attribute that to me being a 30 something north-american male with a more than average interest and exposure to the fringe and the marginal.
    I can’t imagine my dad (black caribbean) being into it at all.
    I also can’t imagine my morrocan muslim colleague finding it hot at all.

    Let’s not exagerate what current porn trends have to say about essential human nature.

    • JayMan / Oct 28 2012 8:37 PM

      How long have most men been aroused by girl on girl sex ?

      I didn’t say that it was most men (well, other than imply it facetiously). In reality, I don’t expect that it is most men (though a significant percentage, perhaps half of American men).

      I can’t imagine my dad (black caribbean) being into it at all.
      I also can’t imagine my morrocan muslim colleague finding it hot at all.

      Are you sure? I have no idea what the male interest in girl-girl sex looks like across the world.

      Let’s not exagerate what current porn trends have to say about essential human nature.

      If there’s any take away from HBD, it is that there is NOT one human nature…

    • ironrailsironweights / Oct 28 2012 9:30 PM

      Guys get excited over girl-on-girl porn because it’s a way of seeing nekkid chix without any pesky dix.

    • JayMan / Oct 28 2012 9:31 PM

      It’s probably not just that…

    • Anonymous / May 25 2014 3:58 PM

      actually guys liking girl on girl action is pretty international, i am north African (Libya) and it is pretty popular here, ask your Moroccan friend (if your close that is, otherwise it would be pretty awkward),

    • JayMan / May 25 2014 4:03 PM

      @Anonymous:

      I wouldn’t be surprised.

      The mystery continues.

  4. ironrailsironweights / Oct 28 2012 9:03 PM

    The point at which physical activity between two women crosses the line and unequivocally becomes “sex” is a rather blurry one, unlike the case with males. My reasoned guess is that many of the young women who self-identify as bisexual have fooled around with other women but not had what one might consider actual sex.

    • shara / Jan 8 2013 12:14 AM

      I agree with this take. It’s in vogue for women who want to appear hip to say that they’ve experimented sexually with other women….it’s part of the feminist crap they hear.

      I’d also say that I wonder how many men (husbands, boyfriends especially since they have an emotional stake in things) would be still interested/aroused by girl-on-girl if they actually saw their wife, their girlfriend turned on by the other woman. If they were somehow convinced that the girl-on-girl action, whatever it was–touching, rubbing, maybe even more–was not for his benefit but for theirs, would he begin to be jealous or feel inadequate perhaps?

  5. Canadian Friend / Nov 12 2012 7:13 PM

    In my best English ( my first language is French) I think if men were able to chose – along the milleniums – between a woman who could cheat on them with another man while they were away ( and men were away for longer before this century for hunting, or war or whatever and they traveled by foot or by horse which was much slower than cars and airplanes) or chose a woman who would rather satisfy her sexual appetite with another woman( or women ), most men would have chosen the latter.

    as most men do not feel it is cheating if their woman has lesbian sex while most men have zero tolerance if their woman has sex with another man.

    and it makes sense; your woman can not get pregnant from another woman while she could from another man and the husband could end up having to provide for a child that is not his,

    I think having a wife that is into occasional lesbian sex was a much safer bet.

    and if assuming this bi-sexuality was in their genes, since that type of woman was preferred by men, they had better chances of transmitting their bi-sexual genes to their offspring.

    I agree with what the author of this post has said but I wanted to ad my own little theory as what else could be a contributing factor…for what it is worth…

    • JayMan / Nov 13 2012 9:26 AM

      I think if men were able to chose – along the milleniums – between a woman who could cheat on them with another man while they were away ( and men were away for longer before this century for hunting, or war or whatever and they traveled by foot or by horse which was much slower than cars and airplanes) or chose a woman who would rather satisfy her sexual appetite with another woman( or women ), most men would have chosen the latter.

      as most men do not feel it is cheating if their woman has lesbian sex while most men have zero tolerance if their woman has sex with another man.

      The problem with that is that most bisexual women are primarily attracted to men. Having a woman who is interested in other women is no guarantee she won’t cheat on you with other men. Indeed, it may be a bit more likely that she will.

      and if assuming this bi-sexuality was in their genes, since that type of woman was preferred by men, they had better chances of transmitting their bi-sexual genes to their offspring.

      Presumably, if men were indeed choosing bisexual women because they believed (wrongly) that they were less likely to cheat with other men, it wouldn’t take too long for selection to lead to men who could recognize this fact, and not be interested in bisexual women for this reason.

  6. as / Nov 12 2012 11:51 PM

    Anne Heche was sexually abused as a child.

  7. John / Nov 13 2012 12:52 AM

    Sex drive among women peaks in the early 30s, yet most of the women who identify as bisexual seem to be under 25. So it’s clearly a cultural thing. I think you’re right in that female desire isn’t as ‘set in stone’ as male desire, so there’s more flexibility, and it’s more emotional. But there are other factors in play. The female body has been way more sexualized than the male body, so I believe that women can, to an extent, be ‘conditioned’ it finding it sexy and arousing. I’ve heard women say they are more turned on by nude women than men. Imagine a man saying the same and claiming to be straight?

    I think the potential for males to be bisexual is also higher than you think. You don’t factor in the stigma against male homosexuality. I’m 90% hetero, yet I remember being afraid of seeing men as ‘sexy’. Women celebrate other women’s sexiness. Historically male bisexuality seems more commonplace than female bisexuality, so I think the current increase is a historical anomaly.

    • JayMan / Nov 13 2012 8:59 AM

      Sex drive among women peaks in the early 30s

      That is actually not true. Women sexually peak in their late teens-early 20s, just like men do. That’s a myth that likely arose thanks to two facts:

      • Women become more sexually experienced, hence somewhat less sexually inhibited with age
      • Selection effects: women who are still on the mate market in their 30s and 40s are going to be disproportionally the high-sex-drive, low-committal types. Hence, the anecdote of higher sex drive for older women

      Hence, this:

      yet most of the women who identify as bisexual seem to be under 25

      The female body has been way more sexualized than the male body, so I believe that women can, to an extent, be ‘conditioned’ it finding it sexy and arousing. I’ve heard women say they are more turned on by nude women than men. Imagine a man saying the same and claiming to be straight?

      Well, that’s my point that many, if not most women are latently bisexual.

      I think the potential for males to be bisexual is also higher than you think. You don’t factor in the stigma against male homosexuality.

      I derive my rates from men who report sex with men in the GSS, which is about 4%. Male arousal patterns are fairly straightforward to detect, and thus far few men show truly bisexual arousal, so much so that it has been an effort to find them, as you can see in the paper I’ve link to in my post.

    • shara / Jan 8 2013 12:21 AM

      I think that’s because women don’t have a problem actively trying to look like and act like the women they and much of society have come to view as alluring. We women use other women as models for our own behavior. Little girls watch older girls and how they walk, talk, flirt, in order to learn to do those things ourselves. We are aware of our imitation of them, and don’t have trouble admitting to that imitation. Yes, little boys watch the behavior of the older boys, but once they reach a certain age, males don’t like to admit to copying other men. That copying and an admission of such would speak of a weakness in masculinity.

      Seeing other women being sexy, say in a movie, is sometimes a turn-on for a woman simply because she sees herself in that woman, or attempts to, anyway.

  8. Hindu Goddess / Jun 4 2013 9:41 PM

    “So why the high prevalence of female bisexuality? Its high prevalence suggests rather strongly that, quite unlike male SSA—female SSA was selected for; or at the very least, that it is a side effect of some other trait that was selected for—a side effect which was itself not selected against.

    This other trait may have something to do with the very nature of female sexual arousal, which itself is qualitatively quite different from and far more complex than the comparatively straightforward, black-and-white nature of male sexual arousal.”

    Hogwash. Male bisexuality is common and has been through history. Anywhere the sexes are segregated you will find it and it is not at all considered “gay”. All boys schools, ships at sea, the military, sex segregated or arranged marriage cultures – all bastions of male bisexuality and they always have been.

    • Amber / Jun 6 2013 4:15 AM

      As a friend in the Navy once told me, “It’s not gay when you’re underway.”

  9. MawBTS / Jul 14 2013 1:59 AM

    Interesting post, although I wonder whether self-reported bisexuality is reliable. Stats collected by OkCupid show that 80% of supposed bisexuals on their site only message one gender: http://blog.okcupid.com/index.php/the-biggest-lies-in-online-dating/

    • JayMan / Jul 14 2013 2:05 AM

      Great find! A lot of interesting data there. The part on bisexual women would suggest that their true numbers may be exaggerated by a factor of 2. If so, that’s still a rather large fraction.

      Of course, the OK Cupid data may be a poor way to judge how bisexual self-professed bisexual women are.

  10. Peter / Sep 25 2013 1:28 PM

    It’s all because of the media.
    There are so many music videos and movies with sexy female bisexuals but there is none music videos and very few movies about bisexual males.
    Men learned to like bisexual females through the media
    Women also learned to like bisexual females through the media
    Monkee see, monkee do
    Male bisexuality on the other hand is unpopular

    • JayMan / Sep 25 2013 2:28 PM

      Male bisexuality on the other hand is unpopular

      The begs the question: Why is that so?

      I suspect conditioning and learning have nothing to do with nothing.

  11. Peter / Oct 18 2013 3:58 PM

    [Male bisexuality on the other hand is unpopular]
    “The begs the question: Why is that so?
    I suspect conditioning and learning have nothing to do with nothing.”

    Male bisexuality is unpopular because straight men aren’t interested in male bisexuality so they don’t want to watch it.
    But men learned to like female bisexuality and women also learned to like female bisexuality.

    • JayMan / Oct 18 2013 4:00 PM

      @Peter:

      Male bisexuality is unpopular because straight men aren’t interested in male bisexuality so they don’t want to watch it.
      But men learned to like female bisexuality and women also learned to like female bisexuality.

      Are you sure either learned to like it?

    • Peter / Oct 18 2013 4:02 PM

      Oh by the way m/m slash and gay male porn has become popular among women!
      but it’s not popular in the mainstream media so men haven’t get used to that

    • JayMan / Oct 18 2013 4:07 PM

      @Peter:

      Oh by the way m/m slash and gay male porn has become popular among women!

      How popular is “popular?” (Reference please.)

    • clewellen / Oct 30 2013 1:15 AM

      @ Jayman Pretty popular. Middle aged heterosexual women are the fastest increasing, and a very large demographic that read gay erotica.

  12. Peter / Oct 18 2013 4:03 PM

    “Are you sure either learned to like it?”

    yes, everything is socially learned

    • JayMan / Oct 18 2013 4:06 PM

      @Peter:

      yes, everything is socially learned

      Nope.

  13. Peter / Oct 18 2013 4:10 PM

    Did you know that male bisexuality was the norm in ancient Greece and Rome and as well in many other societies?
    it was no big deal, in matter of fact it was normal but today it’s degrading.

    • JayMan / Oct 18 2013 4:13 PM

      @Peter:

      And those societies were different genetically and (perhaps more importantly) pathogenically.

  14. Peter / Oct 18 2013 4:16 PM

    The rise in female bisexuality began a little after female bisexuality became popular in the media.
    Coincidence?

    • JayMan / Oct 18 2013 4:19 PM

      @Peter:

      Maybe, maybe not. That’s hardly scientific. Even if the two are related, that isn’t at odds with the known heritability of female bisexuality (see the Flynn effect, or the “obesity epidemic”).

  15. Peter / Oct 18 2013 4:28 PM

    it’s all because of the media. It has become “popular” and considered to be sexy.
    Girls see it and they want to try it. It has become a fetish.

    http://globalgrind.com/2012/09/05/nicki-minaj-not-bisexual-was-for-attention-details/

    if the male body ever becomes eroticized and male bisexuality becomes popular in the media then there will certainately be a rise in the male bisexuality

    • JayMan / Oct 18 2013 4:42 PM

      @Peter:

      You are preaching the gospel now. You have no evidence for your claims. Please comment when you can support your claims.

    • JayMan / Oct 18 2013 4:46 PM

      @Peter:

      I mentioned this in this post. The short answer is we won’t know what’s going on with female arousal.

      It’s an even bigger stretch to claim that men anywhere in the world aren’t interested in women’s breasts (then why do women have breasts?).

    • Canadian Friend / Oct 18 2013 5:58 PM

      I knew about this study but it is interesting to note that another thing – besides the fact women are turned on by almost anything sexual and are much more bisexual than men – jumps at you ( or jumps at “us” )

      Women are bald faced liars. They pretend they are not sexually excited when their vaginas are saying the exact opposite.

      Who can trust such creatures? so much dishonesty…

    • JayMan / Oct 18 2013 6:06 PM

      @Canadian Friend:

      Women are bald faced liars. They pretend they are not sexually excited when their vaginas are saying the exact opposite.

      Who can trust such creatures? so much dishonesty…

      I wouldn’t say that. While a woman’s physical responses may suggest she is aroused, she might not be mentally aroused. It is not an unreasonable proposition. See this:

    • Canadian Friend / Oct 18 2013 6:42 PM

      It is true a woman’s mind is more like a labyrinth ( compared to a man’s mind ) but they knew they were sexually aroused, just as they know when they are hungry, cold or hot.

      They are simply less honest ( about that ) than men are…I suppose some will say the “patriarchy” made them that way societal conditioning or something,

      but isn’t there one thing for which women are accountable? Ever since the 1970s it seems they are accountable for absolutely nothing…

    • JayMan / Oct 18 2013 6:44 PM

      @Canadian Friend:

      It is true a woman’s mind is more like a labyrinth ( compared to a man’s mind ) but they knew they were sexually aroused, just as they know when they are hungry, cold or hot.

      Do we know that? I don’t think we can say that we do.

      They are simply less honest ( about that ) than men are

      Do we have evidence of that either?

    • JayMan / Oct 18 2013 6:03 PM

      @Peter:

      There is hardly any evidence there to support the author’s claims, just some of the author’s own preaching.

      See this post. Women have breasts for a reason.

  16. Peter / Oct 19 2013 5:06 AM

    you are saying that the humans are the exception to the rule that in all species the males are more beautiful, which isn’t true.
    You say that women have longer hair so they are more beautiful. Women have longer hair because of genetics or because society taught us that women should have long hair and men short hair.
    Well I had very long hair for many years (I was a rocker type lol).
    All through history, artists preferred the male body over the female body because they thought that it was more of a challenge and more attractive than the female body!
    Check out the statues from ancient Greece and Rome and Renaissance. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/63/Michelangelos_David.jpg

    What happened in the last 50 years was the rise of Playboy and such magazines that eroticized the female body and society learned to appreciate the female form and ignore the male body.

    There is no exception. The males are more attractive than the females in all species, including humans but society taught us NOW DAYS that women should be more beautiful and wear make up and stuff like that. It’s socially learned.
    Compare a woman WITHOUT make up, and without fake boobs to Brad Pitt in Fight Club (no homo).
    That’s why women use make up to appear more beautiful than they really are. It’s fake.
    But male peacock’s etc. attractiveness isn’t fake, it’s natural. The same goes for men, but men are too lazy and grow beer bellies and stay out of shape because they were taught that men do NOT have to look good.

    • JayMan / Dec 28 2013 11:12 AM

      @Peter:

      you are saying that the humans are the exception to the rule that in all species the males are more beautiful, which isn’t true.

      It is. I’m not going to argue over the color of the sky, Peter.

      You say that women have longer hair so they are more beautiful. Women have longer hair because of genetics or because society taught us that women should have long hair and men short hair.

      Where do the things society “teaches” us come from?

      This points out that the way we view the human body is socially constructed.

      http://gotopless.org/timeline

      Sure it is, Peter. See here and here. Many features of human attractiveness are universal across the species.

      You wrote:
      “Since sex drive peaks in young adulthood, SSA among women is likely to be highest at this point, but would slowly tend to subside with age, leaving sexual attraction to men as the primary influence.”

      But it seems to be the other way round
      Study: Women Get More Bisexual As They Grow Older

      http://www.yourtango.com/2011104439/study-average-woman-bisexual

      If you mean Diamond’s paper, I linked to it in the post. We can’t make too many firm conclusions about this, either way, because of sampling issues. These women were self-identified non-heterosexual women…

      Pakistan leads the world in search for gay porn on Google.

      http://forums.canadiancontent.net/hot-topics/116442-pakistan-leads-world-search-gay.html

      Gay Porn Strangely Popular In Pakistan, Nigeria

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/14/gay-porn-pakistan_n_3437529.html

      it’s all social constructed. Unless we believe that there are some countries where men are more gay because of the water or whatever, whereas in other countries they have better water and so they are less gay.

      Men around the world aren’t genetically identical, nor are the exposed to the same pathogens. That’s the whole point of this blog.

      In Japan, gay male romance fiction is very popular among women, and it’s getting popular in other countries too. It’s social constructed.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yaoi#Primary_market

      “Popular” is a strong word. In Japan, in the mid 1990s, the fanbase for yaoi was estimated to be at most 500,000 individuals. Let’s assume that that’s accurate, and let’s generously assume 80% of those are female. So that’s 400,000 women out of a total female population aged 15-30 of 18.5 million, or 2.1%!

      Of course, there doesn’t seem to be a way to estimate the size of the fanbase today and what percent of them are female.

      This is taken from “The female brain” by Louann Brizendine (she is a doctor)
      Page 185
      “The female brain is only half as likely to be wired for same-sex attraction as is the male brain. Therefore men are twice as likely as women to be gay.”

      Because we know which parts in the brain are wired for same-sex attraction or how that process occurs in either men or women… :\

      You have to be careful about using limited statistics to construct definitive arguements, especially about human sexuality, where reliable and representative data are hard to come by…

  17. Peter / Oct 19 2013 5:12 AM

    This points out that the way we view the human body is socially constructed.

    http://gotopless.org/timeline

    There was a time that the women’s ankles were sexy.
    Today in arab countries, women have to cover their hair, if they expose their hair men go crazy like they are seeing a naked woman.

  18. Peter / Oct 19 2013 7:34 AM

    You wrote:
    “Since sex drive peaks in young adulthood, SSA among women is likely to be highest at this point, but would slowly tend to subside with age, leaving sexual attraction to men as the primary influence.”

    But it seems to be the other way round
    Study: Women Get More Bisexual As They Grow Older

    http://www.yourtango.com/2011104439/study-average-woman-bisexual

  19. Peter / Oct 20 2013 6:16 AM

    Pakistan leads the world in search for gay porn on Google.

    http://forums.canadiancontent.net/hot-topics/116442-pakistan-leads-world-search-gay.html

    Gay Porn Strangely Popular In Pakistan, Nigeria

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/14/gay-porn-pakistan_n_3437529.html

    it’s all social constructed. Unless we believe that there are some countries where men are more gay because of the water or whatever, whereas in other countries they have better water and so they are less gay.

    In Japan, gay male romance fiction is very popular among women, and it’s getting popular in other countries too. It’s social constructed.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yaoi#Primary_market

    “While so many women reveal that watching gay male porn is common, it’s still hard to pinpoint why any one woman (or man, for that matter) enjoys it.”

    http://outfrontonline.com/living/sexuality/sexuality-why-do-some-straight-women-and-lesbians-watch-gay-porn/

    http://gawker.com/5615899/why-are-straight-women-so-obsessed-with-gay-sex

    http://www.salon.com/2011/10/14/i_love_gay_male_porn/

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay_pornography#Audience

  20. Peter / Oct 26 2013 4:52 AM

    This is taken from “The female brain” by Louann Brizendine (she is a doctor)
    Page 185
    “The female brain is only half as likely to be wired for same-sex attraction as is the male brain. Therefore men are twice as likely as women to be gay.”

    • Peter / Oct 26 2013 8:51 AM

      but I have to add that she goes on into noting that there are more bisexual women than bisexual men. And it’s mostly because of the hormones plus culture and social learning

  21. Anonymous / Dec 28 2013 10:26 AM

    [citation needed]

    • JayMan / Dec 28 2013 10:39 AM

      @Anonymous:

      Click the links in the post.

      I am aware this post is experiencing heavy readership at the moment. Nonetheless, please don’t comment if you don’t have something constructive to add, or your comment may be deleted and you may be banned, thanks.

  22. Someone / Dec 28 2013 11:12 AM

    I’m very surprised the author is so cut and dry about MALE sexuality in this post. I quickly noticed that he was focusing more on straight vs gay, and implying it was that black and white, instead of looking at data around male bi-sexuality as well.

    I think this boils down to one thing: The social stigma of a female being bisexual is MUCH lower than that of a male. As the author pointed out, most “straight” males love it (and I’m guesings most closeted bi-men as well). Because of our “that’s gay” culture (which is almost always implying male homosexuality), at least in the USA, men are insanely less likely to identify as bisexual publically, and sometimes even privately.

    Take a look at casual encounters on Craigslist. The m4m sections are the most popular of the category, bar none, and almost everyone posting is a “straight male” looking to hook up with a guy! That, by definition, makes them bisexual.

    There is a second stigma around male bi-sexuality as well, which is that it “might mean I’m gay”. The difference is there is actually a large divide between bi-sexuals of both sexes: Those that simply find hooking up with the same sex pleasurable and/or a turn-on, and those who have the capacity to “love” or have a relationship with the same sex.

    So, from my perspective, there may be just as many, if not more, bi-sexual men than women.

    • JayMan / Dec 28 2013 11:18 AM

      @Someone:

      True, we don’t know much about male bisexuality or its prevalence. One recent estimate concluded that as many as 5% of men are gay based on internet traffic.

      My own suspicion is that, at least in the West, bisexual orientation is rare in men. Most men are either straight or gay. But we need more data to know for sure.

    • Someone / Dec 28 2013 11:18 AM

      To further clarify and speak from personal experience:

      I am male, identify as straight, I’m in a committed long-term relationship and very much love my girlfriend. In the past however I have experimented with other males. My conclusions? It was a great way to easily get some action that wasn’t my hand, I find very specific things about another guy (and am even more specific about my “type”) attractive, and the taboo is a driving factor in why I experimented. The biggest conclusion is I knew, without a doubt, was that I was not gay (specifically meaning once orgasm had been achieved I wanted to tail it out of there). There is no way I could love another man or even hold hands/kiss another guy, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy other aspects of the encounters before and while I was having them.

      Also, I would never in a million years tell anyone these details, because I am guilty of falling prey to this social stigma.

    • Someone / Dec 28 2013 11:19 AM

      Jayman,

      Do you n

    • Someone / Dec 28 2013 11:23 AM

      Jay,

      Do you not realize how homophobic your last statement comes off? What data? Did you ignore the part about Craigslist M4M being one of the most popular on the site and that a very large amount of the posts are from “straight” men who do not want to admit they are bi or bi-curious?

    • JayMan / Dec 28 2013 11:31 AM

      @Someone:

      Do you not realize how homophobic your last statement comes off? What data? Did you ignore the part about Craigslist M4M being one of the most popular on the site and that a very large amount of the posts are from “straight” men who do not want to admit they are bi or bi-curious?

      Facts can’t be racist/homophobic/sexist or otherwise hateful by themselves. They are what they are, and merely uttering facts doesn’t establish one as such. Please don’t go on asserting otherwise here.

      Note the link I gave you.

      Determining the situation with human sexuality is difficult because it’s hard to get people to answer honestly (as you know) and even if you can directly observe behavior, it’s hard to do so with a sample that’s truly representative of the general population.

      Also, I would never in a million years tell anyone these details, because I am guilty of falling prey to this social stigma.

      I’ve heard similar stories. The question remains however how many other men like you exist. That we currently don’t know.

  23. Anonymous / Jan 6 2014 12:40 PM

    Women are certainly experimenting with each other more these days.

  24. disenchantedscholar / May 14 2014 5:49 AM

    You might wanna look into the caregiver hypothesis. That in tribes, bisexual women looked after one another’s children better.

  25. graafderaaf / Jun 29 2014 3:50 AM

    In short, the lesbianism in female bisexuality is like breast development in men due to hormonal imbalance. Possible.

    It could also be a side effect of sexual empathy. It might be quite useful for a female to be able to ‘read’ a mans sexual mind, to know what arouses him instinctively because she can look at a woman herself with desire.

  26. Tabitha / Jul 15 2014 7:58 PM

    You are only focusing on the men’s contributions to evolution when you are talking about women’s sexuality! Wake up! First, did it occur to you that bisexual women might be the descendants of lesbians? Or the common theory that having childless gay aunts greatly increases a child’s chance of survival? And you seem not to be able to separate our culture from our biology. Almost all of human biological evolution was complete before written history. Before tools and weapons, the women chose the men – and not to marry, but to mate with. Men were not picking women based on what arouses them. Biologically, women are the choosy ones about who to mate with because we can only have so many children. Men are more likely to sleep with a random person, and that fact gave women the power in human evolution. Probably women are bisexual so they won’t risk pregnancy, which for most of human life has been a dire ordeal.

    • JayMan / Jul 19 2014 5:44 PM

      @Tabitha:

      You need to be brought up to speed on quite a bit. I suggest either my “About Me” page on the right or my Race, Inheritance, and IQ FRB, also at right

      Wake up! First, did it occur to you that bisexual women might be the descendants of lesbians?

      No, because, by and large, that’s not much of a good explanation. Lesbians are rare, far rarer than bisexual women. And even lesbians themselves appear to be hard to explain, so that wouldn’t be adding anything.

      As well, what we seek to explain is the prevalence of female same sex attraction, which in some cases has been claimed to be as high as 20%. You don’t get to that high level of prevalence without either some selective advantage, or at least a side-effect of one.

      Or the common theory that having childless gay aunts greatly increases a child’s chance of survival?

      Didn’t even consider it – because that is plain old nonsense. See my post on Greg Cochran’s Gay Germ theory for some explanation of why anything along the “gay uncle” hypothesis cannot work.

      And you seem not to be able to separate our culture from our biology

      You’re presupposing that I should do so…

      Almost all of human biological evolution was complete before written history.

      Wrong. See the aforementioned introductions.

      Men were not picking women based on what arouses them.

      That’s why women have secondard sex characteristics

      Probably women are bisexual so they won’t risk pregnancy, which for most of human life has been a dire ordeal.

      Since the purpose of sex is reproduction, why would that trait have been selected for?

      There is much you don’t know, and much you haven’t thought through. But no worries, that’s what my blog is for. Please see the aforementioned intro pages and posts.

  27. Tabitha / Jul 26 2014 1:53 AM

    You say the purpose of sex is reproduction as if there are no other reasons for sex. That is not factual. We are very closely related to the bonobos; considering their sexuality might re-balance your thoughts on the subject. In the same vein, if sex were only for reproduction, why are women so libidinous on their periods and when pregnant? Sex has many purposes and assuming that just because a woman has children and passes on her genes means that she only has sex for reproductive purposes is silly.

    • Tabitha / Jul 26 2014 1:57 AM

      I’m saying that the fewer children a woman has, the more likely she is to survive and help her children survive, and that’s why bisexuality would be selected. Sleeping with women is a form of birth control.

    • JayMan / Jul 26 2014 7:21 AM

      @Tabitha:

      The key problem with most commenters on these matters is that most lack a decent understanding of evolutionary theory. The primary goal of all life is reproduction. In humans, sex appears to play a social bonding function, so that explains non-reproductive sex. But let’s think through what you’re saying:

      I’m saying that the fewer children a woman has, the more likely she is to survive and help her children survive, and that’s why bisexuality would be selected. Sleeping with women is a form of birth control.

      They why:

      1. Do bisexual women have higher sex drives that straight women?
      2. Are bisexual women primarily attracted to men?
      3. Are they more orgasmic and apparently have more heterosexual sex than their straight counterparts?
      4. Aren’t all women bisexual?
      5. Does female same sex attraction have such a low heritability?

      Hopefully you see the problem.

  28. Fascinating discussioin–just found you when researching the subject of “genetic basis for bi-sexuality”. I’d love to know your opinion on the evolutionary predisposition for various sexuals identities versus the impact that the sexual revolution of the past few decades has on the sexual behaviors of people now, a time when people feel freer to do sexual experimentation. I am a 68 year old veteran of the sexual/social revolutions since the 60’s and continue to both promote sexual freedom in our culture and identify as bi-sexual female. I confess my information is more antidotal but I am a licensed social worker as per trained observer. I am well read on female sexuality as well. What I would like to add to the discussion on an upsurge in female bisexuality is the angle of “Try it–You’ll like it!!” One of the best forms of sexual pleasure for women is cunilingus. When sex do you thing is bettter at giving that form of pleasure to a woman–men or women?? I think there are mutiple reasons to generally judge women as being better at giving that pleasure to another woman–primarily, a woman instinctively understands what is sexually pleasant to another woman’s genitalia than a man does. Second, I think that men are still way to sqeamish (or whatever) at doing cunilingus for a woman. Also some seem to think that it diminshes their masculinity to do so. I do recall seeing a study that showed that women give and men receive much more oral sex than the other way around. So–given the greater freedom to try woman with woman sex, I believe that a significant number of women are finding out how delightful such sex is. And isn’t simply finding pleasure an evolutionary factor?

Trackbacks

  1. linkfest – 10/29/12 « hbd* chick
  2. Bisexualitet « Yasers hörna
  3. Me… « JayMan's Blog
  4. ¿Por qué la selección natural construyó cerebros homosexuales? | neurociencia neurocultura
  5. The Evolution of Female Bisexuality | Boardmad...a road slightly less travelled
  6. The Evolution of Female Bisexuality | Enjoying The Moment
  7. Greg Cochran’s “Gay Germ” Hypothesis – An Exercise in the Power of Germs | JayMan's Blog
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