Women More Flexible, Adaptive in Sexual Identity Than Men

Women are more likely than men to report bisexuality, while men are more likely to report being either ‘100 percent heterosexual’ or ‘100 percent homosexual.’

Published: 26th August 2015 10:35 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th August 2015 10:35 AM   |  A+A-


WASHINGTON: A new study has suggested that women are more likely than men to report bisexuality, while men are more likely to report being either ‘100 percent heterosexual’ or ‘100 percent homosexual.’

In the study, Author Elizabeth Aura McClintock of the University of Notre Dame, tracked 5,018 women and 4,191 men as they moved from adolescence to young adulthood. On an average, they were 16-years-old in Wave I, 22 in Wave III, and 28 in Wave IV.

She also found that women were three times more likely than men to change their sexual identities from Wave III to Wave IV of Add Health. Add Health participants, who were not asked about their sexual identities until Wave III, could identify as 100 percent heterosexual, mostly heterosexual, bisexual, mostly homosexual, and 100 percent homosexual.

McClintock said that women had a greater probability than men of being attracted to both men and women, which gave them greater flexibility in partner choice, and added that having flexible sexual attractions might grant greater importance to contextual and experiential factors when it came to sexual identity.

The research showed that women with more education and women who were more physically attractive  had higher probabilities of identifying as ‘100 percent heterosexual’ than other women in Waves III and IV of Add Health.

In addition, women who had a child by Wave III were less likely than other women to identify as ‘100 percent heterosexual’ in Wave IV.

McClintock said that women with some degree of attraction to both males and females might be drawn into heterosexuality if they had favorable options in the heterosexual partner market.

She further added that men were less often attracted to both sexes, and added that if a man was only attracted to one sex, romantic opportunity would little alter his sexual identity.


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