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Health & Sex

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Study: Bisexual Men Not Aroused by Both Sexes

Controversial Study Draws Fire From Critics Who Question Interpretation of Data

Women From Venus and Mars, Men From Venus or Mars continued...

Men, they say, are different. The current study, reported in the current issue of Psychological Science, enrolled 30 heterosexual men, 33 bisexual men, and 38 homosexual men. Nine of the heterosexual men, 11 of the bisexual men, and 13 of the homosexual men did not become genitally aroused by the videos and were dropped from the final analysis.

The men viewed an 11-minute nonsexual film, followed by several two-minute sexual films and another neutral film. The sex films depicted either men having sex with men or women having sex with women.

The men indicated how aroused they felt by moving a lever up or back. Their genital arousal was measured by an elastic device attached to their penises.

Homosexual men said they were aroused by the male/male porn but not the female/female porn. So did their genital measurements. Heterosexual men said they were aroused by the female/female porn - and their genital measurements agreed.

Bisexual men said they were turned on by both sets of videos -- but their genitals responded to one or the other, not to both.

"The majority of bisexual men got aroused to men and only to men," Rieger says. "All those who didn't look like gay men looked like heterosexual men: They got aroused to women. This study fits the picture that ... men are very target specific. They have an object of their sexual desire and go for that. ... The pattern is that they have this object specificity -- it does not change."

Critics Question Results

Weitzman questions both the study methods and Rieger's interpretation of the data.

"The study methods are poor," she says. "It is such a small sample size. To make these conclusions on so few people, that is not good science. Unfortunately, this has gotten much more media play than it deserves. If you torture the data, they will confess to anything. It does not mean there are no bisexual men."

Kritzer, too, questions the study design. She points to the large number of men who were not genitally aroused during the study.

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