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...
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.
"About a third of the people had no response to any of the porn, whether they identified as gay, straight, or bisexual," she says. "The researchers said this means they had no response, so throw this data out. Yet they said that when bisexual men did not respond to all of the videos, it meant they were gay or straight."
None of the study's flaws is fatal, says Rodriguez Rust. The problem is with Kritzer and Bailey's interpretation.
"The problem with the article is that the findings have been misinterpreted," Rodriguez Rust says. "If you look at the study data, they actually do not show an absence of bisexual sexual response in men. A number of study subjects clearly did respond to both males and females. The study's conclusion -- that it remains to be demonstrated that men have a bisexual response -- is curious, because it is not supported by the findings."
Who We Are, What We Do, What Turns Us On
"We make a distinction between identity, behavior, and attraction," Rieger says. "Identity is how you perceive yourself. Behavior is what you do. And attraction is what I consider your true sexual feelings for your own sex or for a member of the opposite sex."