The media has tended to broadcast the news that gay-identified men and straight-identified men have quite discernible arousal patterns when they are shown various kinds of sexual stimuli. And that’s true. But if you look closely at the data, you’ll see that most straight-identified men do tend to show a little bit of arousal across sex categories (as do gay-identified men).
Developmental studies by researchers like the University of Utah’s Lisa Diamond suggest that women may demonstrate a fair bit of flexibility over the course of their lives in terms of their sexual attractions, relations, and identities, and laboratory studies by people like Chivers and Bailey seem to back up the hypothesis that females are, on average, less rigidly oriented when it comes to sex. At least when you measure their vaginal response, straight-identified women can be aroused by a wide variety of sexual stimuli.
Nevertheless, let’s just say, for purposes of argument, that we’re willing to accept the existence of some straight females and males as defined above, even if they are not always perfectly straight arrows in the lab. Were they born that way?
We ourselves profess a certain
knowledge of passing acquaintance with sex, but . . .
Clinical Medical Humanities? We don’t recall our college having any such department.
Go there and sample the wonders of wisdom offered by polled sexologists on this breaking story, including this earth-shattering finale:
Finally, a related question: Given that we don’t know if they are really all “born that way,” should straight-identified people be allowed to marry?
Personally, I think it makes sense to let straight-identified people marry, not because they were necessarily born that way, but because it seems silly, in this day and age, to get in the way of their desire to marry and/or to have sex with whatever consenting adults they wish. Given the challenges of attempting a lifetime partnership with a person who will be, on average, fundamentally sexually different from oneself, it seems the least we can do for straight people is to let them get married if they want.
Caution: references “penis obliteration.”