Monday, June 25, 2007

Article: The Science of Gaydar and thoughts on female sexuality

I quickly skimmed this article and found it interesting and worth reading. I am frustrated with how it talks about female sexuality...

Random thoughts
  • "The index fingers of most straight men are shorter than their ring fingers, and for most women they are the same length or longer. Gay men and lesbians tend to have reversed ratios. " Yes, according to the digit proportions test I have the reversed ratio.
  • "Gay men and lesbians have a 50 percent greater chance of being left-handed or ambidextrous than their straight counterparts." See more here. I am left handed.
Thoughts on female sexuality

There has been so very much less research on women and sexuality and so as I read this I felt somehow frustrated. I do think women's sexuality is different but what's said in this article doesn't fit me or make sense to me. I think part of my frustration is this line "Bailey stops short of saying that lesbianism is a myth". A myth? What!

I haven't read all sexuality research, but from what I have read researchers are splitting sexual/physical arousal from all the other facets of sexuality and embodiment.

In my personal experience (as a women) emotions, intuition, sharing mind-space, sharing story, and attributes of emotional attachment play a huge role in attraction and arousal. Researchers that study people looking at porn and how they respond physically to that are totally missing a huge piece of female sexuality. Granted emotional bonding and it's tie to sexuality is not easy to research. But, I think there is a parallel between the lack of research on sexuality that includes more than the physical, and the lack of research on female sexuality! Sexuality is holistic! My sexuality is certainly holistic. I might even go so far as to say mental and emotional attraction lead. Unlike the quote below it's not a preference or a choice. I think I need to do some more personal reflection on this, and I hope researchers do more research because the below is not enough.

I leave you with the rest of the quote about female sexuality from this article.
“What I do think it’s time to do is admit that female sexuality looks in some ways very different from male sexuality, and that there is no clear analog in women of men’s directed sexual-arousal pattern, which I think is their sexual orientation. I am not sure that women don’t have a sexual orientation, but it is certainly unclear that they do.”

He contends that what they have instead is sexual preference—they might prefer sex with women, but something in their brains can still sizzle at the thought of men. Many feminist scholars agree with this assessment, and consider sexuality more of a fluid than an either-or proposition, but some don’t. “I think women do have orientations, but they don’t circumscribe the range of desires that women can experience to the same degree as men,” says Lisa Diamond, a psychology professor at the University of Utah, who is writing a book on the subject. “For women, there’s more wiggle room. You can think of orientation as defining a range of possible responses, and for women, it’s much broader.”

Bailey stops short of saying that lesbianism is a myth" Read the rest here.


Zuzu said...

I know that San Francisco State University has a robust human sexuality studies department and I believe there is some kind of program at Stanford as well, as I saw a journal of human sexuality that I think was published out of Stanford. Ever considered a continuing education program out West? - Zuzu

libbie said...

it does seem a bit redundant to be predicting orientation by digit length when there are obvious areas begging to be better studied, but which are maybe not as catchy as finding give-away signs.
I can recommend, a female sexuality resource which may be more up your alley.

just me said...

Hey libbie thanks for the comment and resource. Looks like a really interesting website! And yes I do agree there are totally other things that TOTALLY need research!