Monday, October 24, 2011

Hello, 60 percent

So last week, this splashy headline came out that said “More than half of women are attracted to other women!” Hallelujah! Praise lesbian Jesus! All our dry spells are over. We have a better than 50-50 change of scoring with that cute brunette at the bar. Go get ‘em, tigers.

I mean, who wouldn’t be attracted to other women?

Women look like this.

And like this.

Also this.

Or this.

Other times that.

And even a little of this and that.

Of course, the reality is this news probably will not improve our ability to pick up hot straight chicks. The original report came from the UK’s Daily Mail, a publication notorious for loving sensational headlines and fuzzy math. That article about a Boise State study by a professor Elizabeth Morgan that was published in the Journal of Sex Research said that “60 percent (of heterosexual women) were sexually attracted to other women; 45 percent had kissed a woman and 50 per cent had fantasies about the same sex.” But, again, it’s the Daily Mail. So, you know, please feel free to chug your salt shaker.

Doing a little research of my own, I did indeed find a real study published in the Journal of Sex Research by a Elizabeth M. Morgan, a Boise State psychology professor, that looks at sexual orientation questioning among heterosexual women ages 18 to 23. The number of women in the study was different than the Daily Mail’s numbers (study: 333, Daily Mail: 484) and findings seem a little different. The real study found that “67 percent of exclusively heterosexual respondents indicated having thought about and/or questioned their sexual orientation.” Of those who have questioned their orientation, the questioning behavior broke down as “unelaborated questioning (19 percent), other-sex experiences (16 percent), exposure to sexual minorities (26 percent), assessment of same-sex attraction (48 percent) and evaluations of same-sex behavior (26 percent).”

Now I can’t be 100 percent sure these are the same studies, because of the differences in sample sizes and report percentages. (Prof. Morgan’s full article is only available for purchase and while I want to prove a point, and I don’t really care so much that I feel like shelling out $34.) And, even if it is the same study, the fairly small participant pool means I wouldn’t go making a bunch of universal proclamations based on it alone.

But, still, it adds research to that long-assumed truth that women are more sexually fluid than men. Or, at the very least, women are more willing and comfortable with being honest about their sexual fluidity. Or maybe we should just chalk it up to college. Besides learning how to shotgun a beer and sleep with your eyes open, students pretty much major in sexual experimentation during those years of academic excellence. This is also where that beer shotgunning thing can come in handy.

In the end, we don’t really need a study (or a fake study) to tell us that while we may not be able to hook up with all these some 60 percent of straight gal, we know they’re at least taking a look at us ladies. How could they not? I mean, look at us.

UPDATE: Wow, ask the universe and it delivers. I now am in possession of seven (SEVEN) copies of Prof. Morgan’s report. So looks like I’ll have some light reading to do this week. Thank you, thank you, kittens. You are, continually, the best.

22 comments:

Norma Desmond said...

I'm really curious where people do all this experimenting in college because I certainly was NOT on the receiving end of it... Though, I did kiss a few boys, so I suppose that counts.

annie-in-europe said...

My high school friends all experimented, but I haven't seen that much of it at uni.

On other thoughts, Tilda Swinton ...

Jess said...

I'm with you Norma...where are all the keen ladies at uni? I've been there for 3 years already! Perhaps I'm just not looking in the right place?

The Erin Grant said...

I didn't experiment in college and I wish I had...I didn't come out until I was 26...hooray for this article!

Kit Lang said...

I was out in college and my straight friends wanted to experiment with me. I told them I wasn't available for "collge experiences". ;)

That said, I don't really believe women are more sexually fluid than men, I just believe they're WAY more honest about it than men are.

Also - "experience with a sexual minority"? No thank you. It makes it sound like the experience was with someone/thing the rest of the "normal" world would find creeptastic.

Alice said...

you are so right, Dorothy! who wouldn't want to be with a woman?! :p

Anonymous said...

check your mail Dorothy...I send you the full article!!!

MissMissy said...

I'm a straight girl with zero same-sex experience (not even experimentation in college), and I gotta say--I think women are fabulous and gorgeous. Given the opportunity and the right gal, I would go that way.

Then again, one hates to be seen as "going through a phase" or "experimenting" or even "leading someone on".

So it's a sticky wicket, that.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, I didn't get ANY at university. In the gayest town in the UK. There were so many drunken woman and not ONE took the bait. I feel cheated. What did I pay all those fees for? It sure as hell wasn't the employment opportunities a degree affords you.

Anonymous said...

Ms Maddow is the hottest. Love her brainy butch sexiness.

Carmen SanDiego said...

have I told you lately that you are a wonderful writer, DS? No? Cause you are. you are.

Aurla Dahe said...

I am obsessed with this picture of Naya. And so upset that she's not in my bed.

egghead said...

"Dear Lesbian Jesus . . ."

Now I know who to address when I lay me down with my prayers to keep tonight. Thanks Snarker Woman.

vrgriffith said...

Women, women everywhere and not a drop to drink! Who wouldn't be attracted to women? The men I went out with were pretty/beautiful vs handsome--> right pew, wrong church.

Carol said...

Wow, that at least gives us some more confidence, right?? Also, I'm in college now and I didn't find a girl willing to experiment at the moment, what a shame... =(
PS: Does anyone know the girl in the Headboard? I'm pretty sure it's Elsa Pataky, but I don't know...

cocoro38 said...

haha, suddenly study mode, DS?
thanks for the posting,
beside research says this and that,

i like thinking simple,
you like the person,
and the person like you,
then, just go. period.

have a great week!!

Anonymous said...

so how pissed are we about the showcase blunder causing Lost Girl to be delayed yet another week? fuck my life.

Florence said...

Tilda Swinton *swoon*
Yeah I have nothing intelligent to say after that picture.

Redbone210 said...

I experimented with one girl in college 1 time. I was "straight" and she believed that no one knew that she wasn't - but we all knew that she was gay.

I was too timid and afraid to try with anyone else. But that one encounter fueled many fantasies I had for many years.

Fast forward, I've been in contact with her and found that she's out and I am semi-out.

Experimentation isn't always a bad thing. Some of us want to tiptoe out of the closet.

Lindsay said...

I've actually got a little bit of info on this topic, I'm a psychology undergrad at university at the moment and an assignment and I had an assignment not too long ago that dealt with female vs. male bisexuality. We looked at a study that had been done that measured men and womens' sexual responses to each gender by exposing them to naughty images and videos of each, the most notable difference being that this study measured everything by actual physiological changes, not self report methods, so that might make a difference with the 'women are just more open about it' argument. The study used a mix of men and women self-identified as straight, bisexual or gay, and their attraction to each gender was measured by their level of physiological arousal, not what they verbally reported they felt.
It was quite an interesting read, and it turned out that men as a gender had a much stronger tendency than women to be primarily attracted to either men or women but not both, whereas women showed a much higher instance of being turned on by both men and lovely ladies alike. A number of the women who identified as straight denied any attraction to the women when asked, but physiological monitors showed otherwise.
I'm sorry that I can't give a link to the article or anything, it's been long enough since I read it that I don't remember the title specifically. It's interesting to think about, though. Judging by that study, women definitely seem to be more fluid with their sexualities, even if they're not comfortable saying so.
(Just in case you're interested. :) )

Giant scientific blob aside, I've never actually commented on the blog before but I really enjoy reading it. Your writing is lovely and funny and full of beautiful ladies and it brightens my day, so thank you :) It's also fantastic knowing there's someone else out there who was just as big a weakness for sexy scowlers as I do. (Lena Headey and Noomi Rapaceohmygoodness...)

Wishing you love and peace and happy things! xoxo

Anonymous said...

sorry what was this post about again? i was too distracted by the multitude of different, and yet equally beautiful, women. Time and time again miss Snarker, you remind me what I could never be anything but a lesbian.

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