Bisexual men: Science says they're real
August 23rd, 2011
04:24 PM ET

Bisexual men: Science says they're real

Plenty of people identify as bisexual, but scientists are still trying to figure out what that means in terms of physiological arousal and attraction.

A new study in the journal Biological Psychology claims to have at least shown that some men who say they're bisexual actually get aroused by both men and women. And that's a new result; a controversial 2005 study could not demonstrate bisexuality.

This study does find it, perhaps because of the way researchers recruited participants. The new research focuses on self-identified bisexual men who'd had a romantic relationship of at least three months with at least one person of each sex, and at least two sexual partners of each sex - much more specific criteria than previous research used.

"The fact that we found it, especially using this kind of methodology, confirms that men with bisexual arousal patterns and bisexual identity definitely exist," said Allen Rosenthal, lead study author and doctoral student at Northwestern University.

Still, only 35 bisexual men, 31 homosexual men and 34 heterosexual men from the Chicago area participated in the study, which is a relatively small sample size and geographically restricted. More research must be done to confirm these findings, and to see if they apply to a wider group of self-identified bisexuals.

Participants watched a series of three-minute videos, which included two videos depicting two women having sex and two videos depicting men having sex. While viewing these, the volunteers wore penile strain gauges to measure erectile response.

Results showed that men in the bisexual group showed bisexual patterns of arousal, both in terms of their subjective rating of the videos and the measured genital response. They were aroused by watching erotic videos of both male and female same-sex partners.

But the bisexual men's responses also tended to suggest a preference for stimuli of one sex. It's possible that generally bisexual men are attracted to both sexes, but to one more than the other; it's also possible that they are more aroused by women sometimes and men other times.

The study falls short of determining whether most men who say they are bisexual have these arousal patterns; more research is needed in that area.

It also does not look at bisexual women. Other research on women's arousal patterns, however, suggests that regardless of a woman’s self-reported sexuality, she tends to show a certain amount of physiological arousal when viewing erotica involving men, women and men with women.

soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Jared

    It's not really a surprise it's just the first time science has actually proven it to be true. Most everyone knew it was true already but knowing something is different then being able to prove something.

    August 23, 2011 at 17:11 | Report abuse |
  2. Dr. Kinsey

    This is old news. Anyone seen the movie Kinsey? It's the Kinsey Scale, and I think it's very real.

    August 23, 2011 at 17:13 | Report abuse |
  3. Ghost

    Next they are going to PROVE that some people like the taste of pizza. Then they are going to prove that some people prefer feet... scientific experiment money being put to waste... probably pork spending by the government.

    August 23, 2011 at 17:16 | Report abuse |
  4. The Real Doug DeFratus

    I was NOT part of this study!

    August 23, 2011 at 17:16 | Report abuse |
  5. Michelle

    Exactly! Who paid for this report? Hope it wasn't my taxes!

    August 23, 2011 at 17:19 | Report abuse |
  6. Joe D'

    There you guys go-
    Believing in science.

    August 23, 2011 at 17:20 | Report abuse |
  7. Ghost

    Maybe science will finally prove that people can grow red hair, or that people who may like cabbage may also like lettus... OH maybe they can prove that some people my need to wear glasses while others may not.

    August 23, 2011 at 17:20 | Report abuse |
  8. Justin Hodson

    Its about time science recognizes that my feelings are real.

    August 23, 2011 at 17:22 | Report abuse |
  9. teste

    Doug DeFratus rules.

    August 23, 2011 at 17:23 | Report abuse |
  10. D. Darko

    This is a drop in the bucket of overall scientific research. Yes, hopefully not much was spent on it, because it doesn't seem at all necessary. That said, this doesn't devalue what scientific research has benefited society. All in all, I want our scientists figuring stuff out. Just not obvious stuff like this.

    August 23, 2011 at 17:23 | Report abuse |
  11. Peter

    Are you kidding me!! You are Damn right Fred. What Happens in people's bed rooms is their personal Non-grata. I could careless if they are aroused by a frog. P-LEASE. Can we use this resources on things that Make sense. Disgusting

    August 23, 2011 at 17:25 | Report abuse |
    • Eric

      Why do you have a thing against frogs?

      August 23, 2011 at 17:34 | Report abuse |
    • Heh

      I'd tell you what Peter has against frogs, but then this comment would get deleted.

      August 23, 2011 at 17:46 | Report abuse |
    • D. Darko

      personal non-grata?

      August 23, 2011 at 17:52 | Report abuse |
  12. Butterfingers

    Oh come on big boy, you know you want it!

    August 23, 2011 at 17:25 | Report abuse |
  13. ants

    the romans didn't have any problem with it at all.

    August 23, 2011 at 17:29 | Report abuse |
    • Heh

      They also didn't have a problem with lethal gladitorial combat and torturing people to death for fun.

      Do you want to try that one again?

      August 23, 2011 at 17:45 | Report abuse |
  14. mickeymo


    August 23, 2011 at 17:33 | Report abuse |
  15. Pan3

    just thinking of you being excited with the strain on excites me.

    August 23, 2011 at 17:33 | Report abuse |
  16. waitaminute

    Thta's hilarious...You win my Comment of the Day award! Good Job!:-)

    August 23, 2011 at 17:36 | Report abuse |
  17. Oldie in TampaBay

    Its about time science agrees with what has been a part of every culture since the dawn ...

    August 23, 2011 at 17:41 | Report abuse |
  18. Emeljay


    August 23, 2011 at 17:41 | Report abuse |
  19. Jane

    Hilarious! Yes, definitely post of the day!

    August 23, 2011 at 17:41 | Report abuse |
  20. Martin

    In love with yourself. Or, maybe just 17 years old!

    August 23, 2011 at 17:43 | Report abuse |
  21. chuck


    August 23, 2011 at 17:44 | Report abuse |
  22. Me

    In other news: There is now scientific proof that most people consider the odor of cat feces to be unpleasant.

    August 23, 2011 at 17:45 | Report abuse |
  23. Toejam

    Eh. They can pray that away now.

    August 23, 2011 at 17:48 | Report abuse |
  24. JC

    Emel's right.. it makes you 17. At that age, I became ermm... attentive... at the drop of a hat. From time to time, the hat actually did come in use.

    August 23, 2011 at 17:48 | Report abuse |
  25. Rethink

    "Other diseases" = win.

    August 23, 2011 at 17:49 | Report abuse |
  26. Jeff

    Nice to know that I'm real.

    August 23, 2011 at 17:53 | Report abuse |
  27. Pete

    DEFINITELY ..post of the day ...LOL

    August 23, 2011 at 17:54 | Report abuse |
  28. AJ

    So... if they weren't hairy and well toned,you would get aroused?....

    August 23, 2011 at 17:54 | Report abuse |
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.