Guess what, girls? As of this month, everything you think you know about your own sexuality is wrong. If you think you’re straight, think again. And if men — and men alone — turn you on, well . . . you’re wrong.
You see, ladies — we’re all secretly lesbians! At least, that’s what “science” would have you believe.
Earlier this month, researchers from Essex University “discovered” through a “scientific study” that “all” women are bisexual or homosexual. Supposedly, the straight woman is a matter of myth.
In the study, some 300 women were shown sexually provocative videos of attractive men and women. Researchers claim that most female participants, including those who identified as heterosexual, became sexually aroused in response to images of both sexes. The primary evidence? Pupil dilation.
The sensationalist conclusion? All women are gay.
In the words of lead researcher Gerulf Rieger, the man behind the madness, “Even though the majority of women identify as straight, our research clearly demonstrates that when it comes to what turns them on, they are either bisexual or gay, but never straight.”
That a random male researcher would conclude that he understands every single woman’s sexuality better than women do themselves is bad enough. That these researchers would point to painfully fragile evidence to paint a broad, black-and-white picture of female sexuality and then pass it off as infallible fact or universal truth is reckless and irresponsible.
Nonetheless, we’re left with the science fiction that if your eyes get too wide when you see an attractive woman — boom! — you’re a lesbian.
Let’s forget for a moment that pupils dilate for many reasons. Let’s agree, for the sake of argument, that pupil dilation is in fact a definitive link to sexual arousal. How can anyone say with certainty that the dilation was not a result of something subsidiary to the image itself, like an individual thought, image, emotion or response that the image triggered?
But even if the image of a beautiful woman prompted arousal, that still doesn’t necessarily equate to actual sexual desire. It’s undoubtedly true that most women, unlike men, will contemplate the physical beauty of their own sex.
We’ll admire that singer’s curves, that actress’s face, that model’s legs, that lady’s abs and so on. Most of us can point to at least one famous female whose looks we’d like to have. But admiring another woman’s appearance usually means we want to copy her, not copulate with her.
Most women believe Angelina Jolie is beautiful, but would still probably prefer to be with her husband (Brad Pitt) than with her.
Yet there’s a larger point here as well: We talk about sex too much. We are an undeniably sex-obsessed society with a seemingly insatiable appetite for finding something sexual in everything. And lately, we’ve been talking far too much about sexual preference.
We’ve spent much of the last few years giving standing ovations to those who’ve come out as gay, and we’ve been busy heaping praise and awards on those who announce they’re switching genders.
We’ve been hearing an increasingly loud message that there’s no real difference between men and women, and that the two are largely interchangeable. And there’s an increasingly strong cultural pressure to accept as normal any and all sexual preferences, even those people create for themselves.
We’re already an inch away from placing sexual variation up on a pedestal, and now we’re going to claim that heterosexuality doesn’t even exist? Please.
A study like this doesn’t help anyone understand anything. Rather, it has probably caused greater confusion and angst among girls and women who might now be wondering, consciously or subconsciously, if there’s something wrong with them if they’re still attracted to boys and men.
But even more importantly, our constant cultural chatter about sex and sexual preference is blinding us to the bigger picture that human beings are more complex than their genitals (or dilated pupils).
So maybe the folks over at Essex could put their time, energy and money to better use by studying the consequences of a culture that tries to condition people into believing their sex organs are the most interesting and valuable part about them.
Now that would produce some eye-opening research.
Find on: //acculturated.com/