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The Male Bisexuality Debate Revisited: Some Bisexual Men Have Bisexual Arousal Patterns

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Abstract

Self-identified bisexual men report high sexual arousal to both male and female stimuli, but no study to date has compellingly demonstrated that such men have a bisexual pattern of genital arousal. We examined sexual arousal patterns among bisexual men recruited using stringent criteria designed to exclude those who were less likely to have sexual interest in both sexes. Furthermore, we included a bisexual stimulus depicting a man engaged in sex simultaneously with another man and a woman. On average, the bisexual men showed a bisexual arousal pattern, with respect to both self-reported and genital arousal. Additionally, the bisexual men were more aroused by the bisexual stimulus compared with the homosexual and heterosexual men. Some bisexual-identified men have bisexual genital arousal patterns, although it remains unclear how common they are.

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Acknowledgments

We thank Kevin Hsu and our many other research assistants for their help with this project and we thank John Sylla for his support and advice. This research was supported by a grant from the American Institute of Bisexuality. A version of this article was presented at the University of Lethbridge Workshop, The Puzzle of Sexual Orientation: What Is It and How Does It Work?, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, June 2010.

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Correspondence to A. M. Rosenthal.

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Rosenthal, A.M., Sylva, D., Safron, A. et al. The Male Bisexuality Debate Revisited: Some Bisexual Men Have Bisexual Arousal Patterns. Arch Sex Behav 41, 135–147 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-011-9881-7

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-011-9881-7

Keywords

  • Male bisexuality
  • Sexual arousal patterns
  • Sexual orientation
  • Penile plethysmography
  • Monosexual