Researchers at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois have officially confirmed that some bisexual men really, truly are bisexual. Go figure!
That’s right, folks. In the year 2020, a study has been released declaring that bisexuality is, indeed, a real thing, not a myth, as some people apparently still believe.
“The current study found very strong and consistent evidence that bisexual men do in fact tend to have bisexual arousal patterns,” psychology professor J. Michael Bailey, who authored the study, says. “There is no longer reasonable doubt.”
Bailey and his colleagues came to their conclusion after poring over exhaustive research collected between the years 2000 and 2019 in the United States, Canada, and the U.K.
Over 600 men, with an average age of about 29, participated in the nearly 20-year study.
Of that number, 178 described themselves as “exclusively heterosexual,” 102 said they were “mostly” straight, 139 said they were “exclusively homosexual,” and 70 said they were “mostly” gay. The remaining 117 men said they were bisexual.
Of the bisexuals, 46 said they were bisexual but leaned straight, while 37 said they were bisexual but leaned gay, and 34 said they were simply bisexual.
To determine whether the men were really, truly were bisexual, Bailey had them take a “genital arousal test” that involved placing a circumference gauge around their penises and watching erotic material.
Researchers then measured the men’s arousal patterns as they viewed either men or women, but never men and women together.
Not surprisingly, bisexuals were more turned on by the male erotic material than their heterosexual counterparts. They were also more turned on by the female erotic material than their homosexual counterparts.
If this seems like an obvious conclusion to you, it’s because it is. Yet researchers still spent 20 years and countless dollars studying it.
“There has long been a controversy whether men who identify as bisexual are actually bisexual,” Bailey says. “The bisexual men and many others believe that they are; however, some others, including some scientists and lay persons, have doubted this.”
Those doubts, Bailey says, can now be laid to rest.
Caitlin Ryan, director of the Family Acceptance Project at San Francisco State University, says the study, which is hardly the first of its kind, could help eliminate some of the stigma around male bisexuality.
“People who identify as bisexual, especially men, are often viewed with suspicion, and this includes a perception that they won’t commit to being gay,” she says. “They are often discriminated against and stigmatized.”
She adds, “These findings are important, since research routinely shows higher mental health risks and experiences of rejection for bisexual youth and adults related to stigma.”