Women’s sexual orientations ‘may not’ be fixed, says study
New research published in a scientific journal suggests that women do not have a fixed sexual orientation in the same way that men do.
The theory was published in the Biological Reviews journal, which came out this week, and looks at the evolutionary advantages of women having same-sex attractions.
Written by Dr Satoshi Kanazawa from the London School of Economics, the study looks at why female sexual orientations are widely considered more fluid than that of male counterparts.
The evolutionary biologist says the reasons may be down to the way relationships were formed in early humans.
Dr Kanazawa says that women may have evolved to be able to “change” sexual orientation based on the situation they find themselves in.
He said that women may have used the evolutionary advantage to have sex with other women in polygynous marriages.
The theory, according to Dr Kanazawa, is that the sexual attraction could reduce “conflict and tension… while at the same time successfully reproducing with their husbands in heterosexual unions”.
“The theory suggests that women may not have sexual orientations in the same sense as men do,” he writes.
“Rather than being straight or gay, to whom women are sexually attracted may depend largely on the particular partner, their reproductive status, and other circumstances.”
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Other scientific studies have looked into female sexuality.
According to research published earlier this month, a quarter of 18 to 24-year-old women who identify as straight say they have had a sexual encounter with someone of the same sex, with a third saying they have been attracted to someone outside of their defined sexuality.
A separate study published in November suggests that women who identify as heterosexual ‘very rarely are’.