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NYTimes: No Bisexuals?


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There is a new study reported in the Times saying that there is no such thing as bisexual men; you are either gay, straight, or lying.

 

For those guys still on the fence, think of Nick Lachey. He hasn't turned gay despite being married to Jessica!

 

http://www.gawker.com/news/jsimpsnose.jpg

 

 

Oh, the NYT link:

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/05/health/05sex.html

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We're all closet bisexuals at heart...

 

Nick Lahey or no, I'm not buying their theory based on what skimpy lab work they've provided. I tend to hang more with [a href=http://www.petertatchell.net/queer%20theory/end.htm]these[/a] [a href=http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1560256117]guys[/a] (and the esteemed Dr Kinsey).

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I'd like to see them replicate this study on the sauna guys in Brazil! One study involving North American guys doesn't support any kind of general conclusions! If a Brazilian study shows the same thing, THEN I'll start believing the results!

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Well, having met so many men in my life who have gone from calling themselves straight to bisexual to gay, or just bisexual to gay, and never having met anyone who at one time thought he was gay, but later discovered he was really bisexual, I have always felt bisexuality was just a label people gave themselves when they didn't want to commit. If these finding are duplicated, I'll be happy to see the end of this silly "bisexual" term...

 

"The study is the largest of several small reports suggesting that the estimated 1.7 percent of men who identify themselves as bisexual show physical attraction patterns that differ substantially from their professed desires."

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Heteroflexible...

 

[blockquote]Well, having met so many men in my life who have gone from calling themselves straight to bisexual to gay, or just bisexual to gay, and never having met anyone who at one time thought he was gay, but later discovered he was really bisexual, I have always felt bisexuality was just a label people gave themselves when they didn't want to commit. If these finding are duplicated, I'll be happy to see the end of this silly "bisexual" term...[/blockquote] I really love [a href=http://petertatchell.net/]this[/a] guy's [a href=http://www.petertatchell.net/queer%20theory/end.htm]essay[/a] where he reasons that homophobes really should be afraid, because if homosexuality were widely accepted, bisexuality or at least [a href=http://archive.salon.com/mwt/feature/2000/11/15/heteroflexibility/index.html]heteroflexibility[/a] would be the norm. Some excerpts: [blockquote]...contrary to what most gay rights campaigners claim, homophobia is not irrational. It's very logical. Homosexuality is tempting, which is why it has to be ridiculed, condemned and victimised. If queer sex was really unnatural and revolting, it wouldn't be denigrated and suppressed by the combined forces of parliament, police, press, pulpit and prison. There'd be no need for heterosexuals to trumpet their supposed normality and superiority, no necessity for them to proselytise on behalf of their straight way of life, and no reason for abrogating to themselves the exclusive legal right to marriage and the financial incentives that go with matrimony.[/p] [p]The huge resources invested by society in the promotion of heterosexuality infer that it is a rather dire, unattractive option that can only be sustained by endowing straightness with privileges and by handicapping the homosexual alternative with a mill-stone of disparagement and disadvantage. Indeed, the institutionalised social discrimination and public hysteria against homosexuality is a tacit acknowledgement of the pervasive appeal of queerness and the precarious nature of exclusive heterosexuality.[/p] [p](...)[/p] [p]These insights suggest that if society ended its favouritism towards straightness and its chastisement of gayness, same-sex desire would, since it is an intrinsic human potentiality, be much more widespread. This doesn't necessarily mean that a higher proportion of the population would be lesbian and gay. More likely, bisexuality would become the norm, and the prevalence of both exclusive heterosexuality and exclusive homosexuality would diminish.[/p] [p]A major consequence of defeating homophobia and winning gay acceptance is that the social differentiation between hetero and homo will no longer be important. Since one form of sexuality will not be deemed superior to the other, there will be no need to sustain separate, polarised sexual identities.[/p] [p]The labels hetero and homo will lose their relevance. No one will care who's gay and who's straight. This will create a whole new ball-game for the gay rights movement. There will be no need to assert gay identity because homosexuality will no longer be victimised and will therefore not have to be defended.[/p] [p]Gay identity has had (and at the moment still has) great value as a defence against compulsory heterosexuality. It is, however, a historically-transient, culturally-specific phenomenon which arises in response to the needs of a persecuted queer minority in homophobic societies. Once straight privilege disappears, the necessity to affirm gayness declines rapidly.[/p][p](...)[/p][p]The more we succeed in asserting our human rights as homosexuals, the sooner the differences between heteros and queers lose their significance. With no social relevance, the differences between gays and straights no longer have to be policed. Sexual boundaries become fuzzier. The need, and desire, to label behaviour and people disappears. The end result of this erosion of sexual difference is the demise of distinct, exclusive and antagonistic identities. Bravo![/p][p]We queers are, it seems, destined to be the agents of our own salvation, and our own supersession. By the act of gay emancipation, we sow the seeds of the destruction of gay identity (and its straight counterpart). This, then, is the great paradox: queer liberation eradicates queers. But in the process, a new pluralistic sexual democracy, transcending the orthodoxy of gay and straight, at last becomes possible.[/p][/blockquote]


[blockquote]"The study is the largest of several small reports suggesting that the estimated 1.7 percent of men who identify themselves as bisexual show physical attraction patterns that differ substantially from their professed desires."[/blockquote] [p]Some of our closest relatives, the [a href=http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/07/0722_040722_gayanimal_2.html]bisexual[/a] [a href=http://worldpolicy.org/globalrights/sexorient/bonobos.html]bonobos[/a] tell quite a different story![/p]
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RE: Heteroflexible...

 

Regarding Bonobos : though our closest cousins, they are neverthless dumb, non-human, animals. They do what feels good, and for whatever reason they seem to enjoy making one another feel good too.

 

There are all sorts of possible reasons why Bonobos are such horny fuckers, and it's very tempting to attribute their randiness to the remarkably-close genetic kinship we share. But they are not human. They eat their own shit just like other animals. Their behavior is extremely difficult to draw broad conclusions from. Drawing links is tempting, but dangerous.

 

I see no reason to assume, other than unreliable personal experience and anectodal (non)evidence, that human biological oreintations are any different from Brazil to Alaska.

 

Personally, I believe human male bisexuality is a myth. (I am very sympathetic to closeted gays, don't get me wrong. Yes they are my bread and butter, but more importantly I do understand how scary admitting to oneself that your a gay man in Council Bluffs Iowa could be, much less to anyone else. But just because I'm sympathetic to the condition of homophobia, does not mean that I believe the excuses. I am, however, very sympathetic to the excuses; don't interpret my blase attitude toward bisexuality as a blase attitude to either my closeted clients or closeted people in general. It's a tough world out there and not every place is Chelsea and WeHo.)

 

And even though after reading yesterday's NYTimes synthesis of this study I wanted to high-five the stranger sitting next to me at Starbucks, I realized that this study has not been reviewed, or even released. In other words the conclusions are far from definitive.

 

Keep in mind that the results aren't that bisexulaity is a total myth, even though that's what I believe I don't think the scientists (I hate using that word when it apples to psychiatry) care what I think, but that IN THIS STUDY ONLY the vast majority of those who claim to be bisexual respond sexually only to one sex, usually male.

 

And most importantly, it hasn't been repeated. A study is only a good study if the experiment can be repeated. Fortunately, this experiment is easily repeatable, so it's only a matter of time before it's tried again. The conclusion will only be supported if in the second, third, fourth etc experiments the results match or overwhelm the original.

 

In other words, hold onto your skirts, nobody involved is calling bullshit on bisexuality. Not yet anyway.

 

-RH

 

p.s. Sadly, because of Political Correctness, I suspect that further ahead scientists will have to waste additional time to see if there are differences in "Brazillians". Not really Brazil, but the whole bullshit Down Low phenomena where gay men say they are straight, fuck guys (but are actually getting fucked, but won't admit it) get HIV and bring it to their wives. That smells of traditional bullshit bisexuality to me, but it's actually a whole new level of PC bullshit.

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RE: Heteroflexible...

 

Suggesting that they try to replicate this test in Brazil isn't political correctness. It's scientific rigor! :-)

 

Seriously, sexuality isn't totally genetic and inherent. If that were true, identical twins would ALWAYS be either straight or gay, but not one straight and one gay. Yet there are identical twin pairs with different sexual orientations. That suggests that there are other, as yet unknown factors at work. Cultural factors may be among them. Brazilians have a much more flexible attitude towards sex than Americans, who have a fixation about pigeonholing everything, sexual or otherwise. Many men in Brazil SEEM to be genuinely bisexual -- they get aroused with other men and seem to enjoy what they're doing with them, but they also have girlfriends, wives, and numerous children, and seem to enjoy that, too! Similar flexibility exists in other countries, too. However, without replicating the test in Brazil we can't know for sure if the supposed bisexuality of so many Brazilian men is phony or not.

 

No need to drag PCness into a discussion where it was never called into play.

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Thanks for your posting, Mr Munroe. Dr Bailey is famous for being sloppy in his research; I would never believe anything he said until his findings had been replicated by real scientists. And I know this is the wrong thread, but I agree entirely with Mr Munroe about the perniciousness of all that body-waxing.

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That is unfortunate news. Fortunately, I suspect this is the kind of study that is very easy to reproduce (pardon the term) and others can, and most likely will, repeat it. And the controversy surrounding him will no longer be included. We'll just have to stay tuned.

 

If the test procedures are clean enough-I haven't seen them because I don't think the paper has been published yet-it won't matter too much how unobjective the man is. If it's a poorly constructed study it will be passed on by the scientific community. But I think it's wrong of us to dismiss it because of the asshole who conducted it before we read the actual study and simultaneously gauge how the scientific community responds.

 

Nevertheless, it's good to know his bias. Thanks Rick.

 

Tri, one identical twins is, in fact statistically more likely to be gay if the other one is. There have been all sorts of studies. Why not all? Well, nobody, not even Dean Hammer who first spotted the so called "Gay Gene" believes that sexuality is 100% genetic. They, and I, believe heredity has a significant part. The problem is people hear "Gay Gene" and without reading the studies or the scientific response to the studies, assume the researchers concluded that sexuality is 100% genetic, which is of course a lunatic assumption.

 

Of course Cultural factors do come in to play: they make gay people not want to be.

 

I hate to twist this around on you, Tri, but the fact that the likleihood of one identical twin to be gay is higher if the other one is gay makes it seem pretty clear that there is, in fact, a likely biological component.

 

Regarding replicating the experiment in Brazil. Well, if there's supposed rampant bisexuality down there I suppose it's as good a geographical location as anywhere for follow up. I did say I support replicating the experiment. I don't believe the results will differ significantly, but that's just my own bias.

 

What I was refering to, however, is other labels PC people (and yes it is appropriate for me to bring that term in as this discussion is much bigger than simply what's been written on the board so far) PC people attribute to what is nothing more than bisexuality. I assumed everyone here was familiar with the so called "Down Low" phenomena, which is why I brought it up but didn't expand on it, but if not google or amazon the term. What's important is that the social scientists, bored or something, occasionally dredge up new terms Down Low etc for something that's been a long for a long time. Ordinary people do it too, "Oh he's not gay, he's just Brazillian." Cute, but nonsensical. "I'm straight, but occasionally, I bend." All are just terms for bisexuality. And whether I believe bisexuality exists or not, I can still use the term just like I don't believe in God, but I can suggest that Jehovah is just another term for God.

 

As far as Americans being limited in their notions of sexuality's fluidity, that's not what I see. Have you been to California or New York? It seems as if everyone here believes that sexuality is fluid. And outside the coasts, but around America, bisexuality is also not an uncommon sentiment. (Don't you hate double negatives?). But that doesn't make it true, just popular. Believe me, I am in the minority.

 

But what is the more likely explanation, that many men are gay and don't want to be. Or that getting fucked up the ass is no more or less appealing than coming all over some woman's tits?

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RE: Heteroflexible...

 

>Many men in Brazil SEEM to be genuinely bisexual

>-- they get aroused with other men and seem to enjoy what

>they're doing with them, but they also have girlfriends,

>wives, and numerous children, and seem to enjoy that, too!

 

You are right to emphasize the word "SEEM." In most countries where bisexuality appears to be more common, such as Latin America or the middle east, I believe that what one witnesses relates more to the strong cultural pressures to have a traditional family. It's better in these cultures to get married and have a family, then have sex with men on the side. These cultures also tend to have less respect for women's feelings, exhibiting a more patriarchal nature. One doesn't hear as much about bisexuality in countries where a gay lifestyle is more accepted, such as the Netherlands or Denmark. My guess is that these guys get married, have lots of kids, and put on an act of enjoying the opposite-sex portion of their lives, but that they really get basically all of their sexual fulfilment from their same-sex encounters.

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RE: Stella's Bisexual Groove

 

Apparently, Stella got her groove back with a Jamican bisexual:

 

'Groove' author should move on

Eugene Robinson, Washington Post Writers Group

 

Tuesday, July 5, 2005

 

Washington -- SO DID THE WOMAN who wrote the book on players get played?

 

The divorce proceedings of a best-selling author wouldn't normally spill out of the gossip columns, but Terry McMillan is different. For one thing, her oeuvre -- which includes the mega-selling "Waiting to Exhale" -- has done more than entertain. It has provided a frame of reference for African Americans, especially women, to think about modern relationships. For another, the man she's divorcing, Jonathan Plummer, is the young, buff Jamaican whose energetic attentions inspired McMillan's "How Stella Got Her Groove Back," the you-go-girl novel that inspired middle-aged women everywhere.

 

And finally, there's the reason for the divorce: Plummer says he recently discovered he is gay. This can't help but fuel anxiety over the so-called "down low" phenomenon -- black men who date or marry women while secretly having sex with men.

 

From the divorce filings, we can gather that McMillan, 53, is feeling some understandable anger. She has kicked Plummer, 30, out of her Danville house; intends to enforce a prenuptial agreement that gives him essentially nothing; and throws in the allegation that he embezzled $200,000 from her accounts. A judge awarded Plummer $2,000 a month in spousal support, despite the prenup, but that's just provisional and might not last.

 

McMillan's fiction describes a catalog of slick, predatory, no-good players. In the movie of "Waiting to Exhale," think of the preening bad boys who obliterate Lela Rochon's self-esteem. Or the smooth-talking married man who strings along poor Whitney Houston. Or the smug, wealthy cad who cheats on Angela Bassett, and unforgettably gets his car torched in return.

 

Is Plummer just a type of player that the sharp-eyed McMillan somehow missed?

 

He claims he only recently discovered his homosexuality, and while that's certainly not impossible, there's considerable reason to be skeptical. They met 10 years ago -- she was vacationing in Negril, Jamaica, and he worked at the hotel. He was just 20; OK, maybe he was still confused.

 

But maybe he wasn't. Homophobia is common enough in Jamaica that a dance- hall star like Beenie Man can rap in a hit song about killing gays; if Plummer knew he was gay, he probably wouldn't have advertised it. And once he had hooked up with McMillan, he had every reason to hide the truth because she was his ticket to America. Even if he didn't know she was a millionaire author, as he claims, the mere fact that she could afford to stay at a fancy resort in Negril meant she had more money than he did.

 

And anyhow, by the time they married he was 24. In his mid-20s, he still didn't have the slightest inkling that he liked guys? Then he moves to the San Francisco area, not exactly Taliban territory when it comes to gay sexuality, and doesn't feel a tingle? So yes, I'm skeptical of Plummer -- I think this might, indeed, be a "down low" scenario.

 

But what about McMillan? Would any of her savvy heroines have been so blind?

 

First of all, I'm thinking that an educated, accomplished, professional woman in her 40s, even while joyfully regaining her groove with a Jamaican cabana boy less than half her age, would have to be thinking in the back of her mind that this probably wouldn't turn into forever.

 

Maybe McMillan made that calculation and decided to bring him home anyway. I hear that men have been known to bring home hot, young, empty-headed things; and she did have the foresight to make him sign that prenup. But if it were all calculated, she wouldn't be so angry. The betrayal isn't just that he's lost interest in her, it's that his new interest is in men.

 

Here's where I get myself in trouble (if I haven't already): In 10 years with this guy she didn't have a clue? In the bathroom cabinet, no stock of overly metrosexual hair products? No hint when the business he got her to finance turned out to be a dog-grooming salon? Terry McMillan, such a keen observer of love and war between the sexes, and nothing ever showed up on her "gaydar"?

 

In any event, there's nothing to be gained from "hateration," as Mary J. Blige might say. The courts should enforce the cut-and-dried prenup; Plummer will find a way to survive. Since I assume he's been exploring his newfound sexuality, everyone should get tested for STDs -- not because he's gay, but because he's presumably been fiddling around outside of his marriage -- and if he's given his wife anything more serious than a cold, I take back every semi-reasonable thing I've said about him.

 

If not, then everyone moves on. McMillan has already gotten one best- selling book out of this relationship. Now, maybe two.

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RE: Need for simplicity makes things difficult to measure..

 

i just gotta say that I am, up to a point, bisexual. I do enjoy having sex with women. However, I need some simplicity in my life to be able to function more comfortably. So, being married for seven years (nearly) to Maverick, even though we have an open relationship I usually limit my extracurricular sex to men. I will still go to bed with a woman, if she asks me, but they rarely do. They perceive themselves as threatened by bisexuals, too. However, that would show that I am still bisexual, though since I don't pursue it, it wouldn't show up on certain measuring devices.

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