Back in 2015, Vice magazine released a controversial story that went under the radar. They suggest that despite the well-established belief about sexual orientation, more specifically, heterosexuals don’t exist.
VICE’s feminist channel, geared toward a focus on womens’ issues, published a piece on heterosexuality and sexual fluidity. Diana Tourjee, who reported the story, says “regardless of how women self-report their sexuality, their bodies respond positively to both hetero- and homosexual sex.”
The study used by Tourjee claims there are no boundaries in terms of sexuality. “Women’s sexuality is complex and not within the bounds of strict hetero- or homosexuality.”
The Director of Developmental Psychology at Cornell University, Ritch C. Savin-Williams, is set on challenging and disproving the long-held cultural beliefs about human sexuality. He told Tourjee his study “is part of a much larger research project he and his fellow researchers are doing to uncover true human sexuality through physiological queues.”
“We’re trying to get at the way people really are. Sometimes, it seems people are one way but believe they have to report themselves in another way, and that’s not good,” he added.
He goes on to talk about the social influence that supposedly determines “how individuals are perceived and treated.” Savin-Williams says, “we’ve always recognized mostly straight women, that is, women who mostly are straight but if the right woman comes along, well maybe she’ll try it out. We used to think that was only a female phenomenon.” He continues. “We show straight men a picture of a woman masturbating and they respond just like a straight guy, but then you also show them a guy masturbating and their eyes dilate a little bit. So we’re actually able to show physiologically that all guys are not either gay, straight, or bi.”
Tourjee praises the study saying that it “collectively address sexuality in both men and women, showing that boring ideas, such as that people are either 100 percent straight or gay, don’t endure under objective, scientific scrutiny.”
Savin-Williams suggests that men are lying about their homosexual tendencies because of the cultural stigma that comes with being a gay man. “Men have gotten so much cultural crap put on them that even if a man does have some sexual attraction to guys, they would never say it,” he says.
“I do see this loosening of the boundaries… I think that’s happening for both sexes. It’s probably a good thing, because it gives kids growing up more diversity, more options, so they don’t feel like they have to fit in [at all costs]. Straight women and straight men feel much more comfortable than ever before in going into the realm of the other sex in terms of gender role and how they act.”
He concludes by stating how our gender culture could harm people who are near the homosexual spectrum because it disallows their opportunity to find their true self, which will damage their self-esteem.
“If you look at women, the self-esteem of lesbian women tends to be higher than that of straight women,” Savin-Williams says. “Maybe they feel like they have more freedom [to be who they really are]. Granted, society may not always like it, but it is your own authentic self.”