August 26, 2011

Do bisexual men exist?

Beyond the binary
Do bisexual men exist?

You should think that this was a meaningless questions, as there are enough bisexual men around to tell you that yes, they do exist.

That does not stop scientists from developing theories that deny their existence, though, especially if the fundamental thinking in a specific discipline is based on a different "truth".

The binary of sexual orientation

As far as I can see, the dominant ideology among many sociobiologists and biologically oriented psychologist has been  that men are strictly homosexual or heterosexual, while women may have a more fluid sexual orientation.

This is, I believe, a  result of the old evolutionary theory that men are constantly trying to spread their seed to as many as possible, while women are more oriented towards love and nurturing. This is why men are believed to be focussing solely on the visual clues of an attractive body, while women might even find footage of bonobos frolicking exciting.

This was at least the conclusions made by J. Michael Bailey and his team over at Northwestern University.

The return of the bisexual man

The International Herald Tribune now reports on a new Northwestern study, led by Allen Rosenthal (an associate of Bailey's, I believe),  that indicates that bisexual men do in fact exist.

There are other studies pointing in the same direction:

In March Jerome Cerny and Erick Janssen published a report arguing that bisexual men were more likely to experience both genital and subjective arousal when watching videos of a man having sex with both a man and another woman.

The Tribune/New York Times puts it this way:

"In both studies, men watched videos of male and female same-sex intimacy while genital sensors monitored their erectile responses. While the first study reported that the bisexuals generally resembled homosexuals in their responses, the new one finds that bisexual men responded to both the male and female videos, while gay and straight men in the study did not."

The relevance for crossdreamers

Why is this relevant to crossdreamers?  After all, crossdreaming is not defined on the basis of sexual orientation, but on some kind of identification with the opposite sex.

Well, it is all about ideology. J. Michael Bailey is a supporter of Ray Blanchard's autogynephilia theory, and that theory is based on the premise that male to female transsexuals and crossdressers/crossdreamers are either "homosexual" (i.e. "androphilic" or sexually attracted to men) or "heterosexual" (i.e. "gynephilic" or sexually oriented towards women).

The androphilic transwomen are considered extremely feminine gay men, while the gynephilic transwomen are understood to be perverted men who have internalized their external love object. They want to become what they love.

All of this is based on the premise of there being just two types of male bodied persons: (1) feminine gay men and (2) masculine heterosexual men. There are no other options.

Any bisexual man is a gay man living in denial. Any gynephilic male bodied person who feels like a woman is a heterosexual man living in denial.

The new reports clearly shows that this dichotomy is bogus. Nature allows for a kind of variation Blanchard and Bailey's theory does not permit. And if they are wrong about the basic facts, what does that say about the rest of the theory?

Jerome A. Cerny and Erick Janssen:  "Patterns of Sexual Arousal in Homosexual, Bisexual, and Heterosexual Men,"  Arch Sex Beha Jan 2011

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