Remember how Lili Reinhart came out after her breakup with Cole Sprouse? How Miley Cyrus went on exploring her sexuality and how Dove Cameron became vocal about her orientation after ending her relationship with Thomas Doherty?
Increasingly it has come to attention that womxn are more likely to break the heteronormative culture and embrace their inner hues. There are various speculations behind this. So, does the gap really exist? Well to some extent yes it does.
Experts tend to believe that we are more likely to see the rainbow in womxn possibly because of changing socio-cultural factors. A higher rate or higher velocity in embracing sexual fluidity ( one or more changes in sexuality even though sexual orientation is seen as a permanent phenomenon) is seen in womxn as compared to the past, evidently more than men in totality too.
Sean Massey and colleagues from Binghamton Human Sexualities Research Lab in New York went through statistical data to prove the above. They found that between 2011 and 2019, young womxn moved away from heterosexuality at a noticeable rate In 2019, 65% of women reported only being attracted to men, a decrease from 77% in 2011. On the other hand, the choices of men remain relatively stable.
What could possibly prompt such a trend is fascinating. When it comes to womxn, their sexuality revolves around socio-cultural matters as mentioned above while men’s sexuality is centred around physical factors. This makes females more flexible to alterations. According to Baumeister et al., the sexual revolution of the 1970s liberated womxn and let them further introspect their needs and wants. Socialization could also be a cause of higher sexual orientation mobility.
Evolutionary psychology holds a different perspective and says that bisexuality in womxn is maybe to ensure reproductive success or reduce conflict with other womxn.
Even though data about womxn bartering their male partners for a lesbian relationship is not sufficient Binnie Klein of Connecticut (lecturer in Yale’s department of psychiatry) agreed that a half-dozen of her married female patients in the past few years have fallen in love with women. “Most are afraid that if they don’t go for it, they’ll end up with regrets.”
Nevertheless, it’s always plausible that seeking an emotional connection is more important to females and is easy to come by as compared with males. In terms of sex, there’s no rigidity in women’s sexual desires.
In my opinion, the reason for the above could be the women-are-wonderful effect. Coined in 1994, after research it was found that all sexes are likely to link positive traits with womxn. The bias may make females more comfortable with their own kind.
It is also unavoidable that in society same-sex relationships are deemed more acceptable when two females are concerned. Homosexual males receive hate while lesbian relationships are a source for fetishization. Even in the porn industry lesbians are highly sexualized.
Men’s movements haven’t been able to establish such a mass effect and hence hinders the chances for them to look beyond their prescribed- at- birth orientation. Masculinity according to traditional beliefs encompasses heterosexuality.
So, in order to comply with gender roles (masculinity=power and superiority) men’s sexuality experiences speed breakers.
Could subjugation of the female gender lead to this shift and fluidity? Yes, the dominance of patriarchy particularly has impacted female sexuality in a considerable sense. If we compare the norms with the past, having a life without a man’s hand on the shoulder or an identity of your own without having a man’s title to justify a claim was nowhere near acceptable. It was always a distant dream for womxn to finally spread their wings. Feminist movements as well as the LGBTQIA+ community have empowered females.
Elizabeth Morgan says “eschewing exclusive heterosexuality could be seen as part of women breaking out of traditional gender roles.”
To summarise, female sexuality changes more dimensionally as compared to males. It’s apparent that womxn contribute more to “break-the-binary” than men.
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