science loves rationalizing human behavior, and now one researcher has a new explanation as to why women appear to be more sexually fluid than men.
A recent study published in the journal Biological Reviews suggests women's sexuality has evolved to be more fluid than men's as a mechanism to reduce conflict and tension among co-wives inpolygynous marriages.
Sexual fluidity encompasses how we identify our sexual preferences, such as straight or gay; our actual sexual behavior; sexual thoughts and fantasies; and genital or brain responses to sexual stimuli. Evolutionarily speaking, sexual fluidity kept women mating and reproducing offspring with their husbands, even when their sexual preference was not strictly heterosexual.
In a new article published in the journalBiological Review, Dr. Satoshi Kanazawa, an evolutionary psychologist at the London School of Economics, proposed that womenhad to be more sexually fluid in order to survive. Kanazawa claimed that early polygamous marriages required women to have sex with one another so they didn't get all jealous of their male partner's sexual activity.
"The theory suggests that women may not have sexual orientations in the same sense as men do," said Kanazawa, according to a press release. "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."
To determine the differences between sexuality fluidity in men and women, he analyzed the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), which measured sexual orientation of American youths of both genders in four “waves” over a span of 10 years. Kanazawa measured self-identified sexual feelings among a given set of labels, including 100 percent straight, mostly straight, bisexual, mostly gay, and 100 percent gay when participants were between 18 and 28 in wave III. In Wave IV, when respondents were between 25 and 34, they were asked to describe sexual identity.
The findings revealed when it came to sexuality, women were more fluid in each of the proposed ways. It confirmed women who experience increased levels of sexual fluidity have a larger number of children, and women who experience marriage or parenthood early in adult life also experience increased levels of sexual fluidity. This suggests women’s sexual fluidity may have been evolutionarily selected as a coping mechanism for polygynous marriages, even though humans have only been mildly polygynous throughout evolutionary history. Typically, these marriages are often characterized by conflict and tension among co-wives.
“I propose that occasional sex among co-wives may have reduced such conflict and tension, and increased their reproductive success. Female sexual fluidity may have evolved as an adaptation to facilitate it,” wrote Kanazawa, in the paper.
Perhaps women-on-women sexual escapades once had an evolutionary advantage. This theory also introduces the notion that women may not be sexually oriented in the same sense as men. So, rather than being straight or gay, the person women are sexually attracted to depends on their particular partner, reproductive status, and other circumstances.
A similar 2015 study found straight women turned on by attractive women are either “bisexual or gay.” Researchers believe women's sexual preferences tend to be a gray area. Straight women were strongly sexually aroused by videos of both attractive men and women, even if they chose men as their sexual preference. The truth is straight women, not just lesbians, ogle at beautiful women.