One of the most common questions I receive about sexual orientation concerns the percentage of the population that is gay, lesbian, or bisexual. People seem to have wildly different ideas about what the answer is, so I created the infographic below to highlight the difference between what people think and what the research actually says.Read More
In a recent media interview, Russian President Vladimir Putin tried to reassure the world that gay and lesbian visitors should not be afraid of attending this year's Olympics in Sochi. However, he asks that they please "leave the children in peace." He then went on to say that "we have no ban on nontraditional sexual relations. We have a ban on propaganda of homosexuality and pedophilia, I want to underline that, on propaganda among minors." Putin's statements appear to conflate homosexuality with pedophila and child molestation, something that anti-gay folks have been doing for years (e.g., remember all of those people who tried to say that the Catholic Church's child sex scandals were a "homosexual problem" that could be solved simply by getting rid of gay priests?). In light of Putin's comments, I thought it would be worth taking a look at what the research actually says when it comes to homosexuality, pedophilia, and child molestation.Read More
When it comes to lesbian sex, there are a lot of myths and misconceptions. On the one hand, many people think lesbians are constantly “scissoring,” and on the other hand, many people think lesbians hardly ever have sex because “lesbian bed death” is inevitable. In this article, we will separate fact from fiction when it comes to the sex lives of lesbians.Read More
Hate crimes are an all too common reality in the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) community. There have been countless instances in recent years in which GLBT persons have been the victims of vicious attacks because of their actual or perceived identity. Despite the increased social acceptance of GLBT individuals we have witnessed, the number of hate crimes has actually risen in many areas, including some places that are considered to be relatively gay-friendly (e.g., New York City). So is there anything that can be done to reduce and prevent future hate crimes? This is the research question Dr. Karen Blair of the University of Utah hopes to answer in a planned study, but she needs our help in order to carry out this important research project.Read More
Over the past two decades, psychologists have devoted significant research attention to understanding the origin and nature of prejudice against gays and lesbians. At the same time, prejudice against bisexuals has been largely overlooked. What little research exists on this topic suggests that bisexuals are typically viewed negatively—and, not only that, but in national U.S. survey data, bisexuals are actually viewed less favorably than persons who are exclusively gay . So where does this negativity come from? And do people feel differently about male vs. female bisexuals? A new study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior yields some answers to these questions.
Popular media depictions suggest that heterosexual women and gay men are natural BFFs. In fact, almost any time you turn on the television, you can see this type of friendship on display, whether it is a scripted sitcom such as Will and Grace or a reality show like The Real Housewives. How do we explain this common social pairing on screen and in real life? A new set of studies suggests that both parties find this type of friendship advantageous because it offers a free exchange of unbiased sex and relationship advice from a trustworthy source.Read More
There are countless myths and stereotypes about gays and lesbians spanning everything from their mannerisms to their sex lives to the nature of their relationships. In this article, I will review five of the most common myths and evaluate them in light of what scientific research has to say.
MYTH #1: Gay men sleep around a lot more than straight men.
I recently posted an article in which I concluded that “while it is indeed possible for both men and women to be bisexual, evidence from a variety of sources suggests that bisexuality may be a more natural occurrence among women than men” (see here for the complete article). I received a couple of comments on the site as well as a few e-mails that were critical of this conclusion, so I thought it might be useful to do a follow-up post and dig a little deeper into the research in the hope of clearing things up a bit more.Read More
Every Friday on the blog, I answer sex questions submitted to me by actual college students. This week’s question hits on a topic many people are curious about: the origin of homosexuality. Although we don’t know with certainty why variations in sexual orientation exist, there is growing evidence that biology is one of the biggest contributors. In this article, we will explore some of the science supporting this point.
Is a homosexual’s brain different from a heterosexual’s brain?