Surprising number of straight people admit being attracted to same sex – and we’re thrilled for them

A study about sexual diversity has found many heterosexual-identifying, straight people have had same-sex experiences, including about one third of women.

The study, conducted in Spain and published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior journal, looked at same-sex “erotic experiences” including sexual attraction (using the Kinsey Scale), behavioural intention, and aesthetic attraction.

In terms of out-right sexual attraction, 31.5 per cent of heterosexual women and 13.2 per cent of heterosexual men had experienced attraction to people of the same sex.

Rates of same-sex experiences were higher among women on all variables.

The researchers found this was in line with existing literature, “which has generally found that women, regardless of their sexual orientation, have higher levels of same-sex attraction… and fantasies”.

However, the rates of experiences narrowed to “similar levels” when it came to same-sex sexual intercourse.

You may like to watch

More men admitted discomfort when having same-sex erotic experiences than women.

The researchers commented that a possible explanation for heterosexual women being more open to same-sex experiences “could be the heteronormative framework in society”.

They elaborated by saying this framework “may exert greater pressure on Spanish men by punishing same-sex behaviours more among them than among Spanish women”.

Similar evidence was seen in tolerance towards different sexual orientations, with heterosexual women equally tolerant toward gay men and lesbian women – whereas straight men were more tolerant to lesbian women.

‘Unshakeable religious and machismo tradition’

Other literature was referenced, noting that heterosexual women are more likely to question their sexual orientation, as well as being asked more often to engage in same-sex sexual behaviour than heterosexual men were.

The study looked at survey responses from 2,900 people aged between 18 and 40 who self-identified as heterosexual and lived in Spain.

The researchers admitted that the results “may have” been skewed because the study was “advertised as an investigation of sexual orientation” and therefore “people who agreed to participate may have been more open-minded than the general population”.

There was also a large split of gender in the straight people who responded: 71.1 per cent were women and 28.9 per cent were men.

The researchers said the findings were specific to Spain, “a country where legislative advances co-exist with an unshakeable religious and machismo tradition”.

In other words, they noted legal progress around sexuality in Spain has “not been followed by lower levels of discrimination”.

The research stated: “It is clear that there is a need to continue studying sexual orientation as a complex construct to include the affective-sexual diversity that characterises the population in its entirety.”

Browsing on your phone? Click here to join our new PinkNews Alerts WhatsApp group for daily digests of the hottest LGBTQ+ news and features.