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The Relation Between Sex Drive and Sexual Attraction to Men and Women: A Cross-National Study of Heterosexual, Bisexual, and Homosexual Men and Women

Abstract

Recent research suggests that, for most women, high sex drive is associated with increased sexual attraction to both women and men. For men, however, high sex drive is associated with increased attraction to one sex or the other, but not to both, depending on men's sexual orientation (Lippa, R. A., 2006, Psychological Science, 17, 46–52). These findings were replicated in a very large BBC data set and were found to hold true in different nations, world regions, and age groups. Consistent with previous research, lesbians differed from other women in showing the male-typical pattern, that high sex drive is associated with attraction to one sex but not the other. Bisexual women and men were more similar to same-sex heterosexuals than to same-sex homosexuals in their pattern of results. The correlation between same-sex and other-sex attraction was consistently negative for men, was near zero for heterosexual and bisexual women, and negative for lesbians. Thus, same-sex and other-sex attractions were, in general, more bipolar and mutually exclusive for men than for women. The current findings add to evidence that sexual orientation is organized differently in women and men and suggest a biological component to this difference.

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Correspondence to Richard A. Lippa.

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Lippa, R.A. The Relation Between Sex Drive and Sexual Attraction to Men and Women: A Cross-National Study of Heterosexual, Bisexual, and Homosexual Men and Women. Arch Sex Behav 36, 209–222 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-006-9146-z

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Keywords

  • Sexual orientation
  • Sex drive
  • Heterosexuality
  • Bisexuality
  • Homosexuality
  • Cross-cultural research