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Visual Attention to Sexual Stimuli in Mostly Heterosexuals

Abstract

Individuals who report mostly heterosexual orientations (i.e., mostly sexually attracted to the opposite sex, but occasionally attracted to the same sex) outnumber all other non-heterosexual individuals combined. The present study examined whether mostly heterosexual men and women view same- and other-sex sexual stimuli differently than exclusively heterosexual men and women. A novel eye-tracking paradigm was used with 162 mostly and exclusively heterosexual men and women. Compared to exclusively heterosexual men, mostly heterosexual men demonstrated greater attention to sexually explicit features (i.e., genital regions and genital contact regions) of solo male and male–male erotic stimuli, while demonstrating equivalent attention to sexually explicit features of solo female and female–female erotic stimuli. Mediation analyses suggested that differences between mostly and exclusively heterosexual profiles in men could be explained by mostly heterosexual men’s increased sexual attraction to solo male erotica, and their increased sexual attraction and reduced disgust to the male–male erotica. No comparable differences in attention were observed between mostly and exclusively heterosexual women—although mostly heterosexual women did demonstrate greater fixation on visual erotica overall—a pattern of response that was found to be mediated by reduced disgust.

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Notes

  1. In Dawson and Chivers (2016), 23 of 53 heterosexual women were predominantly heterosexual; however, no breakdown of the proportion of Kinsey 0’s versus Kinsey 1’s was provided for the 22 heterosexual men in the study. Excluding predominantly heterosexual women from analyses did not change results. Fromberger et al., (2012b) reported including Kinsey 0’s and 1’s in their sample of heterosexual men, and Vásquez-Amézquita et al., (2019) included Kinsey 0’s and 1’s in their sample of gynephilic men and androphilic women. No information on the relative number of each was reported in either study. Lykins et al. (2008), Hall, Hogue, and Guo (2011) and Mitrovic, Tinio, and Leder (2016) reported recruiting self-identified heterosexuals. No information relevant to Kinsey 0 versus 1 status appears to have been collected.

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Correspondence to James S. Morandini.

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Morandini, J.S., Veldre, A., Holcombe, A.O. et al. Visual Attention to Sexual Stimuli in Mostly Heterosexuals. Arch Sex Behav 48, 1371–1385 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-019-1419-4

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-019-1419-4

Keywords

  • Mostly heterosexual
  • Sexual orientation
  • Disgust
  • Visual attention
  • Sex differences