Sexual fluidity has been defined as a capacity for situation-dependent flexibility in sexual responsiveness, which allows individuals to experience changes in same-sex or other-sex desire across both short-term and long-term time periods. I review recent evidence for sexual fluidity and consider the extent of gender differences in sexual fluidity by examining the prevalence of three phenomena: nonexclusive (bisexual) patterns of attraction, longitudinal change in sexual attractions, and inconsistencies among sexual attraction, behavior, and identity. All three of these phenomena appear to be widespread across a large body of independent, representative studies conducted in numerous countries, supporting an emerging understanding of sexuality as fluid rather than rigid and categorical. These studies also provide evidence for gender differences in sexual fluidity, but the extent and cause of these gender differences remain unclear and are an important topic for future research.
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Conflict of Interest
Lisa M. Diamond declares that she has no conflict of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
All reported studies/experiments with human or animal subjects performed by the authors have been previously published and were in compliance with all applicable ethical standards (including the Helsinki Declaration and its amendments, institutional/national research committee standards, and international/national/institutional guidelines).
This article is part of the Topical Collection on Current Controversies
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Diamond, L.M. Sexual Fluidity in Male and Females. Curr Sex Health Rep 8, 249–256 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11930-016-0092-z
- Sexual orientation
- Gender differences
- Sexual fluidity
- Same-sex attraction