Male bisexual arousal: A matter of curiosity?

Gerulf Rieger*, Allen M. Rosenthal, Brian M. Cash, Joan A W Linsenmeier, J. Michael Bailey, Ritch C. Savin-Williams

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Conflicting evidence exists regarding whether bisexual-identified men are sexually aroused to both men and women. We hypothesized that a distinct characteristic, level of curiosity about sexually diverse acts, distinguishes bisexual-identified men with and without bisexual arousal. Study 1 assessed men's (n= 277) sexual arousal via pupil dilation to male and female sexual stimuli. Bisexual men were, on average, higher in their sexual curiosity than other men. Despite this general difference, only bisexual-identified men with elevated sexual curiosity showed bisexual arousal. Those lower in curiosity had responses resembling those of homosexual men. Study 2 assessed men's (n= 72) sexual arousal via genital responses and replicated findings of Study 1. Study 3 provided information on the validity on our measure of sexual curiosity by relating it to general curiosity and sexual sensation seeking (n= 83). Based on their sexual arousal and personality, at least two groups of men identify as bisexual.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)479-489
Number of pages11
JournalBiological Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 2013


  • Bisexuality
  • Genital arousal
  • Personality
  • Pupil dilation
  • Sexual orientation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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