Many men prefer women who are occasionally attracted to other women, according to research that examined preferences for same-sex attraction across different cultures.
“I am an evolutionary psychologist and same-sex attraction constitutes a major puzzle that remains to be solved by evolutionary-minded scholars,” said study author Menelaos Apostolou of the University of Nicosia.
The study of 1,021 participants from China and 390 participants from the United Kingdom found that a substantial proportion of men prefered a partner who was attracted to both sexes.
Specifically, about one in four heterosexual Chinese men and two in three heterosexual UK men preferred mates who were not exclusively attracted to the opposite-sex. Most of these men preferred women who were mostly attracted to men but occasionally to women, rather than women who were attracted both sexes equally or women who were more attracted to women than men.
“Across different cultures there are many heterosexual men who find same-sex attractions in women desirable,” Apostolou said.
Participants who reported same-sex attraction were significantly more likely to also desire a partner with a similar orientation.
However, men preferred same-sex attraction in a partner much more than women. The male participants were 6.49 times more likely than women to prefer a partner who was attracted to both sexes.
“There are many limitations such as not using a representative sample,” Apostolou told PsyPost. “However, the effects found were very large which it means that it is relatively safe to say that there is a sex difference: Men find same-sex attraction in women much more desirable than women find same-sex attraction in men.”
“I believe that same-sex attraction in heterosexual women constitutes a normal variation in sexual attraction, and it is not something abnormal that women should feel shame for or worry about,” Apostolou added.
“Similarly, a male preference for same-sex attraction in women constitutes a normal variation of male sexual preferences and should not be considered abnormal. This preference is probably one of the reasons why many women have evolved same-sex attraction in the first place.”
The study, “Do men prefer women who are attracted to women? A cross-cultural evolutionary investigation“, was authored by Menelaos Apostolou, Yan Wang, and Jiaqing O.