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Male bisexuality research evolving

Dec. 17, 2008 at 9:45 PM   |   Comments

BLOOMINGTON, Ind., Dec. 17 (UPI) -- Bisexual research is vague, with research generally categorizing people as either "homosexual" or "heterosexual," U.S. researchers said.

Sex researchers from the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University collaborated with Paul H. Gebhard, an original member of pioneering sex researcher Alfred Kinsey's research team and later a long-time director of The Kinsey Institute to reflect on research involving male bisexuality.

"Overall, Kinsey would be disappointed," Gebhard told the researchers, Michael Reece and Brian Dodge, director and associate director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion in the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation at Indiana University.

Kinsey believed that culture plays a key role in a person's sexual behavior. Gebhard said Kinsey and his research team avoided looking for causes for sexual orientation out of concern that the findings could be used against people. Through sexual history interviews, they instead sought to capture snapshots of human sexual experience, which proved to be fluid.

Since Kinsey's day, Gebhard noted that many researchers have moved to a medical model of sex research -- looking for genetic causes of homosexuality.

"It's not necessarily a bad thing that research is evolving," Dodge wrote in the Journal of Bisexuality. "Biology and genetics, of course, are part of the picture. But we seem to be swinging in the direction where some scientists are using these as universal explanatory constructs and trying to minimize, or even negate, the role of an individual's culture and environment, aspects that Kinsey thought were most important."

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