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PLoS One. 2012;7(8):e40256. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0040256. Epub 2012 Aug 3.

The eyes have it: sex and sexual orientation differences in pupil dilation patterns.

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  • 1Department of Human Development, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, United States of America. Gerulf@cornell.edu

Abstract

Recent research suggests profound sex and sexual orientation differences in sexual response. These results, however, are based on measures of genital arousal, which have potential limitations such as volunteer bias and differential measures for the sexes. The present study introduces a measure less affected by these limitations. We assessed the pupil dilation of 325 men and women of various sexual orientations to male and female erotic stimuli. Results supported hypotheses. In general, self-reported sexual orientation corresponded with pupil dilation to men and women. Among men, substantial dilation to both sexes was most common in bisexual-identified men. In contrast, among women, substantial dilation to both sexes was most common in heterosexual-identified women. Possible reasons for these differences are discussed. Because the measure of pupil dilation is less invasive than previous measures of sexual response, it allows for studying diverse age and cultural populations, usually not included in sexuality research.

PMID:
22870196
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3411709
Free PMC Article
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