Dual Attraction: Understanding Bisexuality / Edition 1

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Overview


For the past two generations, extensive research has been conducted on the determinants of homosexuality. But, until now, scant attention has been paid to what is perhaps the most mysterious--and potentially illuminating--variation of human sexual expression, bisexuality. Today, as ignorance and fear of AIDS makes greater awareness of all forms of sexual behavior an urgent matter of private and public consequence, leading sex researchers Martin Weinberg, Colin Williams, and Douglas Pryor provide us with the first major study of bisexuality.
Weinberg, Williams, and Pryor explore the riddle of dual attraction in their study of 800 residents of San Francisco. Fieldwork, intensive interviews, and surveys provided a wealth of data about the nature of bisexual attraction, the steps that lead people to become bisexual, and how sexual preference can change over time. They found that heterosexuals, more often than homosexuals, become bisexual; that bisexual men and women differ markedly in their sexual behavior and romantic feelings; that most bisexuals ultimately settle into long-term relationships while continuing sexual activity outside those relationships; and they also explain why transsexuals often become bisexual. Moreover, the authors discovered that as the AIDS crisis unfolded, many bisexual men entered into monogamous relationships with women, and bisexual women into more lesbian relationships.
Recent media accounts attest that a growing number of researchers and writers are narrowing the fundamental cause of sexual preference to a single factor, biology. But if, as this study shows, learning plays a significant part in helping people traverse the boundaries of gender, if past and present intimate relationships influence their changing preferences, and if bisexual activity is inseparable from a social environment which provides distinctive sexual opportunities, then a mosaic of factors far more complex than those previously considered must be entertained in explaining the fuller spectrum of sexual preferences. Dual Attraction is one of the most significant contributions to our understanding of sexuality since the original Kinsey reports and Bell and Weinberg's 1978 international bestseller, Homosexualities. It is must reading for all those interested in the study of sexual behavior--especially now, since the onset of AIDS.

Based on 10 years of in-depth interviews and surveys, this full-length portrait of bisexual Americans covers everything from the ways people become bisexual to the kinds of sexual activities they engage in to the methods used to balance their same- and opposite-sex relationships. 150 tables.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195098419
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 6/28/1995
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 448
  • Lexile: 1220L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.13 (w) x 9.13 (h) x 1.11 (d)

Meet the Author

About the Authors:
Martin S. Weinberg is Professor of Sociology at Indiana University and Senior Research Sociologist at the Kinsey Institute for Sex Research from 1968-1980. He is the author or co-author of ten books, including Sexual Preference: Its Development among Men and Women, Homosexualities: A Study of Diversity Among Men and Women, Male Homosexuals: Their Problems and Adaptations; and Homosexuals and the Military: A Study of Less than Honorable Discharge.
Colin J. Williams is Professor of Sociology at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis and Research Sociologist at the Kinsey Institute for Sex Research from 1968-1980. He is co-author of Sex and Morality in the U.S.; Male Homosexuals: Their Problems and Adaptations; and Homosexuals and the Military.

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Table of Contents

1 The Riddle of Bisexuality 3
2 Bisexuals in San Francisco 13
3 Becoming Bisexual 26
4 Bisexual Types 39
5 The Nature of Dual Attraction 49
6 Transsexual Bisexuals 59
7 Sexual Activities 66
8 Significant Others 76
9 Marriage 93
10 Jealousy 107
11 Being "Out" 116
12 Surveying the Sexual Underground 135
13 The Development of Sexual Preference 139
14 Dimensions of Sexual Preference 148
15 The Instability of Sexual Preference 158
16 Sexual Profiles 166
17 Intimate Relationships 176
18 Managing Identities 187
19 The Emergence of AIDS 199
20 Bisexuals Face AIDS 209
21 Changes in Sexual Preference 218
22 Change and the Transsexual Bisexual 230
23 Changes in Sexuality 239
24 Changes in Relationships 258
25 Adapting to a New World 273
26 Conclusions: Understanding Bisexuality 285
Notes 301
Appendix A 313
Appendix B 361
Appendix C 412
Index 431
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