This unsettling and original book offers a radical new understanding of the context-dependent nature of female sexuality. Lisa Diamond argues that for some women, love and desire are not rigidly heterosexual or homosexual but fluid, changing as women move through the stages of life, various social groups, and, most important, different love relationships.
|Publisher:||Harvard University Press|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||461 KB|
About the Author
Lisa M. Diamond is Associate Professor of Psychology and Gender Studies at the University of Utah.
Table of Contents
1. Will the Real Lesbians Please Stand Up?
2. Gender Differences in Same-Sex Sexuality
3. Sexual Fluidity in Action
4. Nonexclusive Attractions and Behaviors
5. Change in Sexual Attractions
6. Attractions to "the Person, Not the Gender"
7. How Does Fluidity Work?
8. Implications of Female Sexual Fluidity
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Sexual Fluidity: Understanding Women's Love and Desire based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Starting in the mid-1990s, Diamond, a professor of Psychology and Gender Studies at the University of Utah, conducted a longitudinal study that tracked sexual attitudes among a cohort of non-heterosexual identified women from their late teens into their early thirties. From this work Diamond concluded that while a model of sexual orientation in which a person is unswervingly straight or gay may be appropriate for men, it is too rigid for women. Over the course of a few years, a typical woman in Diamond's study might move from being attracted to other women to being attracted to men, or vice versa, with the nature of the attraction dependent on an individual's circumstances and partner in ways that often rendered simple straight/lesiban/bisexual categorizations too coarse to be informative. This fluidity is not a matter of dilettantish sexual experimentation or repressed lesbianism in the face of homophobia. (Nor, contrary to the wishes of religious traditionalists, does it mean that sexuality is a conscious lifestyle choice that can be reset by bullying therapy.) Instead, Diamond contends, it is a natural course of many women's development which has been overlooked by both the general public and researchers into human sexuality.Sexual Fluidity mixes a discussion of Diamond's statistical results and anecdotes about the women she studied, along with theoretical taxonomies of female attraction styles and speculation on why women would be more fluid than men. It is academically rigorous but still pitched at a lay audience. It's a credit to her work that you come away wishing that Diamond could broaden her research to older women, straight-identified women, and men. The only shortcoming is that the book presents all its quantitative data in prose, which can be difficult to follow. Presumably people who really care about the statistics can look up Diamond's journal articles, but a few bar charts would have still gone a long way.All in all, Diamond's findings are not surprising to anyone young enough to have been dating women since the 1990s. (I'm one of those people¿I discovered this book because an old girlfriend was one of Diamond's subjects¿and the descriptions of sexual fluidity so neatly fit almost every woman I've been involved with I found myself getting surprisingly sentimental over what is basically a dry research precis.) Still, it's nice to see one's informal impressions in print with research to back them up. Sexual Fluidity is both a compelling study of women's sexual nature and an interesting snapshot of society's evolving attitude towards the same.