Female Same-Sex Sexuality from a Dynamical Systems Perspective: Sexual Desire, Motivation, and Behavior

Rachel H. Farr, Lisa M. Diamond, Steven M. Boker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Fluidity in attractions and behaviors among same-sex attracted women has been well-documented, suggesting the appropriateness of dynamical systems modeling of these phenomena over time. As dynamical systems modeling offer an approach to explaining the patterns of complex phenomena, it may be apt for explaining variability in female same-sex sexuality. The present research is the first application of this analytical approach to such data. Dynamical systems modeling, and specifically generalized local linear approximation modeling, was used to fit daily diary data on same-sex attractions and behaviors over a 21 day period among a group of 33 sexual minority women characterized as lesbian, bisexual or “fluid” based on their identity histories. Daily measures of women’s reported same-sex attractions were fit using a linear oscillator model and its parameters estimated the cyclicity in these attractions. Results supported the existence of a “core sexual orientation” for women in this sample, regardless of how they identified and despite a high degree of variability in daily same-sex attractions. Thus, modeling individual differences in the variability of attractions and behaviors of sexual minority women may be critical to furthering our understanding of female same-sex sexuality and human sexual orientation more broadly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1477-1490
Number of pages14
JournalArchives of Sexual Behavior
Volume43
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 16 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014, Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Keywords

  • Dynamical systems analysis
  • Female sexuality
  • Sexual attraction
  • Sexual behavior
  • Sexual orientation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology

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