A new study found that straight women interact more comfortably and intimately with gay men than straight men because gay men don’t try to fuck them (literally). The straight woman gay man study was published in the journal Psychological Science.
Researchers from the Department of Psychology at The University of Texas at Arlington studied 153 women between the ages of 18 and 36 using an online questionnaire that asked women to imagine a conversation with a man in an empty waiting room. Half of the women were then told that the man revealed his sexual orientation early (as either straight or gay) into the conversation.
Whether the women found out about the man’s sexual orientation or not, each one indicated her comfort on a scale of one (very uncomfortable) to seven (very comfortable). Women were also asked to rate how anxious they felt about whether the men would try to hit on them and whether they’d have anything in common.
The women were also asked to rate their own attractiveness.
In a second part of the study, 66 heterosexual women were paired with 66 men (34 heterosexual men and 32 homosexual ones) and asked to describe their ideal romantic partner. After doing so, the couple was left alone to converse freely while secretly being videotaped.
The women were then asked how much they trusted or enjoyed their partner’s interaction, asked to verify their partner’s sexual orientation and encouraged to describe the specific thoughts and feelings they remembered having while watching a video of their interactions.
Researchers also had four other women observe the interaction videos, omitting any mention of men’s sexual orientations, to measure whether the women seemed more open and comfortable to an outside observer watching without knowledge of the men’s sexual orientations.
Researchers predicted the women would experience more comfort interacting with a gay man and less anxious about the men trying to “come on” to them, and they were right. Women’s eye contact, bodily openness and conversation all increased when the man was gay. Feelings of comfort also increased the more attractive the women considered themselves.
Lead author Eric M. Russell told PsyPost, “Straight women and gay men likely see their friendships as safe spaces where they can have fun, be themselves, and engage in intimate conversations without fear of judgement, expectations or one-sided sexual interest.”
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