When it comes to your sexuality, your eyes will give you away.
A long-held popular belief is that sexual orientation can be revealed by pupil dilation, and now researchers at Cornell University have proven this to be true. That is, when people look at someone they find sexually attractive, their pupils dilate (or widen).
The study: Led by Ritch Savin-Williams and Gerulf Rieger, the team used a specialized infrared lens to measure changes to the size of the pupils while 165 men and 160 women watched erotic videos. The study volunteers included straights, gays and bisexuals. The papillary measurements were used to predict whether the person was heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual.
The results: The volunteers' pupils were highly revealing, widening most to videos of those they found sexually attractive, thereby revealing where they were on the sexual spectrum from heterosexual to homosexual.
Specifically, the findings showed:
- Heterosexual men had strong papillary responses to sexual videos of women and little to men.
- While lesbians responded more to images of other women, heterosexual women showed pupillary responses to both sexes, which confirms previous research that suggests women have a very different type of sexuality than men.
- Gay men responded to sexual images of men.
- Bisexual men showed substantial pupil dilations to sexual videos of both men and women, contradicting the notion that bisexual men base their sexual identity on things other than sexual arousal.
The study findings were published in the scientific journal PLoS ONE.
--From the Editors at Netscape