Beyond gender: the basis of sexual attraction in bisexual men and women.

M. W. Ross, J. P. Paul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The construct of sexual orientation has typically considered the gender of the sexual partner as defining whether the individual is homosexual, bisexual, or heterosexual, and the Kinsey scale conceptualises bisexuality as a point midway between homosexuality and heterosexuality. We propose an alternative model which places homosexuality and heterosexuality at one end of a continuum as gender-linked choices of sexual partner, and bisexuality at the other as nongender-specific. As a test of this model, we administered repertory grids to nine bisexual men and women to investigate the characteristics of sexual attraction in individuals for whom gender of partner was not a critical variable. Results supported the hypothesis that gender is not a critical variable in sexual attraction in bisexual individuals. Personality or physical dimensions not related to gender and interaction style were the salient characteristics on which preferred sexual partners were chosen, and there was minimal grid distance between preferred male and preferred female partners. These data support the argument that, for some bisexual individuals, sexual attraction is not gender-linked.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1283-1290
Number of pages8
JournalPsychological reports
Issue number3 Pt 2
StatePublished - Dec 1992


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