Stability of Sexual Attractions Across Different Timescales: The Roles of Bisexuality and Gender.

Lisa Diamond, Janna A Dickenson, Karen Blair, Lisa M Diamond, Janna A Dickenson, Karen L Blair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


We examined the stability of same-sex and other-sex attractions among 294 heterosexual, lesbian, gay, and bisexual men and women between the ages of 18 and 40 years. Participants used online daily diaries to report the intensity of each day's strongest same-sex and other-sex attraction, and they also reported on changes they recalled experiencing in their attractions since adolescence. We used multilevel dynamical systems models to examine individual differences in the stability of daily attractions (stability, in these models, denotes the tendency for attractions to "self-correct" toward a person-specific setpoint over time). Women's attractions showed less day-to-day stability than men's, consistent with the notion of female sexual fluidity (i.e., heightened erotic sensitivity to situational and contextual influences). Yet, women did not recollect larger post-adolescent changes in sexual attractions than did men, and larger recollected post-adolescent changes did not predict lower day-to-day stability in the sample as a whole. Bisexually attracted individuals recollected larger post-adolescent changes in their attractions, and they showed lower day-to-day stability in attractions to their "less-preferred" gender, compared to individuals with exclusive same-sex or exclusive other-sex attractions. Our results suggest that both gender and bisexuality have independent influences on sexual fluidity, but these influences vary across short versus long timescales, and they also differ for attractions to one's "more-preferred" versus "less-preferred" gender.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-204
Number of pages12
JournalArchives of Sexual Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • SEXUAL fluidity
  • SEXUAL attraction
  • GENDER differences (Psychology)
  • DIARY studies
  • INDIVIDUAL differences
  • Bisexuality
  • Gender differences
  • Sexual orientation

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Stability of Sexual Attractions Across Different Timescales: The Roles of Bisexuality and Gender.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this