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Recently read: Sexual Fluidity

[Originally published at the now defunct group blog explananda.com]

Posted on April 6, 2009
Tags: book_reviews

Lisa M. Diamond. Sexual Fluidity: Understanding Women’s Love and Desire

Sexuality fluidity is “situation-dependent flexibility in . . . sexual responsiveness.” It turns out that, for whatever reason, women exhibit more fluidity in their sexuality than men. This makes them more likely to fall in love with same-sex friends, even when they identify as heterosexual. Sexual fluidity, although it results in attraction to both men and women, is not be confused with a bisexual identity, or indeed with any orientation. Rather, “[t]he variability introduced by sexual fluidity is variability around” the “malleable core” of a sexual orientation.

Sexuality fluidity has been long neglected by sexuality researchers, who have tended to focus their attention on subjects with relatively fixed sexual identities. Diamond’s book aims to correct this unfortunate bias, and presents the result of following almost 100 women over ten years to track changes in their sexual identities and the genders of their partners. It’s a good book: a careful academic study of an interesting subject. Although it’s not written for a popular audience, I imagine it will be of interest to many readers outside of academia.