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At Northwestern University, psychologists are paying women to be aroused by porn. It's more fun than looking at ink blots.
November 30, 2001 2:20 PM   Subscribe

At Northwestern University, psychologists are paying women to be aroused by porn. It's more fun than looking at ink blots. "Last spring, [the two scientists] were involved in a similar study that tested Chicago-area men for their reaction to straight and gay porn. The results were fairly definitive — straight men [were aroused by] watching a man and a woman have sex; gay men [were aroused by] watching two men have sex. Neither had much crossover. But when Chicago-area women [were exposed to] both stimuli...? 'It appears that women, regardless of sexual orientation, respond to everything.' This is science at its steamiest." (from Jim Romenesko's Obscure Store)
posted by verdezza (22 comments total)

 
I have a friend that works in professor Bailey's lab, helping, uh, administer these tests. I don't know, the whole testing seems so, like, personal. But if you need the $75, or you just like getting paid to watch porn...
posted by gramcracker at 2:33 PM on November 30, 2001


What's interesting is that women responded to woman/woman porn. That the straight women would like het porn seems rather evident, as does their liking of gay porn. (Of course, the study does seem to have some assymetry: there's no mention of lesbians)
posted by Charmian at 2:44 PM on November 30, 2001


"It appears that women, regardless of sexual orientation, respond to everything." Is this a normal, or common stat?
posted by Katy Action at 2:52 PM on November 30, 2001


I have a theory about straight women and lesbian pr0n. All members of Western society are trained (via media, and social constructs) to view women as sexual objects. Women see other women as sexual beings every day--note that Cosmo, a magazine for straight women, features page after page of beautiful women. We don't see men as sexual objects nearly so often. As a result, we all (gay, straight, man, woman) can appreciate women's sexuality much easier than men's.

Straight women: dig men, can appreciate women
Gay women: don't dig men, dig women
Gay men: dig men, don't dig women
Straight men: don't dig men, dig women

Just a thought, anyway...
posted by jpoulos at 3:12 PM on November 30, 2001


Although I like the results, I wonder if there isn't some filtering that happens in the selection process. That is, finding women who are willing to watch porn might pre-select out those who are not open to sexual adventures (such as viewing porn). For men, porn is more culturally acceptable and there is little or no difficulty in accepting the project.
posted by Red58 at 3:16 PM on November 30, 2001


red: good point.
posted by moz at 3:17 PM on November 30, 2001


Also, not to be offensive here, but perhaps having something inserted vaginally might do it for some?
posted by Kafkaesque at 3:29 PM on November 30, 2001


I know, um, some guy, yeah, who considers himself straight, yet has found gay porn erotic.

I, I mean HE has a lot of lesbian friends, the vast majority of which watch male/male porn.
posted by Doug at 3:30 PM on November 30, 2001


I agree generally with your theory, jpoulos, although I don't think women are still being objectified as disproportionately as they used to be. Not that they're being objectified any less, certainly, but because men are being objectified more and more. My $.02, anyhow. (Case in point: everything A&F.)
posted by verdezza at 3:32 PM on November 30, 2001


I, I mean HE has a lot of lesbian friends, the vast majority of which watch male/male porn.

Now that I find fascinating. My lesbian friends, and I have quite a few, would never consider m/m porn.
posted by jpoulos at 3:40 PM on November 30, 2001


I gotta chime in once more to say I think that jpoulos has a valid point. Although I agree, verdezza, it is changing, the changes are rather negligible.

And I also agree that having something inserted vaginally, that probably warms up when it lights, would be stimulating. And if they we shown the het porn first and got aroused. Then the f/f porn when already aroused, with a warmed vaginal probe, well, you get the idea...
posted by Red58 at 3:45 PM on November 30, 2001


The article was so sloppily written and gave so little detail that it it difficult to know what it means or pretends to mean. Every one, from viewers of porn to the experiementers seem to get "really excited."
Just how do you mesure excitability if not done with functional MRF?
posted by Postroad at 3:47 PM on November 30, 2001


Well my lesbian friends could beat up your lesbian friends! Actually, probably not.

I was surprised at the revelation myself. Didn't seem consistent. Of course, I think "lesbian" porn is produced mainly for men. Of the woman I've asked, it tended to be the lesbians that would be considered more "dykie," who liked the male/male porn. This was, of course, a very informal survey, and everyone was drunk, and they might have been lying to me.
posted by Doug at 3:48 PM on November 30, 2001


This just goes to confirm my personal theory that all women are inherently bisexual. Now to convince my wife. :)
posted by mr_crash_davis at 3:50 PM on November 30, 2001


This was, of course, a very informal survey, and everyone was drunk, and they might have been lying to me.

I think I saw that same caveat on a USA Today Poll the other day.
posted by Kafkaesque at 3:58 PM on November 30, 2001 [1 favorite]


I think I saw that same caveat on a USA Today Poll the other day.

That's the funniest thing I've read since yesterday's MC Hammer comment. I'm laughing out loud.
posted by elvissinatra at 4:17 PM on November 30, 2001


it tended to be the lesbians that would be considered more "dykie," who liked the male/male porn

posted by holloway at 4:56 PM on November 30, 2001


I get a kick out of Shatner, even though his lousy acting makes the old "Star Trek" series painful to watch.

Question -- Who was worse:

1) William Shatner as Cap'n Kirk
or
2) Roger Moore as James Bond 007™

Discuss...
posted by verdezza at 8:16 PM on November 30, 2001


Oops... wrong thread. (Don't drink and post.)
posted by verdezza at 8:54 PM on November 30, 2001


Red says - "And I also agree that having something inserted vaginally, that probably warms up when it lights, would be stimulating. "
Uhm, no. We don't go around wearing tampons and thinking "WOW this feels GREAT! I wish I had my period every day!" In most cases, women have very few nerve endings in the vagina itself - the vagina moistens in response to clitoral stimulation. Guys tend to focus on the vagina, for obvious reasons, but honestly there's not near as much going on there as in the little nubbin.
The context itself might be stimulating, given the self-selection issue mentioned above, but I do think that women are more open to their sexuality than men - I think that everyone is bisexual, it's just that straight men are more conditioned to not go there.
There have been studies that show that the men who are most likely to self-identify as homophobes are most likely to be aroused by man-man pr0n - (no link, sorry). I think it all has something to do with exploring what we forbid ourselves, and than the taboo actually increasing arousal around that issue.
posted by pomegranate at 7:08 AM on December 2, 2001


but you can't feel tampons. that's the whole point. (well, part of the point.)

anyway, as a straight girl, I have no problem admitting that I've found other women or even lesbian couples attractive. I've never seen lesbian porn though, so I don't know about that.

pomegranate makes a good point about the homophobic males -- even though it's because of our warped view of women as sex objects, it is easier for us to have or exhibit homosexual tendencies (as long as it's in the nice, inoffensive ways like kissing and lusting, and as long as we're all pretty and attractive to men, and as long as we're not in an actual lesbian relationship... but I digress).
posted by rabi at 9:01 AM on December 2, 2001


So, rabi. um...come here often?.... :-)
posted by jpoulos at 7:29 PM on December 2, 2001


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