Researchers want to know, and for us to know, why some straight people cheat on their lovers with people of the same-sex.
Yes, this is an actual study that is set to be published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences. The study was conducted by a team of scientists was led by Amanda Denes of the University of Connecticut. The study was done in two parts. Study 1 analyzed a sample pool’s responses to why they (or a friend) engaged in same-sex infidelity. In the end, both portions of the overall study found eight common reasons for why people engaged in “same-sex infidelity.”
- Jealousy — The research team found that there were instances where fear of losing a partner to a rival, whether real or imagined, caused several instances of infidelity. They then categorized these instances as being triggered by jealousy.
- Vengefulness — When categorizing this reason, researchers defined vengefulness as “retaliation, getting back at the partner for a perceived betrayal, or retribution.” Turns out, infidelity was often used as the tool for vengefulness. We have to wonder if choosing to sleep with someone of the same-sex in these cases was used as an extra dose of pain. (Which is depressing for us LGBTQ folk).
- Sexual Depression — When study subjects felt dissatisfied with one’s sex life, it could lead to infidelity.
- Sexual Preoccupation — In other cases, sometimes people were too fixated on sexual thoughts or fantasies. Infidelity then happened as a result.
- Sociosexuality — As Psychology Today writes, sociosexuality leads to infidelity when an individual possesses an “unrestricted attitude toward sex such that the individual is comfortable engaging in sex without commitment or closeness.”
- Experimentation — But what if someone just wants to experiment? Well, being “curious about sex with a same-sex partner” was also a prime reason for infidelity too.
- Not Cheating — On top of that, many saw same-sex infidelity as “not cheating” in the “traditional” sense because it wasn’t cheating with someone of the opposite sex. That one hurts for us LGBTQ people.
- Attraction — Lastly, just good ol’ attraction could be a trigger for infidelity as well.
Study 2 then tried to see how gender can change perceptions on and likeliness of acting on the above reasons. After conducting an online survey with over 1,000 American adults, the research team found that women were more lenient on same-sex infidelity when the motivation was experimentation.
The researchers wrote, “The findings revealed that women were the most likely to report that they would confront the situation, continue the relationship, and show benevolence when experimentation was the underlying reason for the infidelity.”
Though, women also exhibited the highest likelihood of breaking up with their partner if same-sex infidelity happened because of vengefulness or sexual depression.
Despite how depressing this study may seem to LGBTQ people, Denes and her fellow reserachers say they created the study to show how fluid sexuality can be. As they wrote, “Though speculative, such findings might suggest a greater awareness that sexuality exists on a continuum, perhaps allowing a space for individuals to engage in sexual exploration and pursue relationships with others to whom they are attracted, regardless of biological sex or sexual orientation labels.”