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Sexual arousal patterns of identical twins with discordant sexual orientations

Watts, Tuesday and Holmes, Luke and Raines, Jamie and Orbell, Sheina and Rieger, Gerulf (2018) 'Sexual arousal patterns of identical twins with discordant sexual orientations.' Scientific Reports, 8. ISSN 2045-2322

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Abstract

Genetically identical twins can differ in their self-reported sexual orientations. However, whether the twins’ subjective reports reflect valid differences in their sexual orientations is unknown. Measures of sexual orientation, which are free of the limitations of self-report, include genital arousal and pupil dilation while viewing sexual stimuli depicting men or women. We examined these responses in 6 male twin pairs and 9 female twin pairs who reported discordant sexual orientations. Across measures, heterosexual male twins responded more strongly to women than to men. Their homosexual co-twins showed an opposite pattern. Heterosexual female twins responded equally to both sexes, whereas their homosexual co-twins responded somewhat more to women than men. These differences within pairs were similar to differences between unrelated heterosexual and homosexual males and females. Our study provides physiological evidence confirming twins’ discordant sexual orientations, thereby supporting the importance of the non-shared environment for the development of sexual orientation and sexual arousal.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: sexual orientation, sexual arousal, twins
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2018 08:50
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2018 09:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/23275

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