That is, heterosexual women were just as sexually aroused by watching female stimuli as by watching male stimuli.
The extraordinary article on female desire that ran in The New York Times Magazine (www.nytimes.com/2009/01/25/magazine/25desire) introduced recent research by Meredith Chivers, who's been following up on the research above with the added fillip of throwing some ape porn in the mix and requiring volunteers to report their own perceptions of their arousal levels, which proved wildly inaccurate: During shots of lesbian coupling, heterosexual women reported less excitement than their vaginas indicated; watching gay men, they reported a great deal less; and viewing heterosexual intercourse, they reported much more. Among the lesbian volunteers, the two readings converged when women appeared on the screen. But when the films featured only men, the lesbians reported less engagement than the plethysmograph recorded. Whether straight or gay, the women claimed almost no arousal whatsoever while staring at the bonobos.
Good to know!
As for the studies (self-reported behavior, no telemetry) that show a high percentage of self-described lesbians fantasizing about men while having lesbisex, eh. People fantasize about all kinds of things, particularly things they feel uncomfortable about. Are those women fake lesbians? The furthest I can go with that is to say that we've seen that women are much (so much!) more likely than men to be bisexual by attraction. I'm assuming that some of the women studied are physically attracted to both, but emotionally more attached to women ("Whom do you fall in love with?" is a hugely important but oft-neglected measure of sexual orientation) and some are into women but enjoy fantasies of committing unnatural acts with men. That some must be really not that into chicks but have chosen for whatever reason to live as lesbians is undeniable but just not that important. They wouldn't be the first people to partner with someone not of their preferred gender, or the last, and their existence does not cast doubt on anyone else's authenticity. Can anyone do that?
Don't forget to read Andrea at Carnal Nation.com.