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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars LUGs are Women Too!
Starting in the mid-1990s, Diamond, a professor of Psychology and Gender Studies at the University of Utah, conducted a longitudinal study that tracked sexual attitudes among a cohort of non-heterosexual identified women from their late teens into their early thirties. From this work Diamond concluded that while a model of sexual orientation in which a person is...
Published on May 18, 2010 by William McNeill

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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars LUGs are Women Too!, May 18, 2010
By 
William McNeill (Austin, Texas USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sexual Fluidity: Understanding Women's Love and Desire (Paperback)
Starting in the mid-1990s, Diamond, a professor of Psychology and Gender Studies at the University of Utah, conducted a longitudinal study that tracked sexual attitudes among a cohort of non-heterosexual identified women from their late teens into their early thirties. From this work Diamond concluded that while a model of sexual orientation in which a person is unswervingly straight or gay may be appropriate for men, it is too rigid for women. Over the course of a few years, a typical woman in Diamond's study might move from being attracted to other women to being attracted to men, or vice versa, with the nature of the attraction dependent on an individual's circumstances and partner in ways that often rendered simple straight/lesiban/bisexual categorizations too coarse to be informative. This fluidity is not a matter of dilettantish sexual experimentation or repressed lesbianism in the face of homophobia. (Nor, contrary to the wishes of religious traditionalists, does it mean that sexuality is a conscious lifestyle choice that can be reset by bullying therapy.) Instead, Diamond contends, it is a natural course of many women's development which has been overlooked by both the general public and researchers into human sexuality.

"Sexual Fluidity" mixes a discussion of Diamond's statistical results and anecdotes about the women she studied, along with theoretical taxonomies of female attraction styles and speculation on why women would be more fluid than men. It is academically rigorous but still pitched at a lay audience. It's a credit to her work that you come away wishing that Diamond could broaden her research to older women, straight-identified women, and men. The only shortcoming is that the book only presents quantitative data in prose, which can be difficult to follow. Presumably people who really care about the statistics can look up Diamond's journal articles, but a few bar charts would have still gone a long way.

All in all, Diamond's findings are not surprising to anyone young enough to have been dating women since the 1990s. (I'm one of those people--I discovered this book because an old girlfriend was one of Diamond's subjects--and the descriptions of sexual fluidity so neatly fit almost every woman I've been involved with I found myself getting surprisingly sentimental over what is basically a dry research precis.) Still, it's nice to see one's informal impressions in print with research to back it up. "Sexual Fluidity" is both a compelling study of women's sexual nature and an interesting snapshot of society's evolving attitude towards the same.
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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very intereting discussion of female sexuality, August 5, 2008
By 
tdp (switzerland) - See all my reviews
This book is a very interesting read for any woman, queer or straight.

The discussion of the to-date research on female sexuality and major premises in sexuality research are a great overview resource for anyone interested in this topic.

Female sexuality and the discussions stemming from Diamond's research are described in an approachable way. Topics stemming out of this book will force queer and straight women to rethink their perception of sexuality and their experiences.

I'd bet this book will stand the test of time and will provide a good resource for female sexuality discussions.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Is this subject really that complex?, July 21, 2010
By 
Paul "Cosmic Dreamer" (Gilroy, CA, United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sexual Fluidity: Understanding Women's Love and Desire (Paperback)
Dr. Lisa Diamond has a fairly simple thesis: male homosexuality is different from female homosexuality. In short, homosexual males are born not made and the opposite is true for lesbians. There is evidence to support this. The study Diamond refers to is the Blanchard et. al. "fraternal birth order effect" studies which reported that the likelihood of male homosexuality increases when a woman gives birth to successive males. No similar correlation can be found for lesbians.

If lesbians are not formed at birth then it seems likely that they become so later in life. But, as Diamond points out, what often gets a lot of press are the lesbians who become straight later in life: Anne Heche, Holly Near. Diamond has other anecdotal evidence that comes from one rather non-random sample: the students in a women's studies class. Diamond conducted interviews with many women from this class who answered her request to talk with women who are gay or bisexual or any other alternative status.

Diamond does not consider the evolutionary basis of homosexuality until page 223. Even the few scant paragraphs spent on evolution sound off base. Terry Coyne's book "Why Evolution is True" says that evolution is only interested in characteristics that improve the ability to survive and to spread one's genes. So the evolutionary case for homosexuality must improve a group's ability to survive. That case can be made in a better fashion. Obviously, if there are too many males the often tragic competition for females can be reduced if some of the males are matching up themselves. Considering that males are preferentially conceived (Y sperm can swim faster than X sperm) the possibility of too many males is a real possibility. But early death rates for males are higher than for females and a few disastrous hunts or battles might reduce a group's male count drastically and quickly. In such a case, the group's survivability might improve if some of the females start matching up even though they were heterosexual earlier. Diamond doesn't follow this path or I'm not understanding the few pages that discuss evolution.

In order to find more women whose sexuality can be considered "fluid", Diamond goes to great extremes. One person is married and completely faithful to one man but she considers herself a lesbian. We are supposed to think this is ironic or an example of sexual fluidity but it seems to me to just be an abuse of the English language.

I did not know about the acronym LUG (Lesbian Until Graduation) until this book. Diamond also considers transvestite, transsexuals, and straight women with gay fantasies. The only persons not considered are the guys who write "Help, I'm a lesbian trapped in a man's body" on bathroom walls.

Diamond starts off making it clear what she does NOT believe. Not all women are bisexual, sexual orientation cannot necessarily be changed, and she does not intend to prove that it is a "nuture versus nature" problem. But she thinks that perhaps all people are fluid and women more so than men. What does she believe? She says that she is one of "the social scientists who view sexual feelings and experiences as simultaneously embedded in both physical-biological and sociocultural contexts that require integrated biosocial research strategies." Oh, is that all!

If a woman that I knew and cared for was concerned about her sexual orientation, I would recommend this book just because it explores that so many distinct manifestations of female sexuality. However, this book won't provide specific guidance. I give this book 4/5 stars because I think it uses almost 260 pages to expound on the points that I think were sufficiently studied in the first 2 chapters (50 pages).

The following is probably irrelevant but the reader may think otherwise: Diamond is currently in a same-sex relationship; this reviewer is a married, heterosexual male.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good resource for those embracing their bisexuality, September 18, 2010
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This review is from: Sexual Fluidity: Understanding Women's Love and Desire (Paperback)
I recently came out to my husband that I have been a closeted bisexual for over 30 years. Society prevented me from being myself. This book helped my husband and I embrace who I am. It helped him understand what I am going through.

It is more clinically written. I would like to see a book be written by a bisexual to help society understand we are NOT confused, we are not on the edge of homosexuality. We are honestly bisexual. I love my husband, and VERY attracted to him sexually, but I also am sexually and emotionally attracted to women. We should not be made ashamed or ostracized for what we can not control. I was born this way, I did not choose to be with this way. I am thankful I have an awesome husband, and family who supports me for being me. I hope this book helps others coming to terms with their bisexuality or supporting a loved one who is coming to terms as well.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Accessible Psychological Science, February 14, 2010
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This review is from: Sexual Fluidity: Understanding Women's Love and Desire (Paperback)
Sexual Fluidity is the rare scientific book that will satisfy other researchers, but also be accessible to laypeople. As I read any given paragraph a question would occur to me, and then I would find that the question was answered in the next paragraph. It takes skill for a science writer to do that a few times; Lisa Diamond did it dozens of times. She addresses sexuality as both an academic question and a personal, emotionally-charged issue, which is vital to any productive discussion of sexual orientation. Anyone looking for something hot and naughty or sensationalist will be disappointed, but if you want to learn more about sexual orientation as researchers currently understand it, this is the only book that covers it in detail without accepting culturally-based underlying assumptions.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Much needed reference/research on topic, November 13, 2009
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This review is from: Sexual Fluidity: Understanding Women's Love and Desire (Paperback)
Lisa does an excellent job exploring the topic of how women's sexuality is distinct and it's own entity. A must read for someone who would like more concrete information about the topic for professional or personal reasons.
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4.0 out of 5 stars This book is a good read!, June 11, 2014
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This review is from: Sexual Fluidity: Understanding Women's Love and Desire (Paperback)
I was curious about the subject! The book didn`t disappoint me! I found that I wasn`t surprised at it`s conclusions
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5.0 out of 5 stars Review!, April 12, 2014
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This review is from: Sexual Fluidity: Understanding Women's Love and Desire (Paperback)
Amazing and incredible book! So glad I purchased this! Gives a great insight into the dynamics of female sexuality. I definite must have for every women interested in studying female sexuality and great for their own knowledge!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Simply perfect, March 14, 2014
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Jenni B. Myers (Central Illinois, USA) - See all my reviews
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This author gives us an excellent description of what human sexuality is... The nitty gritty... Without regard to social and religious condonments. It is simply human sexuality plain and simple.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An educational experience!, September 16, 2013
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This review is from: Sexual Fluidity: Understanding Women's Love and Desire (Paperback)
Well stated, based on facts, and quite informative. Lisa Diamond does a great job of explaining the complexity of women's emotions and they ebb and flow over time.
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Sexual Fluidity: Understanding Women's Love and Desire
Sexual Fluidity: Understanding Women's Love and Desire by Lisa M. Diamond (Paperback - April 15, 2009)
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