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Showing 1-10 of 31 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 37 reviews
on January 20, 2016
The beginning is a bit dense with details of research but at least we get a good idea of how painstakingly thorough and fair the studies were. The rest of the book is just brilliant. All the preconceived notions of sexuality, (how binary it should be, that it is static, etc) are illuminated for what they are- misleading. Or at least mere stabs at defining something we can't define with logic. I found great comfort in this book as someone who is very sexually fluid and unable to label myself, try as I might! It gave me reassurance that I'm not weird or confused, and in fact, that I'm perfectly normal and healthy. Aside from my own personal experience with this book, I believe it is much needed dialog for everyone. We are still stuck in binary thinking about sexuality. The author points out that we should change our approach to sexuality and stop trying to label or force it in one way or another. Just let it be and encourage people to be free to be themselves without putting themselves through the ringer or anyone else. To live and learn and not judge. I couldn't agree more!
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on April 4, 2015
Love this book! Can't say enough about it from the layman perspective to the academic perspective, the author-Lisa Diamond-gives you very thorough well researched information that can really change the way we are culturally taught to conceive of sexuality.
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on April 12, 2014
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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on August 4, 2015
Excellent work at several levels. It is a game-changer in the field of human sexuality - all meaningful study after this book now must deal in some way with Diamond's conception of fluidity. It also sets the bar for writing on complex psychological subjects for a broad, educated lay audience. This is what popular psychology should read like. It demonstrates how to give substance to the old cliches about both nature and nurture - providing an escape from trivializing biological essentialism and vague, self-serving social constructivism. Finally, it illustrates the courage of following the evidence regardless of how unpopular or problematic the conclusions might be while also shouldering the responsibility to minimize the destructive misuses and point out the constructive applications.
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on March 14, 2014
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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on August 6, 2015
This is an excellent book on a too often neglected subject
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on March 7, 2016
Should be read by all psychology clinicians. Interesting angle
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on September 16, 2013
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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on July 21, 2010
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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on February 14, 2010
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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