For all the lesbians and bisexual women out there in deep despair about how they came to be attracted to people of the same gender, your burning questions have been answered by a "researcher" out of Cyprus who's offered up, essentially, the frat party explanation for why women make out with other women -- to catch the attention of men, of course. Men's desire for women to be sexual with one another is the driving force behind lesbian attraction, Menelaos Apostolou of the University of Nicosia argued in his study, according to the International Business Times.
"Why does same-sex attraction happen in women, why did it evolve, and does it serve some purpose? A lot of men indicate a desire to have a partner who also experiences same-sex attraction," posited Apostolou, an author whose books include the gripping titles Feeling Good: An Evolutionary Perspective on Life's Choices and Sexual Selection Under Parental Choice: The Evolution of Human Mating Behavior.
According to a survey that Apostolou conducted online with 1,509 heterosexual participants, he concluded that approximately "15% of heterosexual men in long-term relationships say that they would want their partner to have a sexual encounter with another woman. This figure goes up to about 30% of men in short-term relationships," IBT reports. Thus, Apostolou extrapolated that to conclude that his gender helped create women who are attracted to other women through positive selection, because, you know, the guys were so turned on by it that it became an evolutionary imperative. So, according to Apostolou's highly scientific method, lesbian and bi women have ancient dude bros, and not their own free will or biology, to thank for their sapphic tendencies.
What's nearly as maddening as his hypothesis itself are the conclusions drawn by the woman the IBT called on to refute it. "The paper totally ignores a lot of other possible hypotheses and makes claims that are really not supported by the evidence they provide," Diana Fleischman, a psychologist at the University of Portsmouth, told IBT. But Fleischman then dismantled Apostolou's conceit that his gender helped make queer women by pointing out that he failed to take into account the fact that men tend to have more relaxed attitudes about women's sexuality than women do about men and that he negates the effects of "lesbian" porn on men.
"I can't really see how cultural factors would make some men be turned on when their partners tell them I want to have sex with another woman," Apostolou wrote. "These kinds of sexual traits are more instinctive. It's a mechanism that has been selected to serve a purpose -- to make you reproduce. For me, these things are expressions of old mechanisms."
But Fleischman, in her equally tone-deaf response to Apostolou's thesis, disagreed, arguing instead that cultural factors, namely porn, did in fact influence the men Apostolou thinks created queer women through positive selection.
"I think this paper is showing the effect of pornography. Men see a lot of porn where a woman has sex with another woman, and then a man gets to have sex with that woman," Fleischman said. "Two women having sex with one man is such a common theme in pornography that I think it is very difficult to parse out that particular variable."
What both of these "scholars" failed abysmally to do was to interview real-life women who are or have been physically and/or emotionally attracted to other women -- not that Apostolou's study was even remotely necessary, as if the evolution of female same-sex attraction needed to be placed under a microscope because the threat of women abandoning men sexually had reached such a fever pitch that the population of the planet were at stake.
For anyone with a deep desire to understand the mysteries of female same-sex attraction as viewed through the lens of an academic who doesn't care enough about lesbians and bisexuals to ask them about their experiences, the study is available here for $35, or you could better spend that on a couple of copies of Carol on Blu-ray.